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Having a good digital reputation is important to the success of your business. Check out this guide for a few tips and tricks on building a great reputation.
Did you know that 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses? It’s the new word-of-mouth marketing. And if the word is positive, you’ll see flourishing results.
This means it’s high time to invest in your digital reputation.
What is your digital reputation, and how do you build a good one? Here’s a quick guide to the basics of digital reputation and a few steps you can take to build yours.
What is a Digital Reputation?
Your digital reputation is the positive perception of you, your brand, or your business based on information that appears about you online. Another way to think of it is the public’s opinion of you based on what they see online, or how they interact with you online.
Think of it like meeting someone for the first time. If they’ve heard of you before, or other people have discussed you before, your reputation precedes you. The same thing goes for your digital reputation. It shapes the expectations people have of you and your business.
What Determines Your Online Reputation?
Much like your personal reputation, your online reputation is an amalgamation of factors. Anything that represents your business or the way you do business online is a representation of your online reputation.
Your social media is an excellent example, but so is your website, your content, your online reviews, the search results when someone Googles your name, and even how fast your team responds to questions online.
Think about the last time you Googled “lunch near me”. Did you look at the stars and the recent reviews? Did you choose based on those stars and reviews? Most people do, which means they’re forming opinions about you before they ever interact with you.
That’s your digital reputation in action.
And while many businesses think reputation is something that happens to you, it’s actually something you can shape. Every time you engage with the public through social media posts or another positive review, it’s an opportunity to bolster your reputation.
This is what we call reputation management, and it’s based on the fundamental understanding that your business reputation matters.
Why Your Company Reputation Matters
As Warren Buffet once said, it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. And in business, you ruin your stock prices in the process.
For example, did you know that executives estimate 44% of their market value is directly attributable to the CEO’s reputation?
Then there’s your business reputation. The 2018 Reputation Dividend Report estimates that corporate reputation is directly responsible for 38% of market capitalization across the FTSE 100 and 200.
In plain English? That means your reputation is both a repository of shareholder value and a means to grow it.
How to Build a Digital Reputation
So, how do you build a digital reputation–a good one, that is? To borrow a cliche, one brick at a time.
The reality is that no one tactic will save your business. No one tactic will make your business flourish, either. It’s all about consistency and building a positive reputation across the board over time.
If you’re new to digital reputation management, your best bet is to bring in the pros–like any other form of marketing, reputation management is a full-time job, and you want to make sure it’s done right.
That said, there are things you can do to help yourself outside of hiring a professional. Here are two things every business should try:
1. Review Encouragement Platform
One of the best things you can do for your digital reputation is to encourage reviews–preferably positive ones.
To be clear, you should not bribe customers into leaving good reviews. That’s unethical. But you can encourage customers to leave feedback. Most people are reasonable and fair, and simply asking for feedback often bolsters your rating on its own.
To do this, work with your marketing team to identify areas where you could encourage feedback, like immediately after a purchase. Make it quick and unobtrusive and so easy a toddler could do it.
You should also incentivize employees to capture positive feedback, as this motivates them to encourage feedback.
2. Claim Your Listings
Did you know that competitors can and often do claim your business listings? It might sound ridiculous, but it’s a common competitive tactic–it allows them to manage your reputation their way, i.e. a way that works out in their favor instead of yours.
So, it’s time to claim your Google My Business listing.
If you need to create a listing, sign in through Google My Business, create an account, and follow the prompts.
Once you’ve filled out essential business information (like your name, address, phone number, and business category) you’ll be asked to verify it.
If you get an onscreen message someone else has verified your business profile even though you know no one at your company did, you can claim ownership of the listing.
Even if you didn’t create a Google My Business listing, there’s a chance you already have one. You can claim it by searching your business name in Google Maps, selecting the right one, and click Claim This Business and Manage Now.
You’ll have to verify the listing, then follow the onscreen prompts.
Once you have your listing, managing it is a full-time business in and of itself. For example, this is the spot where many people leave reviews, so you have to be responsive.
Let’s Build a Business Reputation You Can Be Proud Of
You know your business. And we know digital reputation management.
So if you’re ready to take charge of your digital reputation, get in touch today to learn how our team can empower your business online.