The Ultra Definitive Guide to Online Reputation Management UK & Australia

Online Reputation Management UK & Online Reputation Management Australia broken down with great tools to protect you & your business online.


Statistics clearly show how important online reputation management is to manage your personal and business reputation in the online space. About 90 percent of people read online reviews before buying, and 74 percent of consumers admit that positive reviews persuade them to buy. [1] Conversely, negative reviews can cost you to lose money and customers or even trigger a government audit of your regulatory compliance or an investigation by your local licensing bureau or health inspector.

Online reputation management is the process of identifying negative online content about you, your staff, your business and your brand and finding ways to reduce or eliminate the bad consequences of negative information - whether it's true or false. These techniques include content removal, special online reputation management strategies and building your company’s reputation.

There's no simple, universal formula to quantify the damage that negative online information can generate, but the damage to your company can be detected almost immediately in reduced sales and customer service queries. The process of online reputation management UK involves multiple strategies of dealing with unhappy customers, providing expanded and improved customer service and monitoring your company's reputation through the online space.

The same is true of online reputation management Australia, but it's important to differentiate the process because Australia has different attitudes about business, and these subtle differences can make all the difference when trying to manage the subtleties of attitudes, local prejudices and different cultural expectations.

Digital technology can foster viral communications, and most people realize that bad news often travels wider and faster than good news. Even if you keep your company's reputation above reproach, personal information about you or your staff could also torpedo your efforts. The damage can be long-lasting, and some companies and personal brands never recover.

The Social Media Trap

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Savvy companies are learning to leverage social media in unique ways to build their brands and market in an entirely new way - more by example, content and identifying with like-minded members. However, social media cut both ways. You can just as easily damage your reputation with a thoughtless post or careless comment.

Transparency Creates Opportunities and Risks


Social media support greater transparency in business dealings, and most companies are responding to that mandate. However, there are big risks for companies that become too transparent. Examples of the risks of transparency include:

  • Employees who talk too much or deliberately try to damage your company

  • Asking for feedback and generating a storm of negative information about your products and services

  • Praising employees and exposing them to personal searches for negative information

  • Not hiding criticism

  • Creating online conversations about issues that you can't control

  • Using employees and customers as cheerleaders who might not be social media savvy

Your Reputation’s on the Line


The dark side of instant communications is that a few words, tweets or comments can create lots of damage to personal brands and businesses. The internet has evolved to become a dynamic source of information, B2C and B2B sales, research and communications with people who carry their mobile phones 24/7/365. Information moves at lightning speed, and you can suffer online reputation management problems from an inadvertent comment without even realising it.

Online Reputation Management UK

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Online reputation management UK generates special problems. That's why the best strategy is to hire professional organisations like ours that understand the unique challenges of online reputation management UK. The same is true for online reputation management Australia. Some of the top risks for England and other United Kingdom countries that online reputation management addresses include:

  • Brexit Uncertainties for the United Kingdom 
    Brexit generates hundreds of business uncertainties for the United Kingdom such as managing the supply chain without open borders, replacing some suppliers and restructuring contractual obligations. Financing could be a big issue that forces your company to reduce services or raise prices. Online reputation management problems are inevitable. Business changes could easily result in unhappy employees in England who are traditionally one of the top sources of online negative information that requires online reputation management services.

  • Curtailment of Free Movement Throughout the EU 
    One of the more sensitive problems of online reputation management UK is dealing with personnel issues. Staff can no longer move freely through Europe, but many United Kingdom customers come from Europe. England and other United Kingdom countries face greater logistical and staffing problems as a result. Many reliable customers will be lost because customers want to show loyalty to the European Union and punish England for Brexit. If online reputation management requires dealing with this type of negativity, it could qualify as libel if the motive is to punish England. 

    Other online reputation management problems include problems for staff members who must now follow stricter Visa regulations to travel, and that creates a whole new class of online reputation management problems. United Kingdom branch offices in Europe could be forced to close and generate an online reputation management PR nightmare.

  • Losses of Key Staff Members 
    Thousands of companies stand to lose experienced staff members because of Brexit, and this can result in long training times for replacements, increased operating expenses and reduced quality of products and services. Customers are likely to complain and post negative reviews leading to greater online reputation management issues. Effective online reputation management UK requires familiarity with these issues and bespoke solutions that satisfy local cultural attitudes.

  • Transitional Delays 
    There are many potential delays, communication problems and hiring difficulties associated with Brexit. Companies need to hire an experienced online reputation management firm to limit the damage proactively.

