Reviewed by author: Ashley Adams
Posted by InternetReputation.com on Thursday, May 16, 2013
Most reputation management bloggers encourage business owners to take action when their reputations are attacked online. As a writer for Forbes explained, unanswered complaints can impact a consumer's perception of the company's responsiveness. Those that interact seem reasonable and proactive, willing to do what it takes to resolve complaints from consumers with valid complaints, while those who ignore seem willing to take money and run off with it, no matter what the consumer might say.
If the complaints appear in reputable places, including Amazon.com, Angie's List or Yelp.com, we might agree. Companies that respond to complaints in these forums can set the record straight, and in some cases, they can come out ahead with future consumers. But if the complaints appear on PissedConsumer.com, there's reason to exercise a little caution.
PissedConsumer.com allows people to write up concerns and complaints about companies they've interacted with on a personal basis. The site doesn't seem to be moderated, so people can say anything they'd like to say, and the site seems to be popular. In fact, Alexa reports that PissedConsumer.com ranks among the top four thousand most popular sites in the United States, based on traffic, and most people who use the site are moderately educated, childless women who are older than 45. This is a key demographic for marketers, and it's clear that the site has the ability to significantly derail someone's career.
A lawyer in California, for example, has been the target of a report on PissedConsumer.com, and here, she's been called "horrible" and a "ripoff." The writer also suggests that the lawyer is incompetent and only looking to make money on a client's concerns. This original comment would be damning on its own, but other consumers have chosen to join in with their own experiences, both good and bad, and there's a spirited debate in the comments section of this particular post about the benefits and drawbacks of this lawyer.
Conversations like this are commonly tied with higher rankings on search engines like Google. When multiple people click on an entry or "hit" on a topic, the search engines seem to find that particular page just a little more important, and it begins to move up the search engine ranks. The chatter drives people to visit the site again and again for repeat hits, and the page becomes more and more popular. Companies that choose to interact on PissedConsumer.com could be fanning the flames of discussion, and they could be inadvertently making the complaints easier to find.
Fighting back against PissedConsumer.com is difficult. In fact, even people who have posted complaints on the site have found that it's difficult, or impossible, to get their own entries removed. (Ironically, some have even made their own PissedConsumer.com report about how much they dislike PissedConsumer.com. No company representative has weighed in on this report at the time of this writing.) We can help. Our company has developed a sophisticated set of tools that can remove negative articles from PissedConsumer.com, and we can even write positive content that could protect you against future attacks. Visit www.internetreputation.com to find out more.
Posted by InternetReputation.com on Wednesday, May 15, 2013
It's well known that modern employers use the web in order to research the people they're thinking of hiring. They want to spot any little snags in your perfectly presented persona so they can make sure to hire only the best person for the job, not the person who is likely to cause them embarrassment down the line. But those employees who think they can rest and relax because they already have a job may have another think coming. In fact, they may need to be even more vigilant about what they do online, as they're likely under surveillance almost every moment that they're at work.
The American Management Association (AMA) reports that about 63 percent of companies in the United States monitor the Internet dealings of their workers. They may keep a record of all of the sites a person visits during the day, for example, and they may keep copies of all email that comes in and all the email that goes back out again. The AMA also reports that about 84 percent of employers who do this kind of monitoring tell their employees about what they're doing and why. It's possible, however, that this information is buried inside an employee handbook that's on an intranet somewhere that few employees have seen or made use of. In short, it's possible that some people are being monitored without knowing that the watching is even going on.
Some employers block specific sites from workplace computers. For example, a Barracuda Networks survey found that about 50 percent of businesses blocked social media sites like Facebook and MySpace in 2007. Far more companies may block these sites now. Those that do may be performing an inadvertent favor for their employees, as they're keeping them from wasting time and perhaps saying things they shouldn't say while on the job. When a nasty coworker, smelly customer or disgusting product becomes part of the workday, a lack of social media access could keep you from saying things you might regret, and things that might cause your boss to terminate your employment.
Unfortunately, people can quickly and easily get around this problem by bringing their own phones, tablets and laptops to work. Their browsing might be secure, so their bosses might not know how much on-the-job time they're spending on issues that have nothing to do with work, but the comments they make are still time-stamped and they might still raise hackles with bosses. If your profile is public and your boss sees things that are distasteful, or sees that you're a constant poster instead of a hard worker, you could be out of a job.
So what's the solution? Unfortunately, it doesn't involve asking bosses to change their spying ways. These tactics may be intrusive, but they do save companies money. In fact, in one case study covered in PCWorld, one company that installed monitoring software saw a savings of several thousands of dollars each year, with only a $5,000 investment. As long as the numbers stay this way, monitoring also stays.
Reviewed by author: Ashley Adams
Posted by InternetReputation.com on Friday, May 10, 2013
In the world of social media, the more connections you have, the more popular you are. Twitter augments this popularity contest by making the number of connections anyone has visible to anyone with a computer mouse. With one little click, a savvy user could see how many people find your Tweets interesting enough to follow. If you're facing a reputation problem, it might be tempting to buy a few followers to help you look smarter, more popular and perhaps a little more credible. And this kind of help might be cheaper than you expect. According to an article in the New York Times, between $5 and $18 can bring you an additional 1,000 followers, depending on the service you're using. That's a whole lot of cred for not a lot of scratch.
But is this money well spent? According to our research, the answer is a resounding, "No way!" A few celebrities have spoiled the market for everyone who wanted to fool the Twitterverse with a few well-placed purchases.
Last year, during the run-up to the Presidential election in the United States, Mitt Romney's Twitter account gained about 100,000 followers in a very short period of time, according to the Technocrati blog, and the accusations that he'd bought followers begin to fly. Soon, a number of companies began performing very sophisticated searches in order to determine how many Twitter followers of famous people were real, and how many might be subject to fraud and fakery. The results are in, and they're pretty amazing. For example, according to Digital Trends, only about 10.9 million of Katy Perry's 35 million followers are real. Rihanna has only 13.1 million real followers out of 29.9 million. Even President Barack Obama has only 9.6 million real followers out of 29.9 million total.
This kind of fakery isn't likely to spoil the image of politicians or rock stars. After all, its well known that people like this have armies of public relations professionals who are paid to make them look popular, desirable and just plain good. Most people are likely to view fakery from public people like this as just part of the business of bring famous. However, when real people engage in this kind of deception, it rarely ends well. It has a whiff of desperation about it, and if this kind of cheating is discovered, it seems to suggest that the person has something to hide, or something to be guilty about.
When you're dealing with a reputation management problem, it's best to be both proactive and honest. Negative information should be removed at all costs, and positive information should be used to take its place. Hiring writers, programmers and experts is perfectly acceptable, as this kind of work takes time and some people just don't have time to spare, but at no point should lies or deceptions be part of the plan. In the end, tactics like this can do more harm than good.
If you'd like to know more about how to repair your reputation for good, without leaving you open to public shaming and embarrassment. We have customized solutions that can help you to get back on your feet in no time at all.
Reviewed by author: Ashley Adams