How discrimination can ruin your online reputation

Information spreads quickly through the world wide web, especially if the news is negative or provoking. Any action that you undertake as a business owner or staff member will reflect on the entire company. Businesses worldwide have experienced firsthand that acts of discrimination – treating someone unfairly based on traits such as race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or age – can backfire and have dire consequences for your business.

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Why is discrimination harmful?

In New Zealand, as well as numerous other countries, it is prohibited by law to refuse service to an individual based on their appearance, behaviors, or lifestyle choices. In addition to facing a potential lawsuit or dealing with a complaint made against you to the Human Rights Commission, discrimination can also have negative consequences for your online presence and ruin your reputation.

Firstly, businesses that are known for discrimination quickly lose credibility and trust. If you are caught discriminating against someone, you may lose the respect and confidence of your customers, clients, partners, colleagues or peers.

Furthermore, it will affect your online presence and visibility. You may be excluded from certain platforms, networks, or business opportunities. You may also face harassment, bullying, or trolling from online users who want to tell the world about what you have done. These actions can damage your online reputation and make it harder for you to achieve your business goals.

Discrimination is a serious issue that can have lasting and harmful effects on your online reputation. Therefore, it is important to avoid discriminating against others, whether they are clients, customers or friends, and to stand up against discrimination when you encounter it. By doing so, you can protect your online reputation and promote a more inclusive and respectful online environment.

Why is online reputation important?

Your online reputation can affect your credibility, trustworthiness, online visibility, sales, revenue and growth. Essentially, it is how people perceive your brand, products, services and your personal image based on the information they find about you on the internet. This information can come from platforms such as customer reviews, social media posts, news articles, blog posts and online forums.

In today’s digital world, where consumers rely heavily on online sources to make decisions, having a positive online reputation can give you a significant advantage over your competition and help you attract and retain loyal customers. At the same time, having a negative online reputation can damage your reputation and drive away potential customers.

How to restore your online reputation

Whether it is due to unjust behaviour on your part, or whether you find yourself the victim of online defamation, cyberbullying, or negative reviews – there are steps you can take to repair or restore your online reputation. Online reputation management (ORM) is the process of improving and protecting your personal or business image on the internet. It involves monitoring, responding to, and removing any harmful or unwanted content that affects your online reputation.

Identify the source

Find out the nature of the negative content and where it is coming from. Is it a false accusation, a personal attack, a factual error, or a legitimate complaint? Depending on the type of content, you may need to take different actions to address it.

If it is a false accusation, you will need to contact the website owner or platform and request a removal or correction. A personal attack can be reported as harassment or abuse, while dealing with a factual error could involve providing evidence or clarification to refute it. However, if it is a legitimate complaint, you may want to apologize and offer a solution.

Promote positive content

One of the best ways to counteract negative content is to create and share positive content that showcases your achievements, skills, values, and personality. You can use various platforms such as blogs, social media, podcasts, videos, or websites to create and distribute positive content.

You can also ask your friends, family, colleagues, or customers to write testimonials, reviews, or endorsements for you. The more positive content you have online, the more likely it is that people will see it and form a favorable impression of you.

Manage your online presence

To restore your online reputation, you need to keep track of what people are saying about you online and respond appropriately. You can use tools such as Google Alerts to monitor your online presence and get notified of any mentions of your name or brand.

Having a social media strategy will also help you manage your social media accounts and engage with your audience. For example, social media management tools are great to schedule, monitor and analyze your social media accounts. Either way, you should always respond to comments and messages in a polite and professional manner and avoid getting into arguments or conflicts online.

Seek professional help

If the negative content is too severe or widespread to handle on your own, you may want to consider seeking professional help from an online reputation management company or a lawyer. An ORM company can help you with strategies and techniques to improve your online reputation and remove or suppress any harmful content. A lawyer can help you with legal options such as filing lawsuits, or obtaining restraining orders against the authors of the negative content.

If you feel that you are underrepresented online or if you need more positive content to showcase your business, contact the friendly team at Energise Web today for more information. We specialize in web design and website development and offer a wide range of services including copywriting, SEO and digital marketing.

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