What You Need To Know About Online Reputation Management

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a rapidly expanding field, with more people looking to manage their image all the time. The internet is largely unregulated and, even when it is possible to have content removed from a website, people will be able to share information far faster than it can be taken down. This is why ORM is becoming more popular all the time. Any person or company who might be researched via Google or social media needs to get up to date with ORM, and make sure their public image is well taken care of.

How Does ORM Work?

The strategies employed by ORM professionals can take many forms, but the overarching idea is to create positive content that people will see online. When people look for information about a person or company on Google, there are no regulations that govern what might be found. This is why it is important to make sure positive information exists, and that it is presented on easily accessed websites. At its core, ORM is all about creating honest, straightforward content that gets seen by the public.

Keeping Up With Your Image

ORM is an active solution for online image maintenance. There are a number of ways to keep track of what people are saying about you online and you owe it to yourself to keep an eye on what might be trending.

Web services like Google Alerts, Yahoo Alerts, Twitter Search and Social Mention will help you to stay current with what is being talked about, and allow you to create content that engages the ideas that are popular. ORM isn’t only used to defend your image. You can also use it to create media that will associate your image with popular topics.

Why ORM Is Relevant To You

Your image is everything, so using advanced strategies to maintain it online is a good idea. Social media creates the perfect situation for PR nightmares, with users able to share information in near-real time. By the time you realise your image is being smeared, it will be too late to stem the damage. ORM creates a depth of positive resources online, so there will be a defence waiting if negative information starts trending. If you have been ignoring your online image – or just hoping for the best – now is the time to create an effective ORM strategy. Enlisting the help of ORM professionals is a good start and will get you on the right path.

3 Ways To Clean Up Your Online Image With ORM

If you have been the subject of negative content on Google or social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, Online Reputation Management (ORM) can help you to repair your image. There are many ways you can use ORM to your benefit and looking for some professional help is a good place to start. If you are new to the world of reputation management, here are a few ways it can help you to bounce back from a negative experience.

Positive Name Placement

Search engines look for data first. If the reputation associated with your name or company has been damaged, integrating it into positive content is a good way to show the online community a different side. Your name can be integrated into positive content, or included on web page names that feature supportive messages. This is an effective technique for turning a potentially negative Search Engine Results Page (SERP) into a way to showcase what is great about your image. The creation of interesting, positive content is key. This method relies on a SERP that returns interesting pages that will attract attention, and hopefully people will share.

A Strong Social Media Presence

Keeping up with profiles on the major social media sites is a must if you are recovering from negative publicity. Social media allows you to associate your brand or personality with popular ideas, and show people that you and your company are much deeper than whatever negativity was the focus of recent attention.

Make SEO Work For You

Just because you have good quality content on the internet, it doesn’t mean that people will be able to find it. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will make sure that people will be able to find the positive content that you have created. This is an instance of a strong offense doubling as a good defense, as existing SEO optimised content will usually outrank new information.

If you are having a hard time figuring out where to start, ReputationDefender has ORM professionals that are ready to help you. The longer you wait to start putting positive content online, the more people will see information that doesn’t do you justice. Crafting quality content is the key to repairing your image with ORM, so working with people who know how to get results is a good idea.

Are Americans About to Gain the ‘Right To Be Forgotten’?

The ‘right to be forgotten’ could be incredibly beneficial to people trying to maintain a good online reputation. While the concept has been common in EU law for the last decade, the right to be forgotten had been largely ignored in the USA. However, in March politicians in New York State brought forward a bill that could introduce the right to be forgotten to the USA.

New York Assembly Bill 5323 is a motion brought forward by David Weprin, while the simultaneous Senate Bill 4561 was proposed by Senator Tony Avella. The motions outline a citizen’s right to request certain personal information published about them to be removed from public circulation online.

There are fairly extensive clarifications surrounding what information can or can’t be forcibly removed. Basically, citizens can demand websites remove any information deemed to be “inaccurate”, “irrelevant”, or “inadequate”. If the website successfully argues the information is still relevant to public interest, then they won’t need to remove it.

This right to be forgotten could have a huge positive effect for people seeking to manage their online reputations. For example; a local newspaper article showing you winning a hotdog eating contest might make you look a little silly to potential employers, so, as it’s of no imperative interest to the general public, you could rightfully demand that the article be taken down. On a more serious note, individuals wrongfully convicted of crimes can also request old and inaccurate articles be removed.

For a country whose First Amendment pertains to freedom of speech and expression, it’s perhaps not surprising that the proposals have a number of detractors. Eugene Volokh, a writer for the Washington Post, has argued that the right to be forgotten is tantamount to government sponsored censorship, as it will be up to US politicians to decide what information is relevant or irrelevant to public interest.

Currently, the bill is still in its proposal phase and would only be applied to the New York State area. Considering that the top levels of US government are currently in the process of repealing a number of internet privacy laws, the wider implementation of right to be forgotten laws may not be likely.