  • Framing Negative Information is Different Terms 
    England has big development plans over the next few years, but online reputation management UK is often needed to frame changes in a different light. For example, public relations skills are needed by hundreds of businesses. In England, there is a lot of debate on how to respond to an online reputation management crisis. Many consumers support Corporate Social Responsibility, but there are groups that advocate on behalf of business interests. Companies must be flexible enough to respond quickly to shifting values and rising financial expectations. [2]

Online Reputation Management Australia

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In Australia - where tremendous natural resources are available - many consumers support environmental causes and target companies with bad environmental records. Online reputation management Australia often takes a different form - more and more companies are recruiting environmentalists to speak for them. [3]

The special problems of online reputation management Australia include the following problems and solutions:

  • Let It Go 
    Australians support free speech strongly, and unless the information is deadly or vicious, it might make sense to ignore it. That doesn't apply to customer service issues, but snarky comments are often best ignored. Customers have the right of free speech, and if they're not deliberately attacking you with false information, they have the right to do so. That complicates online reputation management. Doing nothing might earn you sympathy and the support of advocates of free speech.

  • Content Removal 
    One of the most effective strategies for online reputation management Australia is content removal. Hiring a professional agency adds its power and influence to the process of convincing online publishers to remove offensive and inaccurate content.

  • Online Reputation Management Becomes Increasingly Common in Australia 
    High-profile negative publicity has become more common in Australia. The social media encourage people to comment honestly and provide unbiased reviews.New and more complex regulatory guidelines are also fueling the need for more online reputation management services. Only 41 percent of senior New Zealand and Australia executives feel confident in their abilities to manage negative social and digital media revelations in today's environment of transparency and increased regulation. [4]

  • Supply Chain Outsourcing 
    Two out of every three surveyed respondents admitted that they had no control over supply chain negative publicity when supply chains were outsourced. [5]

  • Focusing on Integrity 
    Throughout Australia and New Zealand, an overwhelming 75 percent or more of people rank integrity as the key driver of a company's reputation. Focusing on integrity can build up a backlog of trust capital to keep companies successful when minor reputation hits occur. [4]

Negative Reviews


Online reviews can damage your business in the same way that good reviews attract customers. There has been a huge increase in the number of review sites available to consumers online. Restaurants, construction services, products, lawyers, professionals and doctors are routinely reviewed and rated between one and five stars.

Many reviews come from websites that are collectively known as citations. These are local directories, newspapers, magazines and industry publications that list relevant businesses and often review them. Your first step in managing reviews is to ensure that you take advantage of your free listings and ensure that the information about your business is accurate. Yext offers a useful tool for managing your online listings. An automated PowerListings feature tells you the error rate of information that's posted, shows where the errors occur and even identifies areas where your information should be posted but isn't.

Check the sites where you're listed regularly to see whether your business or brand is mentioned or reviewed. If you get a positive review, it's important to acknowledge the compliment and thank the reviewer for his or her kind assessment. Many sites allow you to comment on the review, and you can often mitigate a bad review. Best practices for handling a bad review include:

  • Acknowledging the complaint

  • Attempting to correct the problem areas that the reviewer mentions

  • Offering an incentive to make up for the lapse in service or product quality

  • Asking the reviewer to mention your customer service efforts in a follow-up post

  • Contacting the publisher about reviews that are malicious, false or inaccurate and requesting content removal



Even content removal of false information might not be enough to restore your reputation. Surprisingly, companies that make strong efforts to correct a negative review often receive a big boost to their reputations. People appreciate companies that care enough to address their concerns and often reward them with greater loyalty than companies that never generate customer issues at all.

That's just one of the added values of online reputation management UK and online reputation management Australia. We understand the complex interplay of customer service so that we can build your reputation even when responding to complaints. If content removal is impossible or doesn't solve the problem, generating positive reviews and content could reduce the visibility of the negative information.

Practical Tips for managing Your Reputation in England and Australia


There are many ways to improve your reputation and recover from negative online information. The following tips are everyday practices that can bolster your image enough that an occasional lapse won't do you much harm:

  • Build your image proactively as a hedge against future criticism.

  • Make sure your business has a strong profile and SEO ranking with Google and other search engines.

  • Learn from your critics, and adjust your business practices accordingly.

  • React quickly to negative press, but always maintain a polite and professional voice.

  • Monitor your company and personal reputations online.

  • Address criticism in a forthright manner by acknowledging complaints and promising to investigate the issues.

  • Establish an image that's respected by publishing thought leadership articles, stories for professional journals, content for peer-to-peer-reviewed publications and expert blog posts on important topics.

  • Maintain customer service pages on social media to address customer issues at different digital touchpoints.

