Negative Information -The Need for Internet Reputation Management
According to a survey done by the Cone Inline Trend Tracker, “4 out of 5 consumers changes their minds about a recommended purchase based solely on negative information they found online.” Think about that. These were potential customers that had made it to the bottom of the sales funnel. They had received recommendations to make their purchase and because of negative information they found online, 80% of them changed their minds. EIGHTY PERCENT! OK, so maybe that’s only from the people that actually go online and do research about their purchase. How many people actually do that? Well, according to that same survey, “89% of consumers go online to do additional research about products and services that have a moderate of high cost.” Wow! Only 11% of consumers wouldn’t be effected by negative information. Is there any person, business, or brand that can afford not to engage in Internet reputation management?
How Important is Your Online Reputation?
It’s not just businesses that can be hurt by consumers reading negative information. According to ExecuNet, 78% of executive recruiters routinely use search engines to learn more about candidates, and 35% have eliminated candidates based on the information they found. So over a third of everyone who is looking for a job are knocked out of the running based on something found online that hurt their reputation.
Some other interesting statistics about reputation management:
- It is forecasted that 4 Million small medium will use online reputation platforms in 2013 – BIA/Kelsey
- 50% of comments about a brand come from Internet sources that are not directly related to its business – Oto Research and Digimind study
- 25% of search results for the top 20 largest brands in the world are links to user-generated content – Socialnomics, 2009
- Reputation risk is ranked first among risk priority for company managers – The Economist
- 58% of executives believe that the risk reputation should be addressed by the management committee…but only 15% of them monitor it – Deloitte Study
Controlling your online reputation is risky business. There is such a vast amount of information on the web, much of it out of your control, that directly reflects the perception of you, your business and your livelihood. You will never be able to control what people say about, and even the nicest guy in the world will eventually do something to scorn someone else and have something negative posted about him (maybe he was just too nice). Though you can’t control what is put out there, you can combat how easily it is discovered as well as how it is perceived. And the bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter what people say, it only matters if it can be found, and how it is perceived.