The internet is a realm of opportunities. Businesses go online to expand their markets. Business owners are still rushing to claim their piece of the online real estate pie in a digital village. Just like an offline store, it takes significant resources to get your online presence to a profitable level.
Online reputation refers to the goodwill your business or brand enjoys online. A good online image encourages customers to interact with you. This leads to increased sales. Bad reviews and a general negative online image can adversely affect your business. Online reputation management involves monitoring your online image with the aim of improving your standing among competitors. It ensures that people find useful and positive content about your business.
How Does Your Online Reputation Go Bad?
Your online storefront is open to everyone with internet access. Negative content could affect your business. Your employees could post embarrassing photos on your social media pages. Unhappy customers may attack your products and brands with negative reviews. Your competitors may pay for negative marketing strategies and online content that tells a different story.
Disgruntled or fired employees may want to get back at you by posting negative opinions online. Additionally, you may have failed to update your online content. This might make it misleading. Similarly, it may be a case of miscommunication on your part. In other instances, frivolous matters from a distant past may come back to haunt you. For example, details of a past dismissed lawsuit could come back to dominate your online conversations.
The Importance of Reputation Monitoring
A survey sponsored by GE Capital shows that majority of customers research a business online before purchasing from them. This means bad reviews can change their purchase decisions. Reputation management ensures people find the right information about your business.
It also increases brand loyalty. Consistently engaging people empowers them to identify with your brand. It is easier to maintain a positive image than it is to repair negative online reputation. Reputation monitoring helps you engage your target audience better. You can use the insightful feedback received to guide business policy.
Reputation monitoring enables you to discover new platforms and channels where people may be talking about your business. It helps you identify and correct misleading information in time. This puts you back in control of your online conversations.
Tips To Improve Your Online Reputation
These tips aim at countering or eliminating harmful content online. This is by proactively building positive content. It enhances your good standing and credibility as well as customer’s confidence. Some of the things you can do include:
- Create strong, positive, and accurate online content. Tell your story.
- Use platforms where you can directly control the conversation. This includes your websites and social media platforms.
- Decide when to respond to detractors. Silence may be the best answer to some specific situations.
- Monitor where sensitive personal details are posted. Avoid populating people-search sites. Do not use services that are likely to resell your data.
- Do not open the negative links. Similarly, don’t promote them by sharing the information or word of mouth.
- The internet never forgets. Assume everything you or your associates post online will be available to the world permanently.
- Develop a consistent strategy to counter harmful content timely and effectively.
- Provide interactive spaces where customers can engage with you. Use incentives such as discounts to encourage positive reviews from your customers.
It is important to decide early when to work with reputable online reputation management experts. This helps you avoid pitfalls where the result is the same as the beginning. Protect your business by engaging professionals to help you repair and improve your online reputation. Aaron Minc is a renowned attorney and online reputation defender. He offers practical tactics to effectively deal with online defamation, cyber-attacks, and harmful content.