Online reputation management is the process by which one’s presence or business is seen online. Numerous factors contribute to this process, ideally resulting in a positive representation of said presence or business. A solid online reputation can increase one’s ability to generate leads, close accounts, and grow their company. Conversely, a shoddy reputation can shy individuals and entities away, not to mention contribute to a negative perception. Simply put, it’s important to know how to improve or maintain one’s reputation online.
Did a previous customer leave a negative review, expressing untrue details? Has there been a story published that is irrefutably false, resulting in your online reputation being hindered or damaged? These are just a few situations where online reputation management can prove useful. There exists a bevy of Internet marketing companies that understand the importance of managing one’s reputation in the digital sphere. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of online reputation management to know.
Understand that building a reputation takes time. Before one can manage their online reputation, they must build it first. Keep in mind that this is a long-term process that includes claiming a company name online and developing a broad social media presence, just to name a few steps to take. It’s impossible for one to build a reputation overnight, so be mindful that this will require time and effort. However, for those that are willing to take the proper steps, a positive online reputation will develop.
Pay attention to social media. Another factor to consider, when it comes to online reputation management, is the importance of social media. It will be through different networking platforms that users become the most vocal; this makes social media integral to building or repairing one’s digital reputation. Pay attention to any activity that comes through your various social media accounts. If an individual receives positive feedback, acknowledge it with a thumbs up or brief text response. In the event that negative feedback is received – and we will touch on this in greater detail later – a different approach will be required. Social media is key to reputation management and it should be prioritized.
Build a functional, user-focused website. In addition to social media, an official website will assist in online reputation management efforts. First and foremost, the website in question must be functional, able to be used on different devices. The more responsive a site is, the better the user experience will be, which aids an individual or company’s online reputation. Second, the site needs to be user-focused, delivering content that they will find valuable. This can be done by, among other efforts, updating blog sections with regular posts and publishing white papers. Keep these tips in mind when it comes time to invest in web design and development.
Be professional. To frame this, imagine that a user left a negative review about your company online. Even if the details in said review are inaccurate, it’s in your best interest to be professional. Whether they left a review on Facebook, Google, or any other platform, respond to the individual as you would any customer that steps foot into your store. Address their concerns, apologize for any inconvenience they may have experienced, and provide them with a direct line or email so that they can be better assisted. A professional demeanor goes a long way in online reputation management.
Recognize your own mistakes. No business is perfect, so it’s fair to expect oversights. This is true in regard to product manufacturing, customer service, or any other pillar that a business is supported by. When a customer draws attention to a circumstance that proves to be legitimate, it’s important for the business to recognize it. From there, they should follow up, apologizing and providing further insight. This level of transparency goes a long way in not only building trust but taking online reputation management efforts to a higher level.
Know that there’s no better time to start than the present. Perhaps you believe that your business is too new to benefit from online reputation management. The same can be said for the opposing viewpoint, as an experienced business owner may be under the impression that they’ve been in the industry too long for this service to have an impact. Rest easy that, regardless of your individual circumstances, reputation management can yield a sizable benefit. By following the tips covered earlier, as well as consulting a specialist in your area, online reputation management will prove invaluable.
About fishbat: fishbat is a full-service Long Island marketing agency that takes a holistic business approach to their clients’ digital marketing programs. The fishbat team understands the importance of business principles just as well as the nuances of the latest digital technologies. fishbat offers every digital marketing service available from digital marketing research and planning to brand development to website and asset creation through social media management and search engine optimization programs – all custom calibrated for both B2B and B2C businesses.