Reverse the Damage: How to Repair Your Online Business Reputation 

Image Credit: Artem Beliaikin

If you want to repair your business reputation, then you need to consider a lot of different tactics. When a crisis happens, or your image has been gradually worn down by years of bad publicity and questionable leadership decisions, starting fresh can be a challenge. 

There are things that you can do to make sure that you are repairing some of the negative damage which has been done to your business reputation but it can take time. Let’s examine what you’ll need to do to effectively reverse the damage caused to your business. 

 

  • Maintain a Social Media Presence 

It might be tempting to lock down all outside contact during a period of trying to repair business reputations, but this is one of the worst things that you can do. The last thing you want is to leave the general public in a void with nothing but your past mistakes on display. 

Instead, try and make sure that you maintain a level of active participation with the world on social media and if necessary, through press releases. The world needs to know that you’re still happy to communicate and that you’re looking to the future – silence is damaging. 

Try and focus on promoting support for other local businesses and reforging as an industry expert. You want your name on social media to be synonymous with professionalism and gregariousness, and not to associate as much with former misdeeds. 

 

  • Accept Wrongdoing 

A lot of professionals refuse, staunchly, to accept that they made mistakes. If you want to protect your business reputation and save your company, you’re going to have to swallow pride and make some apologies. 

Accepting responsibility and wrongdoing for past actions allows you to distance yourself from them in the eyes of the public. When they see that you’re sorry for making mistakes and that you’re committed to doing better, you have a chance to earn back confidence and trust in your brand. 

 

  • Remove Negative Content 

When it comes to negative content on the internet, getting it taken down is one of the best ways to try and protect yourself. 

Now obviously, online reputation management is hindered a little bit by the fact that there is a limit to what you’re allowed to take down according to Google and other major search engines, but don’t be disheartened. There are still plenty of steps that you can take to make sure that when it comes to online reputation, you’re in a strong place. 

If you want to remove negative online content, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve made the appropriate requests, and if you can’t do that, you need to put distance between you and the content that’s become an issue. 

 

  • Speak to Investors and Stakeholders

If your business is just you, then you can probably skip over this one, but otherwise, you need to get investors and stakeholders in a room so you can talk to all of them and discuss the recent actions that have damaged the business or the situation at large. 

These people might be among the last that you think of in a situation like this one, but you need to keep them in mind because they’re important parts of your business. If they get upset or decide that they’re not being properly considered – or worse, affected by the poor reputation of the company – then you could find that a lot of your support and funding can go down the drain quickly – and that’s bad. 

Just make sure to sit them down and explain that you’re working to try and solve all the problems that have occurred, and that you value their continued trust and support during difficult periods. 

 

  • Show Authenticity 

If you’re going to try and repair your business reputation during times of crisis then you need to show a bit of authenticity. 

When trying to repair the damage to your reputation that you’re dealing with, you might find that the first response is highly instinctive, and this is harmful to you on a long-term basis. 

Obviously, you want to be seen to be actively trying to undo some of the damage that you’ve faced as a company. However, if you go too far in any one direction, you start to seem disingenuous. You can apologise too much, after all. 

Instead, try and focus on appearing to be authentic within the view of your business. So, if you were a charity organisation, then your business reputation management would focus on returning to the roots of the charity. It’s all about being authentic within the realm of your company. 

 

  • Demonstrate Strong Leadership 

Strong leadership is a vital component of repairing your business reputation. Your staff, shareholders and investors are all going to look to you for how to react to the challenges the company has faced. You need to be an example on how to handle these problems. 

Showing strong leadership will help you to focus on providing your company with guidance and support. You need to be unflinching in your apologies, earnest in your efforts to make amends, and mature in your attitude going forward. It can be tough, but also worth it.

 

Final Thoughts 

So, repairing your business reputation is a hard thing to do. The biggest problem that a lot of companies face is that they have to grapple with a series of small challenges instead of one big problem. Picking a place to start with reputation management is hard, but it’ll be highly rewarding. 

Ultimately, it isn’t just a case of pacifying the public and making a big show of being remorseful. You also need to change business practices and consider how to avoid repeating the problem. 

Your reputation does make a massive difference overall, so it is important to keep an eye on it during day-to-day runnings. Everything will come to light eventually, so you may as well do things the right way on the first attempt. 

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