Pricing online reputation repair
I was glad to find these facts about online reputation management companies this week. I’ve often wondered about the market for them as they have boomed in recent years. An estimate for spending on online reputation is provided by BIA/Kelsey — $1.6 billion for 2011 and an expectation of $5 billion by 2015. This is for small and medium-sized businesses. My sense is that this is the market because one or two negative customer mentions or reviews can really wipe dollars off that precious bottom line. Fixing your online reputation is not easy. If it were, everyone would have a pristine reputation. In fact, it takes years for a reputation to build or recover — just think about BP and how painful that recovery has been although they are slowly making progress. Even when hiring an online reputation management company, it takes at least a year to see change from what I have been told. And that might be optimistic. In fact, I went to check out an uncomplimentary mention about an executive I know that first appeared at least four years ago. It was still there although it had a few more positive mentions ahead of it. But four years is a long time to correct something online. This executive did not hire an online reputation management and just took her chances.
A quote that surfaced in the article where I found this spending estimate caught my attention, “If the Internet is the Wild West, then online reputation management is Dodge City.” Whoah.