With the use of Internet highly popular, and this rate only rising, your online reputation means a great deal to the success of your business. When most people start to search a company to decide whether or not this is a company to do business with, they will turn to an online search.
Here, they will read reviews, reports, and any other information that they can get their hands on, in order to decide whether to give you their business or not. Thus, your online reputation is crucial, and there should be considerable amounts of time invested in order to protect the reputation that you have worked hard to achieve.
1. Be Active In Social Media
Though this may seem like a waste of time, social media is one of the best ways in which you can stay on top of your reputation and increase the likability of your company.
Most every business now has a Facebook page, a Twitter account and the like. They are actively posting to these accounts and connecting with current customers, and attracting new customers.
In concern to your online image, when you do know of complaints being filed against your business, these social media tools can be a great way to show you are listening and care. You can simply reply to the complaint via social media in order for the world to see that you are a caring, and concerned business, which does wonders for your reputation.
2. Research Daily
In order to truly protect your online image, you have to know what is being said about your company. It is a good idea to set up Google Alerts for your business name so you know when it is appearing online.
In addition, take a few minutes every day to simply Google your business and read the reviews that are being posted. Through keeping up to date on your research you can quickly be informed when damage control needs to be implemented.
3. Always Be Professional
You are going to receive negative feedback from time to time, there is no business that does not have some negative reviews. However, how you handle the negative reviews is going to be a huge part of your online reputation.
Companies who let their temper get the best of them, slander the customer, and basically act like a young child are going to find that their reputation will suffer, as people do not want to do business with a company who is not professional. Instead, with negative feedback, companies should look at this as a time to shine.
Apologize for the problems, offer some type of alternative to make the person happy such as a full exchange of a product, a partial refund or something of the like, and stick with this routine whenever there is negativity from consumers.
4. Have Numerous Reviews Online
The more reviews you have online that are positive, the more likely your reputation is to sky rocket. The key to doing this is to get real customers to write reviews, and post these on your website.
You can ask customers and other businesses that you work with to write reviews on your customer service, products offered and the like. In order to make this successful consider offering incentives to customers to write these reviews, such as a discount off of their next purchase.
The key is to get as many reviews as possible that are positive in nature to display to those who may be searching for your business.
5. Keep Your Personal Information Separate from Your Business
This can be a huge task, but it is necessary. Your business may be personal to you, but you do not want your personal information to be associated with the business.
This is especially true of online social profiles that may not depict you, the business owner, in the best light. The best method to avoid this type of problem is to not post anything to your personal social media sites that may be detrimental.
And keep your personal information private if you can. Many businesses do not make a distinction between their business and personal profiles, which can be damaging to the online reputation.
6. Utilize Business Social Platforms
When people think of social media, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are what comes to mind, which is why business social platforms deserves considerations on its own.
Business social platforms like LinkedIn are for people looking to make a professional connection, and they can be great for those wanting to attract professionals to use their businesses. This can also be a great way to get your online presence boosted, in order to ensure your reputation stays intact.
7. Have a Blog
Though it may take some time to keep this running, it is worth it. Your blog can be a great way to connect with customers, potential clients, and other businesses in an upbeat and professional manner that shows your business knows what it is doing.
This blog can also go a long way in helping not negate those reviews that may hurt your businesses reputation. With a blog, you can demonstrate your knowledge, give advice and basically ensure that you are an online presence that gives information that is actually useful.
Be sure you are paying attention to SEO standards to ensure that your blog can easily be indexed by Google.
8. Rise Above the Negativity
There are going to be times in which a negative review will be posted that may seem extremely awful. However, keep in mind that you will never make 100% of your customers satisfied.
If you try to be professional with the person, and try to make amends, yet they do not yield, it may be time to simply rise above the negativity. There are posters all over the Internet that do nothing but post negative reviews about businesses, whether the service was truly that deplorable or not.
Rising above the negativity when it comes from such a source is just another way to show that your business has high standards and values that other customers are going to connect with.
Your online reputation means a lot. Thus, there should be a considerable amount of time put into ensuring that this is protected. With these 8 methods, you can ensure that your online reputation remains stellar and untarnished.