Get your good name back
• JM Bonthous, Seamless Social CEO, has 15 years experience managing the online reputation and increasing the influence of controversial public figures and corporations on 4 continents. His clients include controversial executives in corporations or financial markets, elected officials, politicians, celebrities as well as local and state governments and for-or non-profit firms undergoing media crises. His particular expertise is with very difficult situations, where the person or entity under attack has active, determined detractors fiercely trying to destroy the other’s reputation.
• You and your company are now defined by what people read online when they Google you. Potential clients, partners, employees, lenders, look you up online before making a deal with you. These postings may come from competitors, the tabloids, or just disgruntled individuals unfair or excessive in their comments. A single negative link on page one of Google may cost you 30% in sales or more. Hundreds of millions of dollars are unfairly lost each day because of misleading or false search engine results.
• Research shows that 70% of people believe what’s written online by people they don’t know, and that 80% of the people who read something negative end up not working with the person or company negatively characterized. Even if the negative comments about you and your company make no sense to you, they will be believed by visitors.
• We first look at which detractor forums can be shut down, or which postings can be deleted. Sometimes, a lot is possible, at other times, nothing can be done.
• We then formulate a solid reputation restoration strategy, with a strong messaging core. And we create approaches to neutralize the opposition under multiple scenarios, even if they retaliate vigorously.
• Once the strategy is approved, we start creating and publishing custom, positive or neutral content, and optimizing it in a manner that compels search engines to rank it well in searches, not just for a few weeks, but for the long term. As this new content gets ranked well, it pushes the negative content past page three, where only 5% of visitors go.
Depending on the nature of the challenge, and where the detractors are active on the web, our approach, in terms of using online tools, includes:
• Creating micro-sites updated with fresh content and relevant outbound links.
• Creating blogs on platforms hosted by well-regarded blogging communities.
• Hosting these sites on different IP addresses and servers and geo-targeting them to link and promote them in an organic way.
• Publishing press releases and syndicated articles.
• Pointing high-quality links to positive content about you and your brand.
• Promoting and syndicating your positive content.
• Posting photos and videos on specialized sharing forums, with the proper tags and descriptions.
• Creating profiles in hundreds of professional and social networks.
• Participating in personal or professional forums and micro-blogging platforms: Slideshare, Google+, Quora, Focus, Xing, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, or other platforms, depending on which region of the world our client wants to target.
• Relying on the slander/libel strategies and attacking the detractors does not work. Many countries have laws that make it impossible to remove the postings, and even if you succeed, it is easy for detractors to anonymously repost the deleted content from countries with virtually no laws against online libel like Russia or the Philippines. Same for resorting to unethical practices: successful online reputation management is best practiced as an ethical art and science.
• Inundating the web with keyword-rich content does not work: search engine robots quickly recognize attempts to manipulate them and will penalize you. Many companies have fallen victims to inexperienced consultants who believed that flooding the web with positive content would help their client. More sophisticated strategies are needed, which search engine administrators will deem acceptable.
A long-term effort
• Repairing a damaged reputation requires a long-term effort: search engines reward those that keep publishing quality content regularly. The good news is that online reputation management works, and that a lot can be done to help you gain back your good name.