Monitoring and controlling your online reputation is an essential part of growing your business. Consumers research businesses before buying a product or service from them.
The internet has become a lifeline for many consumers. So, when faced with a purchasing choice, it’s often the first place they turn for research and opinions.
Manage Your Online Reputation
Every brand should care about their online reputation. And everyone – from the CEO to the customer support team – needs to be involved in making your online reputation a good one.
Let’s get one thing straight. Reputation management is not the same as social media monitoring. It’s true that social media plays an important role and is something you should constantly monitor. But your online reputation goes beyond what people tweet about your brand.
Online reputation management is a proactive approach. It allows you to monitor and respond to comments and reviews in a way that bolsters credibility and trust.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you have. Your reputation is out there, and it matters.
If you want to protect your brand’s online reputation and promote positive content to the top of search results, here are the cardinal rules of the game.
Listen to What’s Being Said.
Step one is to start keeping tabs on every mention of your brand. Set up Google Alerts and monitor mentions of your brand name on social media with tools like Hootsuite and Mention. If someone is saying something about you on the internet, you want to know, right? Make sure your alerts are thorough. They should include your business name, product names, and maybe even your own name.
Respond Quickly…and Courteously.
It’s nearly impossible to please everyone all the time. So when someone posts a negative review or comment about your business, you need to respond quickly and in a positive tone that leaves no room for misinterpretation. A simple “we’re on it” can work wonders. Leave emotions out of it and stay focused on restoring trust.
Earn Trust and Respect.
Speaking of trust…it’s hard to gain and easy to lose, so work hard to build both trust and respect. Blogs, press releases, case studies, social updates, and positive reviews all help maintain a positive online presence.
Address Criticism Head On.
Look at criticisms as opportunities, not problems. Take a negative review and turn it into a positive experience. Show your customer – as well as your audience at large – that you’re willing and able to resolve any issue they’ve experienced.
Get to Know Your Critics.
Criticism is an opportunity, remember? Take the time to learn more about your audience to craft a more useful message. Use surveys to find out what interests them, what issues they face, and how your product or service can better help them.
Actively Engage with Fans.
Always treat your customers well, and encourage or ask them to leave positive reviews on Yelp, Google+, and other review sites. Make as much an effort offline as you do online and vice versa.
Learn from Mistakes.
If you do act defensively, ignore a complaint, or make some other misstep that results in blemishing your reputation, learn from it, correct it if possible, and then move on. Lessons learned can turn into ways to enhance your brand’s identity like never before.
When it comes down to it, your online reputation is, well, your reputation. Give it the attention it deserves! It’s up to you to ensure your brand makes a good impression.