An important part of managing your online reputation is registering your business profiles on review sites and social media before other people, including your competitors, can snag your profiles. You don’t want customers looking up your business to think you’re only open on Sundays from midnight to 2 a.m., do you? If you think it can’t happen, check out this horror story about a business ruined by Google Map hackers.
Avoid a potential headache by reading our guide to reclaiming your business profile:
Step 1: Look Up Your Company Name Online
First, make sure there aren’t fake profiles floating around on the web. Use Namech_k to check social media sites, review sites, and more for your company name. If there aren’t any, that’s great! Go ahead and claim your business online.
If you do find fake business profiles, ensure that it’s not a misunderstanding before you take action.
Step 2: Check If It’s Not An Error
It’s possible this is simply an error—maybe someone on your staff set up the page and is now listed as the owner. In that case, contact the listed owner and see if they’ll transfer ownership to you.
Sometimes, a page for your business will be created but it will be unmanaged. For example, if someone checks into your business on Facebook but your company doesn’t have a page, one will automatically be created. Should that happen, you can follow Facebook’s steps for taking control of the unmanaged page.
Step 3: Report the Account
If the fake page is not an error or an unmanaged page, you’ll have to contact each of the websites directly to sort out the problem. If you find someone has claimed your Google My Business profile, we’ve got an article that helps you reclaim your GMB listing. Let’s take a look at a few other popular sites where you might expect to have a profile:
If you find your company has a managed page on Facebook that’s not run by your marketing team, you’ll need to report it. Click on the page’s cover photo and select “report page” and then choose the best option to describe your situation.
For Twitter, you can fill out a form to report a violation of their trademark policy. When submitting this report, you’ll have to include basic information such as your name, address, and email along with a description of the problem and a requested action.
As with Facebook, you can report an account directly from its profile page.
Step 4: Provide Verification
When you report a page, you’ll also have to confirm your association with the company. This verification might involve providing additional information, responding to a verification email, or answering a phone call on the business line. Don’t expect the process to be quick, either. You’ll have to be persistent in following up and getting control of the profile. It’s time-consuming, but it’s worth it for the sake of your online reputation.
Step 5: Clean Up Your Reclaimed Profile
Your work isn’t done once you have control of the account. You’ll have to go through and undo any damage done. Fix inaccurate information, delete negative social media posts, and remove any broken hyperlinks or anything else that reflects poorly on your business.
Then pat yourself on the back and start fresh.
Remember: a few minutes to check your business profiles online could save you a ton of frustration in the end. Then you can focus on using your business listings to improve your online brand. Use Connectivity’s Reviews and Social Media Monitoring tool to ensure your online reputation stays in excellent shape.
Top image credit: g-stockstudio/Shutterstock
Dylan Lake is Demand Generation Manager for Connectivity.