Whether we like it or not, reputation is everything in the business world.
And, since the advent and increasing use of the Internet, online reputation management is crucial.
Simple. Take Yelp reviews for instance. You’re hungry. You go to Yelp to search for the best Thai food restaurants in the area.
You skim over the reviews that are below a four-star rating. You then decide on a restaurant that has a 4-5-star rating, with several hundred reviews.
In other words, you looked past the restaurants with a lower reputation, choosing a business with a much higher one.
And businesses with poor reputations pay for it.
In a Harvard Business Review article, companies that had 10,000 employees spent up to $7.6 million to cover their poor reputation. When you think about it, it makes sense.
If you overlooked those below-four-star restaurants, chances are, others are doing the same thing.
So, as a business owner wanting to improve or sustain your reputation, what can you do?
Read on to find out!
1. Google alerts
You need to know when people are talking about you, your business, and your brand.
You don’t want one of the worst scenarios to happen: Customers are happy to your face but write negative reviews online, trashing your business and your products or services.
The worst part is that you don’t even know it’s going on…until you check your profit margins and realize they’ve taken a significant dip.
To combat this, set up Google Alerts. In a nutshell, this tool sends an email, notifying you when your brand is mentioned on Google.
Also, utilize SocialMention. This online reputation management tool gives you a list of the social media platforms that have mentioned your name/brand/company.
You can customize these tools (Google Alerts and SocialMention) to your liking—getting real-time hits or a notification once a day.
3. Keep the content coming
By content, we mean SEO-focused content. Consistently producing insightful content not only increases your credibility but positively affects your ranking.
Why does this matter?
If someone searches your business, you want the first page (at least) to show the user your business is professional.
Another way of putting it: you want your good reputation to stand out.
That puts the negative reviews on the backburner (or twentieth page of Google).
4. Negative reviews
On that topic, every business has at least one negative review.
It’s not negative reviews that ruin your reputation, it’s how you respond to them that can make or break your company.
To mitigate bad reviews, respond within 24-48 hours after the negative review was written.
Apologize, but keep it short and sweet. You want to show customers you value customer service. But you don’t want to “air your dirty laundry” so to speak.
Ask the unhappy customer for their email address, and work it out privately.
5. Update your site for Optimal Online Reputation Management
You wouldn’t invite guests into your dirty house, would you? The same goes for poorly constructed and outdated websites.
To maintain a professional presence, keep your website updated and looking professional.
You can do this by separating long paragraphs, in addition to photoshopping optimizing images to increase load time.
For more information about boosting your online reputation management, contact us.