Small Businesses: How to Manage Online Reputation
Do you know how to manage your online reputation? What is reputation management? What are the benefits of online reputation for small businesses? Let us explain…
Any growing business needs to keep its eye on a few essentials: its finances and the well-being of its employees are a couple of obvious examples. However, there’s an ever-expanding emerging factor that every business should be taking seriously: their online reputation.
Online reputation management for businesses is proving itself to be an invaluable asset that many business-savvy owners are taking advantage of. So, what is reputation management? We’re here to help you take control of your online presence and teach you how to manage online reputation.
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What Is an Example of Online Reputation Management?
The world of online reputation management has grown to encompass many different aspects. Reputation management can include anything from information removal services, to review generation, to social media management.
Corporate reputation management can (and should if you’re devoting maximum effort into it) be a full-time job. For a small business or company in the midst of growth, there can be nothing more beneficial – or damning, depending on how you approach it – than how you handle your public image.
A truly effective reputation management service will not just be monitoring for distasteful, incorrect information in order to correct it. The best reputation management services will be actively promoting a positive perception of your business in as many places as possible, enhancing your online visibility while at the same time promoting a public positive outlook.
Volume and transparency are the names of the game here. It’s no secret that the more people who are aware of your businesses, the more potential business you can drum up. The trick is to have your name associated with positive sentiments. Have you ever heard the phrase “There’s no such thing as bad press”? This is, unfortunately, a very large fallacy: negative press surrounding an up-and-coming business is a sure-fire way to put a halt to any successful dealings.
Modern Solutions for Modern Problems
When customers are searching for a service or product, the steps they take to find a provider for their needs is now extremely predictable. Unlike years past, where your majority of business could come from any one of a myriad of sources – word of mouth, print ads, billboards, etc. – modern times dictate that potential customers will be using the internet to search for you.
Oftentimes, your business listing will be compared to direct competitors – those offering similar services, perhaps even within the same easily reachable area as you are located. Your business will be scrutinized on a variety of levels: your star rating based on reviews, photos (or lack thereof) that you’ve uploaded, photos others have uploaded of your business, information such as your services and prices, and so on.
Because of this, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to project the best possible version of your business to the world. Even for a small business, at least one person on your team should have some idea of how to do online reputation management. Read on for a few tips on how to manage online reputation.
Be Transparent & Create Connections
Direct communication is an aspect of how to manage online reputation many overlooks, to their own detriment. Having open communication with your customers and potential customers is a fantastic way to bolster your online reputation.
One great way to keep an open line of communication open between you and your community is by managing a social media page. By creating consistent updates, uploading photos and videos relevant to your industry, and responding in a timely manner to comments and concerns, you can help create and maintain a positive perception.
Ideally, you’ll want to be creating a presence for yourself on as many platforms as possible. You’ll want to do a little research when it comes to deciding which profiles to maintain: find the most likely places where your customer-base can be found. Social sites dedicated to your industry can help you make a name for yourself faster than getting lost in the shuffle of bigger sites like Facebook or Instagram.
Along the same lines as social media interaction, you’ll want to be responding to every review that comes in. Responding to good reviews shows your customers you’re paying attention to their valuable feedback and portrays to potential customers that you’re a caring business. On the flipside, responding to negative reviews is a great way to show unhappy customers that their voices are being heard. In fact, in many cases, users are apt to edit their negative review into a positive one once they’ve been reached out to.
A business’s star rating can make or break a sale: while it’s true that many users will practice due diligence and do their research on a variety of topics, many others will simply glance at competing businesses’ star ratings and make a snap decision based on whose is higher.
Reviews are an essential part of how to manage online reputation, so if you’ve been ignoring them, there’s no better time than today to begin treating them with the care they deserve.
How to Manage Online Reputation
This is just the tip of the iceberg – other tactics for enhancing your online presence such as email marketing can help you generate more positive reviews and give your existing customer base incentive to return. The question becomes: where do you find the time and resources to devote to your online reputation?
Online reputation agencies might be your best bet. Even if you’ve got a handle on it for now, if you’re doing it right, you’ll be growing quickly, and you’ll need to scale your reputation management along with every other part of your business. Having reputation management professionals on your side can be the much-needed difference between an online presence that will help or harm you. NetReputation is here to hope you grow, let’s get started.