The phone rings. The number is unavailable. It is 6am so it must be someone in a different time zone. It gets answered.
Uh, yeah, so I decided to Google myself yesterday. And uh, how do I say this? You know... some things... from a few years ago... well, uh, I don't want to bore you, but someone told me to call."
How this phone call gets answered is going to determine whether the person gets help... or gets none... or worse yet, gets put in worse shape. Does the caller get their online reputation problem fixed? Ignored? Or driven into a price/buying cycle designed to scare yet does little to help?
There are many minefields when it comes to online reputation management. The choices made by persons, brands or organizations in this area reveal everything from amazing results and real change to total fakes and pretend changes that last for 25 hours and then are never seen again.
Hi. So, one of your clients referred me to you. Let me tell you why... there was this nasty litigation, and my name got dragged through the mud. When I checked Yahoo for my name, all this stuff from those cases appeared. Can you hack them and get it to go away?"
Believe it or not, there are some companies who might even say, "...yes we can do that for you..." and take someone's money.
There are many Online Reputation Management (ORM) companies. Some are great. Some are not. There is also a lot of confusion with SEO vendors and especially when compared between ORM vendors; especially with small businesses. Once the size of the business grows, the sophistication in making business choices and understanding how and why to differentiate are important and become ever more so with the size of the organization. The differences between seo and orm become more clear too.
I am calling because, well, there is this thing. You know, in search. Bing has me all F#*3ed up and it keeps dogging me everywhere. I hired this one company, but they did nothing. Now I am reaching higher out of desperation."
Online reputation management is not just about hiring a company to maybe make a few changes. It really is about making long term choices to effect the social media, the search and seo changes you may be looking for.
But unlike most business decisions, the ones that a person, brand, or organization take to identify, create, maintain and defend their online reputation have ramifications that extend well beyond just the initial decision or the cost level involved. Indeed it will have ramifications on multiple business lines and or channels and can linger for months if not years.
Individuals, Companies, Governments and Brands also need to pay careful attention to the correlation between search, social media and reputation control and management. If it is left to the Internet, you will not be happy with the results. Take control of your reputation. Take control of your brand reputation management, and start with social media. There are many other steps. But start there.
My company Digijaks offers boutique solutions for high impact individuals, brands and organizations to deal with the combination of cyber security, social media and online reputation management and control. We see and hear all kinds of stories. Those from people who are completely innocent and just get caught up in something a bad person did. Those from people who admit to making mistakes and now are working to try to fix the damage or prevent it from happening. Then there are those who just think things will never catch up to them. But they do.