While the majority of us will not be concerned if any one overheard what we did or said on the Internet, it is necessary for a business to maintain a good online reputation. Companies offer online reputation management as a service but in a small business there is an amount you can do yourself.
The first step is to type in your name or business name into a Google search. If there are negative entries, or if you are not mentioned at all, then you need to start developing or correcting your online presence. To receive an ongoing report of what searches are being made on your business on the web you can set up queries in Google Alerts. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based queries that you specify.
As most companies or organisations will have a PRO who will deal with press releases and questions from the press, a similar role is required when dealing with issues that appear on the Internet regarding your business.
You can counteract negative publicity by putting out a response and a positive message on social media sites some of which are detailed here. The first step is to setup a presence on some or each one of the social networks and then over time start populating it with images and stories, videos and events, plus things of interest.
On a plainer note a simple way that people can damage their online reputation is by sending out emails where the names and email addresses of all the other people who have received the email are also displayed.
Email programs have a facility that allows an email to be sent to a group of people without revealing the email addresses of the other recipients. The Bcc facility which stands for blind carbon copy, a remnant from the days when all correspondence was typed and duplicates were produced using carbon paper. On each letter a list of all the people who received the letter was included under the heading cc. The email addresses that are entered in the bcc field or box, receive the email but they do not know who else received the same email.