Call/Text (414)640.7445

Make It Your Business to Know Your Online Reputation

Henry Ford on ReputationMany of your customers probably know you as well as your co-workers, friends and family do. In some cases, they may know you even better.

So, what do you do when your online reputation is being called into question? Do you panic? Do you try and cover things up? Lastly, do you fight to restore your good name and that of your business, hoping not to take much of a financial hit?

As some business owners have discovered over time, it just takes one negative comment, one questionable posting, one miscommunication to put you and/or your business in peril.

Before there was the Internet, business owners typically only had to worry about the occasional irate customer showing up at their store, mailing them a nasty letter, or picking up the phone to vent.

Now, however, the Internet means that many customers can take to the electronic airwaves to vent, sometimes putting you and your company in jeopardy, a situation that can play out in front of countless eyes.

According to a 2012 Safe Home Products survey of U.S. shoppers, 91 percent of consumers use online shopping for researching goods and services, while 78 percent claimed they were going to spend more time utilizing online shopping going forward. The bottom line, that means more potential eyes are checking out your company website, not to mention your social media pages.

With that being the case, business owners need to make sure their online footprints will not get them stuck in quicksand.

Among the ways to protect one’s online reputation:

* Know the reason behind your visits – What exactly is your reasoning behind being online in the first place? Are you there as a business owner to promote your company’s goods and services, assist customers who have questions or issues, give your rivals some competition in the social media and online marketing world or just feel like you have to have a presence in today’s information age? Clearly, you need to have some reasoning behind why you have a company website, utilize social media, and engage in online forums etc. Always know the purpose behind things you do, so that you stand a better chance of succeeding;

* Think before you type and/or post – With all you have to do as a business owner, do you allocate the right amount of time to being online? For some business owners, they farm out the work they want done on social media, blogging, talking with customers. Others, however, like that hands-on approach. Whichever one works for you, make sure there is time and effort put into it. If you or one of your employees has a run-in with a customer, don’t take to social media as an example to rant about it. Not only could you lose business over it, but it makes you and/or your company look unprofessional. If you are celebrating an event in the office, do not post images that could offend people on your company Facebook or Pinterest pages. What seems innocent to you could offend others, including current and potential customers. Always run through your head as to whether or not something is appropriate for others to see online before posting;

* Know what is being said – Finally, do you know what is being said online about you and/or your business? Too many business owners get tied up in their everyday business dealings, therefore not having time to check their online reputations. Along with customers, there are companies out there conceivably talking about you and your business online, offering private information that you may not want out there. Do a Google search from time to time to see what is being said about you and your company, especially looking to dismiss negative information.

If your online reputation means as much to you as it should, then make this the year your reputation gets your full attention.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business and career topics for various websites, including perfecting your online reputation.

2 Responses to Make It Your Business to Know Your Online Reputation

  • Hi Dave

    interesting post. You are so right about think before you type. At least, if you say something to a customer orally – that is, something that you later regret – it’s not chiselled in stone for eternity. Typing something is far more dangerous and potentially long-lasting, especially if you’re angry at the time or don’t have all the facts before you.

    The other online challenge is that bad news sells. People often speak with so much more passion about when they’ve been ‘wronged’ by a business than when someone did something good. Historically, that data tended to suggest people would tell double the number of people about something bad than good. With the viral nature of the internet, this could easily get out of hand.



    • Garry,

      Thanks for reading. Yes, the online world offers both good and bad for today’s business owner. I see far too many of them who are either too inept at handling online responsibilities or they just don’t make the time. Either way, it can spell doom. I almost think all small business owners should attend a course in online 101, allowing them to know the pros and cons of what can happen to their online images.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Becoming A Networking Super Hero

Get Connected!

Free LinkedIn tips guide

What others say about Phil

Sophie Klossner

“If you are looking for a speaker who brings energy, enthusiasm and direction to your group, look no further than Phil Gerbyshak. Phil will get your group on its feet with energy and looking forward to making it a great day!”

Sophie Klossner


Chris Brogan

"Phil has boundless energy and optimism, channeled into the noble goal of making good connections with interesting people. He is truly tireless in his pursuit of finding great ways to share knowledge, build community, and channel relationships into action. I’d recommend Phil highly in these aspects for your future endeavors."

Chris Brogan, NY Times best-selling author and social media superstar

brad shorr

Brad Shorr

“Phil understands social media as well as or better than anyone you will find – anywhere. Besides having a full understanding of the technical and strategic aspects of using Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, etc., in your business, Phil brings high energy and enthusiasm to every project and speaking engagement. In short, Phil can help you figure out what to do, and get you fired up about doing it!”

Brad Shorr


Rich Hand

“Phil is a great choice if you are looking for a speaker to add value for you and your employees! He will energize you , and will customize his presentation to Make It Great! I have used him at HDI and he is a valuable contributor to our community. He can do the same for you. High energy! High Impact! Highly recommended!”

Rich Hand

lisa gates

Lisa Gates

“Phil Gerbyshak is an inspired master speaker who can light a dark corner in any room on fire with his absolute love of humanity, and a deep wisdom about team building, leadership and communication. His style is witty and improvisational, and grounded by a tireless, authentic generosity.”

Lisa Gates

tammy lenski

Dr. Tammy Lenski

“When someone first mentioned Phil to me 3 years ago, she described him this way: “He’s the real deal.” Every time I’ve spoken with or seen Phil interviewing or doing a public speaking gig since, that has proven true. Then, when I felt it was time for me to do some re-branding after over 10 successful years in business, I knew I wanted the benefit of a creative, energetic and smart soul to bounce ideas off of. I knew I wanted someone who grasps branding but works in realms not just narrowly focused on branding alone. Phil came immediately to mind. The results with Phil were exceptional. He pressed my thinking where I’d asked him to (and a few well-selected place I hadn’t!), proved a superb brainstorming and idea-generating partner, and invited me to deepen my thinking about some of the brand ideas I was considering. And he did it all with high energy, a sunny demeanor, and reliable timeliness. Phil Gerbyshak is the real deal indeed.”

Dr. Tammy Lenski