Oftentimes, the way your business is presented is completely within your control. Your office, services, and products are able to look exactly how you want them, and any advertising efforts can be made to stay on-brand and positive. But are you keeping an eye on how your business looks online?
Online reputation management can sound like something for the big guns in business, but with social media and review sites becoming more and more accessible, with the rise in mobility with smart phones, your business could be receiving a bad review online as your client is standing in your store.
Your first step to managing your online reputation is to identify your brands presence online. Ask yourself these questions:
How accessible and functional is your website compared to your competitors?
Are you running Adwords, or any other form of online advertising?
Have you established a presence on the main social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube?)
Is there someone working for your brand who is responding to comments and reviews online?
These should all be fairly simple questions to answer, and with those answers you should be able to easily gauge how your reputation is looking online currently.
By evaluating your brands current position online, it should become clear where the weak points are. If your website is difficult to navigate, or there is trouble finding a way to contact you or find your social media, it’s safe to say this could be an area for improvement. All of your online advertising efforts should be leading back to your website, and if your website isn’t up to standard, you could be throwing money away.
And what about social media? This is the area of your online reputation where you have both the most and the least control. This might sound strange, but when you think about it, social media allows clients to post whatever they want about your brand on their own pages, as well as your brands. This is positive in that they could very well say nice things about your business, however this can also be negative, as they might say something harsh in the heat of the moment. But even negative reviews can be an opportunity to improve your brands online reputation!
There have been plenty of situations where someone has posted a negative review on social media, and the witty, kind, and respectful response of the brand has flipped the situation to a positive one, where audiences are sharing the content because of how well it was handled.
The best way to manage your online reputation is to make sure you’re in constantly reviewing any online efforts, and you’re responding to any public criticism. Having someone dedicated to handling your social media, and any responses or customer engagement on the various social platforms is one way to let potential and current clients know that you take their comments seriously, and you’re dedicated to constantly improving your product or service.
If you’re concerned your business’s online reputation is slipping, we’d love to have a chat about how it can be improved, and how we can help you get on top of your brands image.