An positive online reputation for a business is essential for it to grow, bring in sales and new customers and to increase the awareness of the brand. Conversely a negative online reputation has the power to completely destroy the business, damage the potential of new customers and ultimately lose the business money. Now you may think that your reputation online is great, but you must always remember that you are never more than a day away from all of that being destroyed.

Rep management firms know this all too well and if you look at the reputation management consultant reviews you’ll see a  number of clients who had to reach out for their services after their great online rep was destroyed in one fell swoop, and here is how easily it could happen.

A Bad Night

Let’s say that you are running a restaurant and one night your sous chef calls in sick, the waitress has just broken up from her boyfriend and the barman happens to choose this day to be in a bad mood, it happens. Now before the internet you would have a bad night and get back on top of things the next day, in the internet age however things are very different and within a single night your 4.8 review rating could drop to 3.9 after the customers begin to complain about late food, cold meals, rude staff and poor service.

Viral Videos

Another example of just how easily a small situation can snowball into one which will destroy your online reputation. Let’s say that you run a delivery service and one day one of your delivery drivers isn’t paying attention to what they are doing and crashes into a car parked on the side of the road. Once again, pre-internet this would have been an issue which you’d have resolved in-house and with your insurance. Sadly we don’t live in those times anymore and all it takes is someone taking a video on their phone of the event, for the whole thing to go viral. Within a matter of hours everyone on social media will be creating hashtags and memes about your company and how it operates, and just like that, this will be all that people remember your company for.

Those Photos

It is not just businesses who must protect their online reputation, but also professionals as many employers will carry out an internet search on their applicants before interviewing them. Let’s say that you have just earned your degree and you are ready to go into the world of teaching, you apply for the position and have a good feeling about it, and then the school you are applying for discovers some less than professional photos of you from when you were 18 and pretty wild, which you posted to social media. No matter how long ago this was, many employers will look at this and decide that you aren’t quite the right fit for them, and just like that you’ve lost your opportunity due to something that happened in your past.

Online reputations are very fragile.