  • Fight when the criticism is unwarranted, blatantly false or malicious; you might even consider legal action to prevent this kind of abuse in the future.

  • Try to earn trust badges for your website such as becoming a Google Trusted Partner.

  • Reassure new and existing customers by providing SSL-level security, easy return policies and multiple ways for customers to communicate with your staff.

The Benefits of Reputation Management


About 58 percent of C-level executives feel that reputation management is important, but only 15 percent actually try to do something. [6] About 84 percent of all marketers understand that building trust online is critical for success, and four out of five people admit that they've made a buying decision based on information they found on social media.

Best Proactive Practices for Online Reputation Management


You work hard to build your company, and you can be devastated to find negative information when you type your company's name into a search engine. Search engine optimisation, or SEO, uses formulas to rank websites for relevance and authority on search engine return pages, or SERPs. User-generated content, review sites and social media chatter - as well as business-generated content - are used prominently in SEO rankings.

Negative information about your business can hurt your positive ranking and foster a higher ranking for negative information that you don't want.

Content removal is always a challenge for business owners who don't understand the intricacies involved. Content removal is our area of specialisation, and our professional teams enjoy great success at removing negative content or reducing its impact by generating positive content to counteract the negative information. SEO rankings can bury negative information when companies have enough positive reviews, quality links and authoritative posts.

The best strategy for online reputation management is always a balance of offensive and defensive strategies. We recommend the following proactive practices to provide protection from negative publicity:

  • Develop and Update Useful Content 
    Publishing content that engages customers, answers their questions and educates them builds your reputation as an expert and trusted organisation. The process also increases your SERP rankings, which further increase your site's authority and reputation.

  • Focus on Long-tail and Branded Keyword 
    The more descriptive your keywords are, the higher your ranking. Competitive keywords can be hard to rank for, so you should choose less common long-tail keywords that your customers will actually use in searches. Using brand keywords can also build your authority and reputation.

  • Provide Better Customer Service 
    Most negative publicity comes from disgruntled employees, unhappy customers and jealous competitors. Customers expect responsive customer service, so you should respond to complaints and queries as quickly as possible. Many companies offer customer self-service options that allow them to find quick answers to common questions. Live Chat, chatbots, text messaging and other technologies give customers expanded customer service options. Treat your employees well, and enlist them as goodwill ambassadors.

  • Mobilise your Content Removal Team 
    If negative information about your company appears on the first page of a SERP, it's critical to get professional help for content removal. Our team mobilises quickly to protect your reputation.

  • Protect Your Personal Privacy 
    It's important to establish some boundaries when sharing personal information online and in social media forums. You should opt-out of services that sell your personal data and use content removal techniques to remove your information from companies that use people-search data. Monitor any personal information to cull details that make you personally identifiable.

  • Know the Difference Between Customer Service and Engaging with Detractors 
    Trying to make right on a customer service issue is a powerful strategy for both online reputation management UK and online reputation management Australia. However, that's not the same as engaging with malicious detractors. You should ignore unfair and obviously malicious posts and hire a professional to try content removal, burying the information with positive posts or pursuing legal action. Responding to malicious posts just draws more attention to the posts. Take the high road when possible.

Content Removal Strategies


You don't have to allow grossly unfair and inaccurate information to remain online, but it's hard to swing content removal without professional help. Sometimes, the content removal process requires legal skills and knowledge that a local consultant in Australia or England understands. Proving libel to ensure content removal can be a difficult process that requires proving a malicious motive.

Content removal companies can bring greater pressure to bear on publishers to convince them to remove offending content.


Google offers practical methods for challenging fraudulent, misleading and inaccurate reviews.Google review removal is a simple process that anyone can follow to do their own content removal. However, not all negative information is as easy as to remove. About 91 percent of consumers read Google reviews before making a purchase decision, so monitoring reviews on Google is critical. [7]

Content removal is one of our specialties. We understand the laws affecting online reputation management Australia and online reputation management UK. We can begin with requests for voluntary removal after explaining why the content is inappropriate. If that doesn't work, we can bring pressure against the company by filing a lawsuit or publicising the publisher's intransigence. That kind of influence is hard for the average business owner to bring against another company without assistance.

The Case for Reputation Monitoring


One of the most important aspects of online reputation management is staying on top of internet chatter, product and company reviews and social media commentary. There are several options for monitoring your company's reputation. These include:

  • Monitoring Software 
    It can be tremendously beneficial to integrate monitoring software into your website to automate the process of finding mentions of you personally or your company and its products. One centralised software application can simplify the process and make it possible to review everything that's written about you online in one convenient interface.

