Online reputation can make or break your chances of landing and retaining clients. That’s why reputation management is critical for your business.

Let’s say that your store, whether brick-and-mortar or online, looks great. And your product or service may have resonated with the target audience. So, you might think there’s not much more you can do to optimize your business, right?

You’re forgetting one crucial aspect – online reputation management.

Here is why it’s so important:

Usually, most of customers these days, especially the young ones, will research your business online before deciding to purchase what you offer. They check your reviews, they check your social media posts, and anything negative they find may make them avoid your goods or services.

With several bad reviews, your online reputation diminishes, and people are less inclined to work with you. Thankfully, well thought out reputation management strategy can help you get back on track.

This article will share eight tips on how you can improve your online reputation management (ORM).

THE EIGHT TIPS

TIP #1 – RETHINK YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

The most important part of enhancing your online reputation is to build and follow effective social media policies. They’ll determine how your company interacts online with your customers.

There are a few things to remember when establishing your policies.

In particular, don’t let your staff members freely post whatever they want, especially if the information has to do with your organization. Make sure you have a strict set of guidelines for what may and may not be posted. Besides keeping your reputation intact, this also eliminates any concerns about liability.

You need a strict and uncompromising pre-approval procedure for your business content. But don’t be to hard on your employees, let them label their posts as “Personal” whenever necessary.

Important note: never share sensitive data in public. This applies to your client, legal, and financial information.

TIP #2 – ANALYZE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

Once you’ve modified your social media policy, you need to gauge the audience’s response.

Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are three of the most popular platforms you should focus on. Try searching your brand or products on each social media to get a look at what users are saying about your organization.

It will help you diagnose and solve problems more easily and gain invaluable insight into client sentiment towards your brand.

Make sure to examine all relevant networks and not just the platforms you’re actively using.

TIP #3 – RESPOND TO INQUIRIES PROMPTLY

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People expect companies with an online presence to interact with them. If your clients clients contact you through social media make sure to respond to their queries as quick as possible.  The last thing you want is unsatisfied client feeling ignored, or a client with a easy-to-fix problem getting a bad impression of your company because of a slow reply.

Even if you can’t solve their problem immediately, be sure to acknowledge it.

Furthermore, engaging with customers who leave comments on your post helps foster strong relationships with your target audience.

TIP #4 – ASK FOR REVIEWS

Online reviews are a powerful tool in your reputation management arsenal. So, if your customers are happy with you, ask them to describe their experience with reviews. Don’t be shy, most of the customers would be happy to say some good words about your company if they really liked your product.

If your customer base is large, you can set up email marketing campaigns to encourage your clients to post reviews. But if the strategy isn’t going as well as you wanted, try to improve it by incentivizing people with competitions or giveaways.

In terms of the platforms you should use for reviews, Yelp and Google might be your best solution. They may also help you rank higher in search results, increasing your trustworthiness.

TIP #5 – PROMOTE TRANSPARENCY

Transparency is key to building trust.

Practice honest marketing and communication online. Acknowledge your mistakes and try to make up for them. Apologize for any inconveniences and offer a solution.

And don’t hide or delete negative comments. Remember anyone can track down your previous online statements, and trying to cover them up can result in severe backlash.

Important note: You should also avoid leaving fake reviews on the websites of your competitors to undermine their credibility. Apart from ethical issues, it can be a total waste of time. Google and other influential websites have powerful algorithms that can weed out fake customer feedback. Hence, posting them to present your business as superior usually comes to nothing.

Instead, focus on streamlining your products or services to encourage authentic reviews. They can go a long way in boosting your online reputation.

TIP #6 – KEEP IT PROFESSIONAL

Letting your emotions dictate your online content is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when managing your online presence.

Don’t discuss politics, religion or any other controversial or dividing topic. It’s a sure way to lose a chunk of your customer base. Avoid mentioning them, unless they play a pivotal role in your business.

Remember, your goal is to appeal to broader audiences.

TIP #7 – DON’T IGNORE OR RESPOND AGGRESSIVELY TO CRITICISM

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Negative feedback is painful, we get it. But starting a fight with a customer or ignoring their messages completely won’t help you build a better image of your company.

Ignoring negative comments seems like you’re not taking client issues seriously. The same goes for aggressive responses.

Irate customers will post their complaints everywhere, spreading a negative message about your company through various social media platforms. Since those platforms can reach millions of people, it can do a lot of harm to your online reputation.

That’s why rather than sending angry emails or abusive rants to defend yourself, reply to your clients promptly and address their issues as well as you can.

TIP #8 – CONSISTENTLY POST HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT

Building and maintaining an online reputation requires consistency. Remember, your customers follow your page because they expect you to post engaging content regularly.

That’s why updating your social media with 10 posts one day and going silent for the next couple of weeks isn’t great. Establishing a clear schedule like 1-2 posts a day is much more favorable.

Small advice: Make sure your content is valuable and niche-specific by using stronger headlines and appropriate keywords. They can help you rank higher on Google, generating greater engagement and additional traffic.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION

Assuming your company doesn’t need any reputation management is one of the most common mistakes SMB businesses make.

Your reviews might be positive today, but this doesn’t mean they’ll be positive tomorrow. It can easily change if you neglect your online presence.

If you need help in ensuring your reputation management practices are top-notch, reach out to us for a quick, obligation-free chat.

Schedule an online meeting to find out how we can be of help in ensuring your business has a great online reputation.

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