Online reputation management is one of the many new things that come with taking your business online. Keeping track of it all can seem daunting but following these few tips will help make it manageable for you!
Creating a social media presence is one of the most important things you can do for your online reputation and business. But it doesn’t have to become an all-consuming task! Instead, find something that feels right and stick with it – whether posting once per day or a few posts per week.
If you’re not sure what to post, here are some things that might work. How-to guides will always be appreciated by your audience while insider tips and anecdotes can help make the content more engaging for followers who want useful information on an subject they care about. Memes also have their place! Be creative with these tools – offer value in order keep people interested and make your presence more relatable.
Inactive and stale accounts make a business look unprofessional. Remember, an active social presence on just one platform is better than inactive accounts across several platforms.
One of your first steps as a small business owner should have been to claim your domain name and all social media names. If you haven’t already done so, do it now. If your ideal name is available, claim it right away. You don’t want to have your potential customers run across a competitor or imposter instead of you when they search for you online. If the perfect one isn’t available right now, get one that is as close as possible to your business name so customers can intuitively search it out.
You want your presence to be nearly identical across all platforms for branding and recognition purposes. This will help boost your trustworthiness, which in turn creates consistency with regard to how you’re perceived online by others – both potential customers or employers alike! Doing this will also keep competitors from grabbing your space.
We recommend claiming all social media handles right away. But only make these public when you know you can maintain them. If left neglected, they can harm or even go unnoticed by those who need their services most! Think about where your potential clients/customers are most likely to be and use those accounts first. When you are ready to expand, your handles will be available.
3. Respond to and Monitor Online Reviews
Customers generally have something to say about businesses they work with. Whether it’s a raving review or a comment about something they didn’t like, feedback is inevitable and necessary if you want to build a great business. In surveys, three-quarters of people believe that checking reviews is important before working with a business. With this kind of influence, it is critical that you know what is being said about you online.
Depending on the type and size of your business, reviews may get posted to third-party sites such as OpenTable and Yelp. They may also just post about you on their site. The point is, wherever there is a discussion about your business, you need to be there listening to what is being said. Google Alerts is a great (and free) way of keeping track of these mentions.
Responding to both positive and negative reviews is critical. When you respond to the positive reviews, you reinforce that you are a business that cares about service. When responding to negative reviews, you are showing your clients that they can give feedback and you are willing to work for a solution. Timely responses are the best responses.
4. Verify Your Google Listing
One way to be proactive about your online reputation is to claim your Google listing. This way, local searchers can more easily find you. This listing is the profile that pops up when you search your business in Google. It is important to fill all the details out, especially your hours of operation and keep them accurate.
As many as 36% of customers said they find out about a business from an online search. As such, keep this listing updated with current details about your business, including when it’s open. Keeping this information accurate is one of the best ways to give potential customers the best impression of your business.
5. Make Sure Your Business Listings Are Accurate Across the Web
Consumers depend on accurate information when searching for a local business online. Incorrect listings lead to lost sales opportunities, frustrated consumers, and weak search rankings. In fact, 80% of consumers lose trust in a brand when an online listing shows incorrect information. There’s nothing worse that driving to a business you think is open, based on the listing’s stated hours of operation, and when you get there, you find out they closed an hour ago.
This is easy to fix and has big benefits. By making sure your business listings are claimed and accurate across the web, you avoid losing sales to competitors, you boost your SEO results and gain more visibility among potential local customers.
Stepping into the digital world with your business can be intimidating. Luckily, there are tons of tools available for you to utilize to maintain your reputation. All you need to do is be proactive and do some searches.