Businesses and humans have a thing in common: both need a positive reputation to succeed and thrive. However, while people can learn the art of making impressions, businesses have no such luxury.
As an entrepreneur, your small business must begin building a reputation from day one.
Fortunately, the web has made things a lot easier. You no longer have to rely on word of mouth to build a reputation. With an engaging website and social media pages, you can stimulate massive buzz around your brand.
But, the web is a double-edged sword. After years of reputation-building, a single ill-advised tweet or not thought-out blog post can rock and even sink the ship.
If this happens to you, here’s how to go about online reputation repair.
Accept the Damage
Until businesses are able to fully automate their online activities, humans will have a central role in building and maintaining an online reputation.
And where humans are involved, mistakes are bound to happen.
Perhaps a social media manager, after hours of posting content online, loses concentration and retweets or shares something distasteful on a company social page.
Or, you launch an online campaign that goes horribly wrong. Just ask Pepsi.
Whatever mess you’re in, the first step to a successful online reputation repair is to admit the mistake. Don’t sweep things under the rug (pulling down the offending content as quickly as possible and hoping nobody saw). The internet, as they say, never forgets.
Eat humble pie and let your audience know you’re sorry. Promise the lapse in judgment won’t happen again.
Depending on the nature of the issue, you may want to explain the actions you’re taking against those responsible.
Hire an Online Reputation Repair Service
Did you know some universities offer advanced degrees in corporate communications and reputation management?
That shows how crucial reputation management is to business success.
When a reputation disaster strikes, you’ll want skilled hands on the deck. It’s alright if you trust your online managers, but without sufficient reputation repair experience, they won’t easily stop the bleeding.
A reputation services provider will step in, find where things went wrong, and devise the necessary short-term and long-term repair strategies.
This service will cost you some money, but in the long run, it’ll be worth the investment.
The Bleeding Stopped? Cool, But That’s Not It
A mistake made by far too many businesses in reputation storms is forgetting about it as soon as things calm down.
Say your decision to hire a reputation specialist paid off. Your small business is no longer the talk of the web, and sales are recovering from the inevitable slump.
It’s easy to march on like nothing happened, right?
Now is the time to turn up your online reputation-building efforts a notch. Consider retaining the reputation services providers, or if the cost is too steep, enroll your in-house online team in short reputation management courses.
The more effort you put into building your reputation after a disaster, the stronger your brand will be. And the stronger it is, the more equipped it’ll be to weather storms in the future.
Get Your Brand Back to Where It Belongs
The internet is an important business tool for businesses, large and small.
It exposes you to a whole new consumer market and gives you effective tools to build your brand and make sales.
But with it comes a lot of responsibility. A small mistake, often even a well-meaning message, can annoy internet users and put a dent in your reputation.
Fortunately with RebelFish Local, an expert reputation-management agency on your side, you can guarantee your digital presence will remain solid for many years to come. Get in touch today to learn more!