Your businesses online reputation is one of the most important marketing assets you could have and is something that shouldn’t be understated. As society becomes even more open and businesses are forced to become even more transparent with audiences, having a reputation management plan is becoming increasingly important for all businesses and organisations.
Why Is Online Reputation Important?
With social media sites increasing in popularity, more people reading online reviews and with people in general spreading more opinions online for everyone to see, it’s become easier than ever for people to hear about and find out information about your business and the type of service you offer.
The details you and others put online can have a huge impact on what people think of your business, influencing opinions and potentially causing damage to your business in a number of ways. This is why it’s so important to be able to have some control over what is being said, implementing a strategy that could benefit you, helping your business present the best version of itself online.
These days it’s not unlikely for people to check out your business online before they make a decision to buy from you or use your services, whether this is through an online search, through reading reviews or even by visiting your social media accounts, initial research isn’t uncommon. Audiences aren’t going to pay real interest in any business that holds only negative reviews or has no real buzz around it anywhere online, so if you’re looking to create some hype around your brand and influence how people view what you do, you need to start thinking about your reputation management.
How Can I Build My Reputation?
While the most obvious answer for building your online reputation is to ask for reviews or comments from your audience, there are number of effective ways you can help build your reputation, taking your business to the next level and evidencing the excellent service you provide.
– Respond To Criticism
Even the best businesses can attract some negative comments and while this isn’t ideal, by responding to these comments in a fair, polite and positive way, you can put a positive spin on these comments and actually help improve your online reputation. While negative reviews can feel like a personal attack and responding to them calmly can be difficult, by reacting angrily or defensively you can make the situation work.
If you’re looking to calm the situation down it’s best to respond with a sincere apology, a direct response to the complaint, an explanation and finally an invitation of a refund or benefit which serves as an apology and encourages people to come back, even after making a complaint.
– Encourage Reviews
One of the best ways to build a reputation online is to encourage customers to leave reviews of your products and services, however you can’t just ask people to leave positive reviews without good reason, instead you need to offer a great service, that leaves your customers satisfied and willing to let others know about what exactly you offer.
You can encourage customer reviews in a number of ways, including sending a follow up email following a purchase that asks people to leave a review on your website or even on your social media channels. For brick and mortar stores, you can also do this through asking for reviews at the point of sale, printing a message on your receipts or encourage people to review on your packaging.
– Promote Yourself
By posting your own promotional content on your social media, your blog and even on other websites you can help bring attention to your business and can be a great way to offset more negative comments and content. If your promotional content is written optimised for search engines then it’s likely that you’ll be found for the more positive elements of your business, instead of getting found for the few negatives you might have.
While posing your own promotional content is primarily perfect for simply adding to your own marketing strategy, there’s no reason you shouldn’t also post your own content as a way to also help build your brands reputation. By being proactive and optimising your reviews and content, as well as managing others you can minimise any negative things people are saying online.
Your online reputation is increasingly significant, with more people checking out businesses online before they even consider taking the next step. However with more ways to monitor how people are viewing your business and with an increasing amount of platforms to engage with others, there is hope for those looking to manage their online reputation in an effective way.
For more information and tips on how you can manage your reputation and market your business, why not get in touch with a member of our team today?