Looking bad on the internet can seem minor at first. After all, it's one thing to have a scandal splashed all over the newspapers and quite another to have a couple of angry comments on a blog post about you. However, a negative online reputation can, both immediately and in the long run, hurt you personally and professionally.
The first and most obvious setback with a bad Internet reputation is lost customers. It can be hard to figure out how many, if any, customers you're losing based on bad reviews, mistakes in social media or personal difficulties aired online. There's no way to tell if a potential customer would have bought from you if not for your poor online image. The reality is that if the first thing a person finds about you or your business is something negative, they're less likely to do business with you. You aren't being evaluated on your actual strengths and possible benefits; you're being ruled out because of something someone else said about you.
Aggravation And Stress
Business or personal, one of the both immediate and long-term consequences of having a negative Internet reputation is stress. If you ever had a rumor spread about you in high school, prepare for that experience all over again. The same mechanism that makes people believe good word-of-mouth also lets them believe awful rumors, and they can be hard to suppress. When you do finally put them out of people's minds, all it takes is one angry loudmouth to bring them back again.
A good case study is Shady Maple Farm Market. In 1991, a rumor spread that they were denying services to those supporting soldiers in the Gulf War by wearing yellow ribbons. This was, and is, emphatically untrue and yet the rumor returned in 2005, lingering so long that Shady Maple was forced to address it on their site.
The internet being the internet, it's emphatically easy for a person to speak their mind to you whether you care to hear about it or not. Email, social media, websites, blog comments sections and the list continues, proving that there are many ways you can be reached whether you want to be or not.
While most of the internet has a very short memory, there are always going to be a handful of people out there attempting to dredge up settled business and give you an negative reputation online. Some people simply have so much time on their hands that they'll keep coming after you, again and again, and never be satisfied. Some have been forced to take legal action to finally stop this.
Loss Of Friends
The simple reality of the matter is that while people may like you personally, or know for a fact that the rumors are untrue, it simply might be too much of a business risk to associate with you personally or professionally if you've got a bad digital reputation. Losing business connections is bad enough, but imagine losing a good friend because other people have chosen to make you look bad.
There's no reason you should have to suffer from a negative online reputation. With ReputationDefender at your side, you'll learn how to deal with online mistakes and how to counter-act rumors. We'll help squash slander, remove negative search results, and boost good news about you or your company online. Don't suffer the consequences of a negative reputation; contact ReputationDefender today.