As a business owner, your reputation is everything. If your target audience perceives your brand as being untrustworthy or unprofessional, they’ll probably choose one of your competitors instead.
So, what steps can you take to manage your brand’s online reputation?
One of the most useful tools for online reputation management is Google Alerts. This free-to-use service allows users to set up “alerts” in which Google notifies them via email anytime a specified keyword or phrase is mentioned.
Using Google Alerts, you can receive notifications anytime your brand/business name is mentioned. If someone posts a negative review about your business online, Google Alerts will catch the message and let you know, at which point you can respond to the user in an attempt to resolve the problem.
Set Up Social Media Accounts
Social media networking goes hand in hand with online reputation management. When a customer wants to voice his or her concern with a business, they may choose to post a message on Facebook or Twitter. As such, it’s important for business owners to remain active on social media, responding to user comments and posting new content regularly.
Here’s a tip: you can enhance your brand’s image by using vanity URLs with your social media accounts. Instead of Facebook.com/i24jijdwadwd (random characters), you can set up your page to feature a vanity URL like Facebook.com/yourbrandname. Keep in mind, however, that you must have a minimum of 25 likes before you can use a vanity URL.
Dealing With Negative Reviews
According to a study conducted by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. But what happens when a customer leaves a negative review about your business?
Allowing these negative reviews to fill the Internet could have disastrous results for your business, which is why it’s important for business owners to focus on providing exceptional service. This means delivering products on time, ensuring the customer receives what he or she orders, and resolving problems in a timely manner.
Try to resolve customer complaints visibly, responding and following up on the same platform as the negative review — doing so will show other users that even if something wasn’t quite right, your business proactively tried to make it better.
Fake Negative Reviews
It’s bound to happen sooner or later: a competitor publishes a completely false negative review about your business. Even if you are unable to prove that the user is in fact a competitor, you may still be able to have the review taken down if it’s fake. Try contacting the support for the website or service on which the review was posted, explaining the situation. Let support know that the review is fake and provide as much information as possible. If they conduct an investigation and determine that the review is fake, they should remove it without question.
Have any other reputation management tips that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/krossbow/
How to Manage Your Brand's Online Reputation
You cannot ignore your online reputation, even if your business doesn't sell directly online. Users trust other reviews inherently, so you want to be sure to address negative reviews promptly.