In an effort to maximize the reputation of your business, your online popularity and reputation matters. It is vital to the health of your business. With the massive and ever-developing Internet obsessing and searching online to assess businesses, derogatory remarks, and opinions about your business, it can gravely affect your marketing goals both positively and negatively. This is why it is necessary to oversee your online reputation, and take control of your business. You need be proactive with your customers, tell your story to promote your brand, and showcase your products/services.
Online reputation management (ORM) is a method of tracking, figuring out, and influencing your digital reputation and credibility online. An effective online reputation management approach provides you with new opportunities to change customer perceptions around your brand.
Online reputation management is the efficient maintenance & management of the ‘picture’ of an individual or a business online. Every private brand or business is surrounded by customers, prospects, target audiences, competitors, etc. If you are a business owner, I am positive you already know that having a terrific reputation is crucial for business growth.
Why Your Reputation Matters
For Increased Credibility
Having the trust of your customers is a prime element of fulfillment and can be such a rewarding experience. The reason why your reputation matters is because your customers talk about their purchases with friends and relatives. And when they have trouble, they will happily write about their displeasure. The internet makes all people a so-called ‘journalist’, and businesses have to stay attentive to various online public opinions, especially with trusted sites like Yelp, Google, and Trustpilot. If your business suffers from a loss of confidence with your prospects and customers, there are ways to take back control, but you have to be diligent and tactful. As a business, credibility is key to winning.
To Build Social Media and Content Awareness
Before you can control your online popularity, you need first to analyze what’s being said about you. Once you understand the overall sentiment, then you can develop a strategy to address the issues and spend time rewarding those who speak favorably about your business.
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogs are all popular places to screen and look for positive, negative and neutral comments, phrases and reviews.
For Better Attraction & Engagement
Once you have your strategy in place, you need a course of ongoing action. I suggest that you prepare a sort of editorial calendar that permits you to plan how and when you will act. This will assist you in committing to a schedule, to ensure all customers are heard and addressed appropriately.
How to Maximize the Online Reputation of Your Business
Be Very Active – Get Involved
One of the most effective approaches to control your reputation is to get in front of problems before they arise.
Step one is to Google your business. Search for your business name or type in some industry key words. What do you notice inside the top ten search results? Is there something terrible displaying? Do you even show up on the page? Whatever results display, your reputation matters. You have an opportunity to take an active role in creating a clearer business vision online.
If you do not see correct content reviews, you may want to replace or publish more suitable content. More aggressive SEO strategies can be around flooding the search engines, like Google, with positive and favorable content in an effort to make the fresh content display first. This makes it to the negative online content is less visible. Overall, the best thing you can do is truly address the underlying issues with your business, and find a way to build that resolve and a corporate culture that truly resonates with your brand and business.
Google Your Competition
An important part of managing and taking control of your reputation is to understand who your competition is and what they are doing. By doing this, and paying attention, you can actually learn a lot. Make a list of your top 5 direct competitors, the top 10 competitors in the industry and 10 general companies that you love. Once you make this list, follow them on social media and in every way you can. Understand common themes, trends and get a sense of their company voice. For instance, are they professional, funny, is customer service a priority, or do they always offer giveaways. You can also set-up Google alerts to see if they were featured in the news.
Once you begin observing, you will start to spot key advantages and disadvantages of your business, and get some ideas on how you can improve your image.
Learn to Listen to Your Customers
As a business, there will always be competition. That makes it even more important to be constantly innovating, growing and listening to your customers. By tuning into your customers and dissecting their feedback, it helps your business understand their pain points. This way, you can properly address their pain points with viable solutions. This can often mean re-visiting your business strategy, and making some updates.
A helpful exercise can be to truly understand yourself and your business. For instance, make a list of your top 30 strengths and top 30 weaknesses. It is harder than you think, but is a good way to remind yourself what you can leverage and how you can grow. Then, you can ask the “Why Now” and “Why This” questions. Ask if there is a real need and what are the customer needs? How you can innovate with your products and services? Is there is a product market fit?
Once you go through this exercise, you should have a better sense of how you can better understand and listen to your customers.
Your online reputation is as good as your business and remember, perceptions of customers matter most. As Business Consultants, this is why we advocate that managing customer perceptions must be given utmost attention and why your reputation matters.
Reputation Management, when done right, can have positive consequences. Increased sales, for example, is often seen as a result of being proactive with your customers and responding quickly to feedback. By following some of these guidelines, it can certainly be a great start.