Do you know where your online reputation stands? Is your company seen in a positive light or a negative one when searched online? If you do not know the answer to these questions, your business could be suffering because of it.
Don Sorenson, president of Big Blue Robot, says that he once consulted with a company that had a poor online reputation. 7 of the 10 results on Google were negative. He estimated that the company was losing approximately $2 million in sales annually because of the negative search results and he was right, if low.
Staying on top of your online reputation management is absolutely necessary for your business to succeed. According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. While your online reputation consists of so much more than just search engine reviews, it is easy to see how influential they can be.
So, exactly how do you stay on top of your online reputation management? We have outlined 5 essential tips to help you establish a positive online reputation and keep it that way.
1. Be Social
When it comes to creating an online reputation, you want to establish social media platforms. Some platforms will be more useful for you than others, but you still want to have a presence on the major ones and update them often. A few of the major social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. By having more profiles, it allows your company to become more transparent, have a better online presence and prevents others from stealing your brand.
After you have created your social media profiles, you are sure to receive negative feedback. This is not an ‘if’, but rather a ‘when.’ Because you are practically guaranteed to receive some negative feedback, you need to know how to handle it.
We use the word apologize because sometimes the negative feedback points to a problem within the company and allows you to fix it. If there is not a problem within the company but the reviewer still had a negative experience, you could easily apologize for their negative experience.
The important thing to remember is to solve the problem for the customer, whether that is offering a form of compensation or working with them to come up with a better solution. Often, the customer will go back and change their negative review to a positive one if the problem is handled quickly enough. That will definitely improve your online reputation.
3. Create a Blog
Blogging is another way to establish a positive online reputation. By creating quality content that helps set your brand up as an authority in your industry, your blog will attract more positive interactions. In addition, you can also blog about your products, your company, and FAQ’s about your brand. In addition to putting out that positive information, blogging also invites more traffic than an unchanging website.
4. Expand Your Influence
Who said that your online presence had to be limited to Facebook, Twitter, and your company website? No one said that. However, this is what most companies do. Feel free to expand your influence on the Internet. As an example, try using Youtube to introduce videos of customers using your products, and then share those videos on other social media platforms. The sky is the limit with what you can do on the Internet to establish a better reputation.
5. Use PR Proactively
Do not simply use company news as a press release. There are much better ways to get your company name out there. Find the unique ways that customers use your products and publicize them. Sponsor events that the press will hopefully cover. (If not, you can always share your own coverage of the event.)
Also, do not wait for a negative event before using a press release. You do not want your company to appear as if they merely doing damage control. Use PR proactively in your online reputation management practices to appeal better to your customers.
Practicing online reputation management is absolutely critical in business success. By following our 5 tips; being social, apologizing, blogging, expanding your influence, and using PR proactively; you will begin to see your online reputation improve.