As your business grows and becomes more successful, it is common to also attract more unwanted attention than you are used to. In addition, the unwanted attention you receive can have a much larger impact on your online reputation than you anticipated.
Put simply, people love to hate ‘big business.’ More well-known businesses are potentially more lucrative for writers to create content about, positive and negative, which can have the effect of amplifying minor complaints and issues. Influencers on social media and blogs want to be in on trending topics, if that happens to be a negative story about you or your company, even neutral sources will report on and spread awareness of the situation, just to avoid missing out. This can create a snowball effect where the media and your customer might start digging through your past to find something they can add to the conversation.
It is also worth noting that misinformation can spread quickly in this environment. Let’s say you update a company policy that affects customers’ bills and a group of your customers misunderstand the announcement to mean that they will be charged more. In a smaller business, you might get some calls from a few disgruntled customers, you’ll set the record straight and that’s the end of it. For a larger organisation, customers may decide they could get a better result by taking the issue to the media or organising on social media, spreading the misunderstanding to more customers and the general public before you have a chance to explain the situation. This is just one example of how the same problems you faced as a smaller business can have a bigger impact on your organisation now that you are more successful.
Another reason is that as a business grows and becomes more successful, customers and employees alike expect you to provide better and better value and convenience. All of your internal and customer-affecting company policies and procedures will be held to a higher standard in addition to being under more scrutiny, as will the suppliers, manufacturers and distributors you choose to work with.
How to fight it
The best way to fight unwanted attention is to prevent it in the first place. It should go without saying that effective complaints and feedback procedures will prevent many customer and employee issues from ever reaching the public, but there are no guarantees. That is why it is so important to maintain a constant output of positive content about your business. If an issue does get taken to the press or social media, it must compete with a bank of your established content already dominating search results and thereby inhibiting the reach of bad press.
Additionally, there are ways you can spot a crisis looming and put a stop to it, most notably Google Alerts, which lets you track any mention of your brand or other key terms online. This makes it easy to identify spikes in negative opinion about your brand as well as quickly alerting you to press coverage. If someone is publishing false, misleading or private information about you, you’ll be able to respond to it faster.
For more information about protecting your business from unwanted attention, send ReputationDefender a message on LinkedIn, or call +44 800 131 0700 to discuss how we can prevent negative publicity from impacting the growth of your organisation.