Guess what? It's easy for any schmuck with a laptop to post fraudulent content online. These days the internet is filled with a dizzying array of user-generated content sites like Wikis, blogs, social networking sites, review aggregators, fake news and even fan fiction. The upside? More personal expression. The downside? It's tailor-made for deception, smear campaigns, envy, jealousy, vendettas and worse.
The real-time mode of our interconnected world, thanks to blog content management systems like WordPress and RSS feeds, means that online business of any kind can be a tricky business. A bad faux review or complaint posted on a couple sites with enough traffic, can turn into hundreds of identical postings in a matter of days. The majority of the legwork is done by other websites looking for new content, who just pick up these negative comments and pass them on ad infinitum. This cycle makes it even harder to remove an inaccurate negative review about your company.
Why would someone write a bad review? Well, there are numerous possibilities, but the most direct is to quickly and easily damage your company's reputation so that your clients can be funneled to somewhere else. As a consequence, nowhere is this downside felt more than when online businesses have to combat it. Anyone can say your company is no good and post it somewhere, and they don't have to prove it; they just have to get the message out. That's what's happening with the one reviewer out there posting the same negative copy about Optimum7.com on various places. This person is clearly not and has never been a client with us, and some parts of the review don't even make sense logically speaking; but there it is … foul-mouthing us.
Don't worry; we know what to do. In fact, that's a big part of what we do for our clients: protect them against scams like these intended to hurt their business. Just in the first few hours after it appeared we successfully had one of the posts removed and we await the response of the other publishers of this trash. It's a service called Reputation Management Strategies, and here's a list of what you can do if your company is ever in the same position:
1) Contact the website that the complaint was posted on. Explain that the post is a scam with as much transparency as possible. Ask them to remove the negative review or comment, and explain in detail why this is a fake complaint specifically written against your company in order to hurt reputation.
2) Respond to the negative post directly on the site so other users can see your response. This will build your credibility because you are not avoiding the "complaint". Don't forget to take the added step of openly asking author of the complaint to contact your company directly to resolve the issue.
These and many more strategies can be used to handle any reputation management crisis online. Contact us if you have any questions or if you seek the same sort of help.