Working out how to protect your reputation online is key to attracting new customers.
After all, the power of online search in today's world cannot be overstated...
Almost everyone these days will search for a business online before they hire them.
So what will they find out about your business when they search for you? You need to be sure that whatever they find, it's positive.
Here are some online reputation management tips to get you started:
Online reputation management tips
1) Clean up your current act
First thing's first:
You need to know how healthy your online presence is looking right now. Search for your own business and see what comes up.
Is there anything negative, ancient or irrelevant? Are you in control of it? (Is it on your website or one of your social media profiles?)
If so, feel free to delete that right away!
Check out our Online Reputation Management PDF for more assessment tips.
Download FREE pdf with additional information
2) Claim your business profiles
Your Google listing is the place to start. Make sure you:
- Update your contact information
- Correct your opening hours
- Verify your listing
Then, even if you don't intend to use them, claim your business profiles across all of the big-name social media platforms. It's an important step in your social media reputation management.
You should also consider doing the same for platforms which are less well-known than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
3) Put the framework in place
Once you've done a little sanitation work on what you already have, it's time to plan for the future:
- 1. Make it someone's responsibility – choose someone on your team who has a healthy understanding of the online space and the social media platforms you use. Otherwise, it's worth considering outsourcing to experts.
- 2. Have a policy about posts – all of your posting across all of your channels should be done in your brand voice and be in line with your social media strategy. This keeps everything nice and unified. Even well-meaning team members can do a lot of damage to your brand if they post at random.
4) Search for yourself regularly
Okay, you've searched for yourself this one time. But someone could be writing about you online at any time. You need to be there to see what they say when they do.
Ideally, you need to check all of the following on a regular basis:
- Major search engines
- Social media platforms
- Industry sites and pages
Of course, keeping an eye on all of these channels simultaneously is a nightmare. Luckily, you can use Google Alerts to get notified whenever someone writes about you online.
There are also several other bits of software like Brands Eye, Trackur, Feed Reader, Social Mention and Naymz which fulfil a similar function.
5) Manage your online reviews
These days, people trust online reviews more often than not. To most people, they're almost as good as a word of mouth recommendation.
Google reviews, in particular, have a special power all of their own. This means it is vital to encourage your clients to post reviews about your goods and services so you can slowly start to grow a positive review base.
This is one of the most important online reputation management tips. Think of it as a positive reputation cushion. It's ready to protect you if anything negative appears.
- 1. Always, always say thank you for positive reviews.
- 2. Always – without fail – comment on negative reviews too and try to manage the situation.
- 3. Do not ever get aggressive with poor feedback you receive. Even if you are convinced it is false, you need to be calm, polite and understanding. Remember, when you are online everyone is watching what you say.
6) Publish regular content
Figuring out how to protect your reputation online can be a challenge. But you need to have a reputation in the first place!
The best way to do this is to be active. This means posting content and being active on social media.
The more individual sources you have – your website, your Facebook profile, your Twitter, your Instagram photos – with everything properly optimised for search purposes, the more likely you are to get found when people search for a business like yours.
They're then more likely to check out your reputation as a prelude to buying from you.
Do you need to know more about online or social media reputation management?
Local Fame successfully manages the online profiles of businesses in all industries. Contact us for a friendly chat about how to manage yours.