It’s happened to all of us. We post something online and immediately regret it. Maybe we made a joke that fell flat, or maybe we said something inflammatory without thinking it through. Whatever the reason, once that negative comment is out there, it’s almost impossible to take back. It can be embarrassing, damaging to our relationships, and even cost us jobs.
If you are a business, that one not very well thought out post can be even more disastrous because it goes beyond embarrassment and ends up losing us customers and sales.
But there are ways to salvage our online reputation and minimize the damage done by negative comments. Below are four tips for doing just that. Also, bear in mind that you could use an online reputation service to take away the negativity, and therefore the embarrassment and threat to professional reputations.
Deal with the Comment Publically
First, don’t try to hide the negative comment. This will only make you look guilty and like you have something to hide. Instead, own up to it. Acknowledge that you made a mistake and apologize for it. Be sincere in your apology and people will be more likely to forgive you.
Second, don’t delete the comment. This will only make people angrier and more suspicious. Instead, respond to the comment publicly. Thank the person for their feedback and let them know that you are considering their comments.
Third, don’t get defensive. It’s okay to disagree with someone but do so politely. State your case calmly and clearly, without getting wrapped up in emotion. Getting defensive will only make you look bad and damage your reputation further.
Finally, don’t try to hide your mistakes. If you’ve made a mistake, admit it and move on. Trying to cover it up will only make things worse in the long run.
Monitor Your Online Presence
One of the best ways to protect your online reputation is to simply be aware of what is being said about you. This means monitoring your online presence and keeping an eye out for negative comments.
There are a few different ways to do this. One is to set up Google Alerts for your name and your business. This will send you an email any time your name or business is mentioned online.
Another way to monitor your online presence is to regularly search for your name and your business on Google. This will show you any new mentions of you or your business, as well as any old ones that you may have missed.
As well, you can use social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to track what is being said about you on social media. These tools will allow you to see all mentions of you in one place, making it easy to keep track of your online reputation.
Engage with Your Critics
One of the best ways to deal with negative comments is to engage with your critics. This doesn’t mean getting into a fight with them or trying to talk them out of their opinion. Instead, it means listening to what they have to say and responding thoughtfully.
When you engage with your critics, you show that you are open to feedback and willing to listen to what others have to say. This can help improve your online reputation and make you look more positive in the eyes of others.
To engage with your critics, start by thanking them for their feedback. Then, ask them what you can do to improve the situation. Let them know that you are considering their comments and working to make changes.
By engaging with your critics, you can turn a negative situation into a positive one. You may even find that you learn something from the experience.
Take Action to Improve Your Online Reputation
If you want to improve your online reputation, you need to take action. This means making an effort to create positive content and engaging with your audience.
One of the best ways to create positive content is to start a blog. This will give you a platform to share your thoughts and ideas with the world. Be sure to post regularly and promote your blog through social media.
Another way to improve your online reputation is to actively engage with your audience. This means responding to comments and questions, as well as sharing valuable content. When you engage with your audience, you show that you care about their opinion and are interested in what they have to say.
Lastly, be sure to monitor your online presence and take action if you see anything negative. This may mean responding to a negative comment or reaching out to the person who left it. By taking action, you can improve your online reputation and make sure that your audience sees the positive side of you.
Where many methods may not have worked, an online reputation service can help to effectively deal with reputation-damaging content that exists on social media platforms. You will want someone who has the technical experience to remove links to a post and, where possible, remove a post completely. Once out there it can be hard to retrieve a post but without making contact with a professional firm you may always be wondering. Saving your online reputation is important, but it’s not always easy. By following these tips, you can make sure that you are doing everything you can to protect your reputation.