What if you want to try out a new restaurant? You will probably Google about it to check the reviews and ratings before hanging out there. All of us know that the modern customer and business mainly relies on the internet to find services and products they need. They utilize social media, review and even website to form an opinion about different businesses. This opinion is often swayed by aspects like where your business shows up on search pages, website content and layout, social media presence and even reviews. Regardless of what you claim, your reputation—online or otherwise actually matters a lot!
What is Reputation management?
Before we delve into how to manage your reputation, let us understand what exactly it is. Reputation management is simply managing your reputation—how people perceive your company. It involves monitoring and influencing the online reputation of a brand or business. There can be three stages of reputation management. First is building, which is generally done by businesses that are new and trying to build a reliable brand name. Second is maintenance, this is carried out by companies that have an established reputation but aims to maintain it. Third is recovery, this is done by those companies that are hit by bad reviews.
How can a business establish online reputation?
If you have just landed to business world then you must be looking to start managing your reputation, the best place to begin doing so is online. The simple reason behind it is that internet is where majority of people look for information and develop their opinion. Below are five ways by which you can build online reputation:
Start a blog
Having a blog that is regularly updated with articles or press releases covering every activity of your company helps in establishing you as an expert. The key here is articles should be posted regularly and should be relevant to the readers.
Get listed in directories
Much like the telephone directories, online directories allow users to search for companies by various categories. Having your site listed to such directories will drive more traffic to your website which will further escalate the visibility of your brand.
Reviews are extremely important these days as a majority of internet users read online reviews. You must encourage your customers to review your company and services because this will certainly help you go a long way.
Gain some publicity
You can’t establish reputation by doing NOTHING. You have to work on it, do promotional activities, do some advertising to make your brand popular. In short, promote your company as much as you can.
Get your business social
Social media has become very crucial nowadays. People often look for social media profiles of the companies before engaging with any kind of professional work. If you have an active profile, then you are likely be found early and considered as more reputable.
Ways to protect your reputation?
If you have already established your reputation, then you will likely focus on maintaining or protecting it. To start with, you must know what you can control. You can ask your customers to write reviews but you can’t actually control what they write. So in this case you must keep monitoring the reviews. There are various apps that can help you to monitor your website online. If you are too occupied, then you can always hire services of reputed digital marketing companies that offer such services. If you see any negative comment, then you should address them immediately with your best response.
Common mistakes made by reputation managers
There are some common mistakes made by reputation managers when trying to manage or recover their reputation. They often pay someone to post positive reviews online. This has become a common practice but it should be avoided. The search engines like Google take strict measures against those websites that post fake reviews.
Don’t engage in trolls. There has been instances when the reputation of companies has gone in vein as their reputation managers engaged in troll or fires back on social media. This makes the company look unprofessional and turn people away. Astroturfing is the act of creating anonymous accounts on different sites that can be used to create positive reviews, advertising or even lash out negative comments. This practice can also harm the reputation of your company.
Don’t lie to your customers, it is not only unethical but can snatch away your credibility too. Instead, try to be transparent and accountable with your customer, this will help you to gain their trust. Last thing which you should never do is, ignoring your customers. You are in the industry to serve your customers, so you simply can’t survive by ignoring them.
Now you must have realized that managing online reputation takes a lot of efforts, time and energy but these tips will simply help you to attain your goals. If you are still not sure then contact us, we will be happy to help!