Without laws enabling you to control what information is published about you online, the need for professional online reputation advice will become all the more imperative.

3 Common Mistakes Businesses Make Online

For any business, managing a positive online reputation is essential to maintaining a positive brand image. A study in 2015 found that the purchasing decisions of an incredible 52% of consumers had been influenced by Facebook.

One of the great challenges of online reputation management for a business is ensuring that content isn’t just being created by themselves, but by consumers too. As the internet is truly global, businesses can also face the prospect of getting lost amid the crowd.

Here are just three of the most common pitfalls that damage the online reputations of many businesses online:

Local Businesses Getting Lost

Lacking the resources of international corporations, small local businesses can often get lost among the crowd due to poor online optimisation. By utilising key terms relevant to your local area, or by linking your content to other local websites, you can optimise your online presence to reach local customers.

As 30% of mobile searches are for local services, and 78% of those local mobile searches resulted in purchases, well optimised local content can be hugely profitable.

Not Updating Content

One of the key aspects of maintaining a positive reputation online is to keep consumers engaged with, and regularly visiting your web pages. If you never update your website then consumers will have no reason to interact with your brand and will soon forget about it. Equally, a new consumer who comes across your page, only to find it’s not been active for months, won’t be very impressed.

The best way to generate traffic is through regular, high quality content updates. Whether that’s through e-mail newsletters, social media updates or paid advertising, high traffic and user engagement will make your brand more popular.

Not Monitoring Mentions

As we’ve seen, consumer engagement is essential to creating a strong online reputation. Therefore, ignoring when consumers mention you is a big mistake.

Ignoring negative reviews or social media comments can damage your brand. If negative content begins appearing among search results for your business, then consumers will be put off. Positively promoting your own content is one way to obscure negative reviews. Alternatively, engaging with social media complaints and rectifying any consumer’s grievances can actually be a great way to spread a positive brand.

These potential pitfalls don’t just represent challenges. Recognising and solving each problem provides amazing opportunities for growing any brand online.

Australian Study Finds High Rates of Non-Consensual Photo Sharing

A recent study on ‘image based abuse’ in Australia shows just how big a problem this has become. RMIT and Monash University surveyed almost 4,300 people and found that one in five (20 percent) said they’d had sexual images or video taken without their consent. Of these, 11 percent reported the material had been shared, while 9 percent had experienced threats that it would be.

The findings were higher than any of the researchers had anticipated, yet Dr Anastasia Powell of RMIT believes the true ‘rate of victimisation’ is probably even higher. Many of the respondents who said non-consensual images had been taken may be unaware that these pictures have been shared if they are posted on a site dedicated specifically to sharing pornography. According to Powell, “there’s a hidden dimension that you just can’t capture with a survey.”

The popular term used to describe the non-consensual sharing of explicit images is revenge porn. However, this refers more specifically to material posted after a couple splits up. In some cases, these pictures may have originally been taken consensually, but they are later published with the intent to humiliate the ex-lover. Powell and other researchers opted for the term ‘image-based abuse’ as a more accurate way to describe the broad scope of the problem. Some perpetrators are motivated by revenge, while others have complex reasons for wanting to control or intimidate the victim. Sexual gratification, social status and monetary considerations can all play a role. At Reputation Defender, we assist with the removal of compromising images and video and help victims create better content, but it can be very hard to rebuild a reputation after this type of abuse.

Victims Face Many Challenges

The study found that the majority of perpetrators were male (fifty-four percent), while victims were equally likely to be female or male. The rates were highest for teenagers aged 16-19 and slightly elevated for people in their twenties. The LGBTQ community was more likely to be victimised, as well as other marginalised groups including Indigenous people and anyone with a disability. Women were more likely to be threatened by someone they knew personally (such as an ex-partner) than men.

Researchers found victims were about twice as likely to report experiencing high levels of psychological stress compared to people who had never experienced this type of abuse. For many victims, it was a form of sexual violation that threatened their autonomy and dignity.

The findings correspond with instances of image based abuse around the world. Victims face severe reputation damage which can have long-term repercussions on almost every aspect of their lives. The public images can make it difficult to hold a job, build a career, or form long term relationships. They leave individuals struggling with self-esteem and wondering how far the perpetrator will go. In a recent case of revenge porn involving a US marine, the victim said she wanted to “stop living in fear.” Over time the stress can have extremely negative consequences. An Italian girl committed suicide in September 2016 after a long battle to remove a non-consensual sex tape.

Victims’ difficulties are compounded by the fact that many people fail to take images-based abuse seriously and some even blame the victim. Historically, police have been slow to prosecute perpetrators, even when significant evidence exists, but this is beginning to change as many countries adopt laws geared specifically toward internet crime. In 2015, revenge porn became a criminal offense in the UK; Powell and the other researchers recommend that Australia adopt a similar federal policy rather than the current system where standards vary from state to state.

In the meantime, victims need all the help they can get. Don’t hesitate to contact our experts at Reputation Defender if you are struggling with this type of abuse.