So, You’re Thinking About Attacking. Let’s Talk That Out.
Let us start this off by assuring you that you are not the first business owner or marketing manager to consider attacking your competitors. It’s a natural impulse to have when you know you’re the very best at what you do, and you feel like your competitors can’t, well, compete. Maybe they even practice dirty tactics that you feel like make the market unfair and put you in a corner. It can be really tempting to attack them and the temptation is understandable. Should you actually do it? No way. It will only result in bad things for you and your company. AT Top Rated Local®, we’re here to help you figure out why you shouldn’t and what to do instead.
Why It’s A Bad Idea
Even though it can definitely be tempting to run a review-based smear campaign on a competitor, it’s really nothing but a good and quick way to make yourself and your business look bad. Not only could you suffer from legal repercussions like a lawsuit or a cease and desist order, but your entire reputation could be at stake simply because you retaliated.
You Could Get Sued
A lawsuit would be an absolute nightmare for any business to endure, but you already know that. Defaming your competitors is a great way to wind up smack dab in the middle of that nightmare. If you write a bad review for a competitor simply because they are your competitor, that can, in some cases, be legally considered libel. Assuming you don’t want to deal with expensive lawyer fees, time-sucking proceedings, and possible fines, it’s best to keep your eyes on your own paper.
Frankly speaking, it is easy to tell when a bad review is left by a competitor. No matter how sneaky you think you’re being, the fact is, you probably aren’t quite as inconspicuous as you think. Your issues with the competition will sneak out one way or another, and a fake profile can be easily spotted from a mile away (assuming you aren’t boldly using your own personal review site profile). The best way to avoid the risk of getting caught leaving a false review is to never do so in the first place.
It Makes You Look Bad
As Thumper, the cute and wise-beyond-his-years bunny from the classic Disney film entitled ‘Bambi,’ would say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That logic and wisdom certainly applies here. Nothing makes you look worse than talking trash about your competitors. Think about what you would do if you saw one business defaming another. Our educated guess is that you wouldn’t want to give them any of your money. People will assume that if you were really that good, you wouldn’t have to talk smack. But, you are great at what you do, so don’t diminish and overshadow that by attacking your competitors’ reputations.
What You Can Do Instead
Now that launching a full-blown attack on your competitors’ online reputation is out of the question, it may seem like you’re out of ideas and back at square one — and that’s okay! Our job is to help you figure out what to do here. Try boosting yourself and your business up.
Show Your Worth
You are excellent at what you do, and in your book and that of your loyal customers, you’re the best. Make that clear. Amp up your social media and marketing efforts and post valuable content on both social sites and blogs. Make sure everyone in your community knows just what a fantastic business you run. Beyond that, simply make sure you’re responding to feedback positively and taking it into account, and continue to be phenomenal at what you do.
Ask For Reviews
We can’t say it enough: ASK FOR REVIEWS. Encourage the people you serve to leave their feedback. Having customers honestly vouch for you is an incredible boon to your online reputation and there is truly nothing that will make you look better than doing well and receiving praise for it.
Respond To Feedback Appropriately
This is the true key to making sure your reputation stays spotless. If your customers have complaints or concerns regarding what you do, be understanding. Put their needs first. Respond politely and take their feedback into account.
What To Do If It Happens to You
If someone launches an attack on your online reputation, it may seem like an impossible situation to get out of. Thankfully, that is absolutely not the case. Your business can bounce back from this. We’re not lawyers, so we won’t recommend any legal action. But, one thing we do know a lot about is reputation management, and we know that if you pull back from the focus on your competition and start focusing on your online reputation, it’ll make a huge difference and help your brand.
Double Down On Reputation Management Efforts
Your reputation will only improve if you put forth a concerted effort to make it better. That means asking for reviews, making sure all of your online listings are in order, and making reputation management an integral part of your business’ marketing strategy. Whether you hire the professionals or you simply learn to do it yourself, an investment in reputation management always pays off. Strive to make your reputation impenetrable so that you can fight off any attack lobbied against you.
Build A Strong Online Reputation
By using Top Rated Local, you can master your online reputation. We collect data from dozens of verified review sites across the internet to create a cumulative Rating Score™. With this system, you can get an in-depth look into your all over online reputation and completely master your business’ reputation management. Claim your business’ listing and sign up for an account today to see how Top Rated Local can be one of the most valuable tools in your toolbelt and help you rise above the competition.