In a study commissioned by Igniyte, 500 business owners and higher decision makers representing organisations were asked to consider issues relating to company online reputation and how it impacts on their business.
- An overwhelming 88% of the businesses studied believe that having a positive online presence is important to the people who use their services.
- One in five of the companies surveyed are unhappy with the way they’re portrayed on their Google page one.
- Regionally, businesses in the East Midlands were most dissatisfied by their Google page one, while businesses in the South West were the most satisfied.
- This negativity comes in many forms, with the most damaging being content posted by competitors (43%) followed by malicious postings from disgruntled former employees (42%).
- Bad reviews are also causing problems for 41% of the businesses, while almost a third (30%) feel their online reputation has been damaged by employees.
- Negative media coverage is an issue for 17% of businesses, and one in ten have been affected by social media posts.
And while there is growing awareness around the importance of maintaining a positive profile online, dealing with negative content is still a tricky issue for UK companies.
- A staggering 45% of those quizzed said they’d failed to remove damaging posts, while more than a third (36%) had tried to engage with critics.
- Another 12% wanted to take action but didn’t know where to start.
- Only a third of bosses felt they had all the skills they needed to keep their company’s online reputation up to scratch.
- As a result, one in ten outsource managing their digital profile and another one in ten don’t know how to keep on top of it.
- Bad reviews (29%), negative social media posts (24%) and damaging content online (23%) are the top three business concerns.
And there is a very real impact on business with companies reporting an average loss of £46,815 because of damaging online content.
- Almost one in ten (9%) have lost between £50k and £100k while close to a quarter (24%) are £10k out of pocket.
- Another one in five (20%) says poor online reputation has cost them closer to £50k.
- 82% of businesses in London and 64% of businesses in the West Midlands felt they’d been hit hardest by online content.
When it comes to online presence, three quarters of the companies surveyed believe negative content is now their number one business worry.
Another third (31%) say it’s a massive concern for them in future, with one in five revealing that dealing with damaging content has become the focus of their entire online strategy.
They say tackling negative posts, reviews and comments is now more important than winning new sales, gaining followers and even raising brand awareness.