  • Third-party Monitoring Tools 
    There are many third-party monitoring tools. You can set Google Alerts to track your business and personal reputation and any online mentions of your major products.

  • Google Searches 
    You can run Google searches to check your company's reputation manually. This will usually identify any high-profile negative information, but it won't catch every mention of you or your company in the online space.

  • Check Popular Review Sites as Part of Your Online Reputation Management Strategy 
    Reviews are the single most common source of negative online reputation management problems. This negative information is a ticking time-bomb that could explode into the digital sphere at any time and ruin your company’s good reputation. You can monitor the review sites that most affect your company manually. There are many other tools for monitoring your online reputation - some are free and others require paying a small service fee.

Online Reputation Management Problems Can be Caused by Third-party Associates


Even if you manage everything right in your own business and personal life, you can still be damaged by your association with others such as companies in your supply chain. In March of 2011, Japan experienced a major earthquake and a major tsunami. The devastation affected supplies and products worldwide because of Japan's strong trading position. Companies around the world faced a public relations nightmare because of issues ranging from poor quality control to parts shortages. [8]

Any successful company relies on third-party suppliers and business associates, and a hit to your reputation can easily come from that unexpected direction. The risks of third-party reputation damage include regulatory and legal violations, ethical questions, system breaches and corrupt practices in foreign jurisdictions. Proactively, you should investigate your associates thoroughly before entering into business relationships.

Even reliable companies are subject to the same reputation risks that your company faces: inadvertent comments, damaging personal information, false accusations, bad reviews and others. That's why you should extend your online reputation management monitoring to include critical business partners and suppliers.

You might not be your brother's keeper, but you can certainly share any in any negative publicity of your friends, family members and company stakeholders. Content removal and online reputation management apply to all the people and companies that are involved with your business or brand. Many companies are damaged by their suppliers' ethical lapses, poor working conditions and lax security.One Oxford Metrica studyfound that an extreme hit on a company's reputation generated an 80-percent chance of lowering the company's value up to 20 percent. [9]

Online Reputation Management Professional Services


There are many things you and your staff can do about online reputation management. The most important thing is increasing your awareness of the risks. Planning a strategy to deal with negative information on the internet can help you respond more efficiently to limit the damage.

It's also important to use monitoring software, third-party tools and/or automated alerts to keep you informed about what others are seeing about your personal habits and company operations. You can also search manually just by entering a name into a search engine. Educating your staff and business associates in how to be publicity-savvy can also prevent errors in judgment that can damage your online reputation.

However, some problems quickly become too complex or controversial to handle in-house. That's when you need the services of a professional online reputation management firm in Australia or the United Kingdom. Negative information that strikes a chord with the public can fuel a media feeding frenzy where everything you or your company has ever done becomes grist for the United Kingdom media mill. Australian media aren’t as bad about turning news stories into short-term sensations, but the companies are quickly catching up to their United Kingdom media mentors to stay competitive in reporting worldwide news.

England supports free and open speech and vigorous debate, which complicate online reputation management. You need an online reputation management strategy that balances free speech with the rights of free enterprise.

Our services concentrate on supplying online reputation management UK and online reputation management Australia. We know the areas, the culture and the best proactive solutions to protect you and your company's reputation. Content removal is much easier when you engage our United Kingdom services or online reputation management Australia services.

References:

[1] Forbes.com: 20 Online Reputation Statistics That Every Business Owner Needs To Know
https://forbes.com/sites/ryanerskine/2017/09/19/20-online-reputation-statistics-that-every-business-owner-needs-to-know/#7db21c0051f7

[2] Koganpage.com: Crisis, Issues and Reputation Management
https://www.koganpage.com/product/crisis-issues-and-reputation-management-9780749469924

[3] Uow.edu.au: Environmentalists Help Manage Corporate Reputations
https://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/Reputation.html

[4] Scoop.co.nz: Executives face crisis of confidence
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1707/S00669/executives-face-crisis-of-confidence.htm

[5] Nortonrosefulbright.com: reputational Risk Australia
http://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/knowledge/publications/157524/reputational-risk-australia-2017-survey-report

[6] Support.google.com: Flag inappropriate reviews
https://support.google.com/business/answer/4596773?hl=en

[7] Entrepreneur.com: 6 Tools for Monitoring Your Online Reputation
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/277908

[8] Industryweek.com: Third-Party Risk and What to Do About It
https://www.industryweek.com/supplier-relationships/third-party-risk-and-what-do-about-it

[9] Aon.com: Reputation Review
http://www.aon.com/attachments/risk-services/Aon-OM-Reputation-Review-2012.pdf