An important part of managing your success online is being proactive about your reputation. Consumers go online to look for ratings and reviews about your business and brand. Competitors may even pretend to be consumers and talk badly about you in order to gain an advantage. That’s why you need to take reputation management seriously. To give you a few good guidelines you can abide by when managing your reputation, here are some best practices to follow.
1. Be Thorough About Tracking Your Brand and Business
Using monitoring tools is an essential part of managing your online reputation. When you use these tools, you have to be very thorough about tracking conversions online. There are several things you want to track:
– Your brand
– Your website name
– Your personal name
– Your product names
– Your trademarks
From there, you want to make sure you are using your monitoring tools to scour community forums, social media sites, review sites, niche blogs, news results, media sites, and the search engine results. It does help to pinpoint which sites you’re most likely to get mentioned on so that you can respond quickly to mentions.
2. Focus On Building Your Reputation
It’s not enough to play defense. You have to understand that negative ratings and reviews are inevitable. Some disgruntled customer is bound to complain about something even if you’re not at fault. That’s why you have to put in a strong effort to building up your reputation. A few complaints will seem petty to consumers when you have hundreds of glowing reviews about your brand or business. But the few bad reviews can really hurt you if you haven’t build up enough positive ratings and reviews.
How do you go about building a strong reputation? Start with improving your products and services. Improve your customer support department and think about how you can enhance the overall customer experience. From there, you want to ask your satisfied customers to leave you reviews on sites like Facebook, Google, Yelp, and any other sites that are important to your brand and business. If you’re building a SEO campaign for a local business, Google is probably the most important to collect ratings and reviews for as they affect your search engine rankings.
3. Look to Capitalize on Mentions
Reputation management is also a great way to capitalize on business opportunities. If you are heavily invested in social media, content marketing, blogging, or SEO, you’ll naturally attract mentions by bloggers, influencers, and everyday users. If you find that they are posting praises about you or talking about your business in any way, you want to reach out and attempt to take the mention to the next step. There are numerous ways you can benefit from these follow ups.
For example, if a customer says positive things about your business, you can follow up and ask them to leave you a review on important sites like Google or Yelp. If an influencer mentions one of your products, you can reach out and send them additional free samples to see if the influencer would be interested in promoting your products to their audience. If a blog mentions your content, you can thank them and see if they’d be interested in a strategic partnership to cross promote each other’s content.
4. Respond Appropriately to Negative Comments
Responding to negative comments, ratings or reviews is an everyday part of reputation management. There are several things that you want to do so that your brand and business is shown in a positive light. You want to start by addressing the issue head on and attempting to fix it. Don’t try to delete the comment as it can lead to more negativity. You want to communicate in a positive manner and apologize if it’s your fault. If it’s the customer’s mistake, simply point out that a mistake could have been made on their part without blaming them.
To get the negative submissions removed, you want to try to offer something in return for the mistake. This should be followed up with an appeal to the reviewer to edit or retract their submission. As Australian online reputation management content removal experts, we advise you to avoid being defensive about your mistakes or respond negatively by attacking customers. This only serves to fan the fires. It escalates the situation and also hurts your reputation. Other potential and existing customers may also lose trust in your business.
5. Designate One Person to Manage Your Reputation
As an entrepreneur, you already have a lot on your plate. The last thing you need to take on is a notification telling you to respond to a negative review. You can’t just drop what you are doing and focus on handling the review. You need to designate one person to manage your reputation because it can be quite time consuming and demanding of a project. This individual should be properly trained on how to address your customers and fix problems.
Of course, this may not be possible if you’re working with limited resources. If you cannot hire a new employee or task an existing employee to take over your reputation management, you can always outsource it to a reputation management company. A reliable service provider that can manage your reputation already has the monitoring tools, staff, and training in place. High quality service providers will not only protect your reputation, they’ll help you build it, and even capitalize on opportunities.
In conclusion, you need to take your reputation management seriously. Consumers are more educated than ever and use the information online to determine whether or not they should do business with you. Again, competitors may also be planning campaigns to hurt your business. You need to have a strategy in place and a proper plan to respond in the right way. These best practices should give you an idea of the things to focus on. They should also provide you with a strong starting point if you’re just getting going with your reputation management.