What is Reputation Management and Why Do We Need It?
From social media conversations to service reviews, your online reputation can have a tremendous impact on brand loyalty and sales. Your customers are saying a lot about you online – have you seen it? If you’re not making reputation management a priority, start here to learn more.
Consolidate Your Brand Presence
The first rule to establishing a strong online reputation is to make yourself easy to find. You’ll want to purchase several domain names covering all variations of your company name, and have them all direct to your primary website. If someone makes a small typo in the URL, they’ll still find you. Additionally, your site, blogs, and social media pages should all link to one another, and you’ll want to have your industry, city, state, and other basic information easily visible to help customers and search engines identify you. Write a compelling LinkedIn profile, and use natural keyword phrases to improve your visibility. No one knows your business better than you, so it’s crucial that you take the time to organize and optimize these pages.
Be Alert and Proactive
With proactive planning, you can prevent most situations that would otherwise harm your online reputation. Establish a responsive plan of action for handling negative customer reviews, damaging PR coverage, or other customer service troubles. Keep tabs on your brand name via Google Alerts, and actively monitor your Yelp listing and other business profiles, as well as your social media pages so you can respond promptly to comments about your business – good or bad. Otherwise, you may not notice a problem until long after the damage is done, causing you to spend considerable time and money to resolve it.
Recover from a PR Crisis
A defective product, controversial marketing campaign, or other scandal can turn your reputation upside-down. Whether the situation is your fault or not, or whether the claims against you are true or false, your response is critical. Don’t risk making the situation worse by responding impulsively. A reputation management specialist can help you respond in a professional manner and will assure the public that you are taking steps to correct the issue.
Seek New Opportunities
A negative review or a quote taken out of context can ruin your prospects of acquiring new customers or business partners. Likewise, what’s not being said about you can also damage your online reputation. You want to portray yourself as a trusted expert in your field, someone that does right by your customers and goes above and beyond to resolve problems when they happen. You can do this by reaching out to social media followers and offering solutions to dissatisfied customers. You might also highlight your efforts in volunteering and giving back to the community, join industry-specific organizations, and participate in well-known industry events. Make sure people know your company’s name and see you in a positive light before they have a chance to hear a bad word about you.
Online Reputation Management: Should You Do It Yourself?
A reputation management company won’t help you build your online presence from scratch, but it can help safeguard the reputation surrounding it. Search engines, keywords, competitors, reviews, and socio-political trends all shape how your audience sees you through the screen, and keeping tabs on it all is a full-time job. Once you’ve put in the work to grow your business and have established a strong online presence, you may want to hire an expert to take up the heavy lifting. Having a pro on your side will minimize your risk of upsetting your audience and free up time and resources allowing you to focus on other aspects of growing your business.
When it comes to online reputation, the rule is generally that the more you have, the more you have to lose. If you’re an established business with a large online presence, consider hiring a reputation management specialist to protect your reputation and help your brand adapt as the internet evolves.