The internet has done many things to change our daily interactions with the world around us. Having a veritable library of information at our fingertips means never being lost, never being out of contact, and always having the most up to date information on just about any conceivable topic. This vast network of information has also allowed us to connect with other users all over the world, both socially and commercially. It is trivially easy now for someone to order some gadget from a seller across the ocean, where only a few years ago it might have been far more difficult. This ability to connect with buyers and sellers globally has opened up a world of possibilities for the entrepreneurs among us, but it also presents some unique challenges as well.
Online you interact with potentially hundreds of users daily, especially as an entrepreneur and business person. Often times these interactions will happen either indirectly, or without your knowledge. Someone may stumble across an old social media account of yours. They may read a review of your services while looking for a service for themselves. There are a wide range of possibilities for interaction on the web, and from a business perspective, it’s important to be able to have some control over how people perceive you.
1.Start Managing Your Reputation Early
A key step to properly managing your company’s online reputation is to start early, ideally before your company even “exists”. By taking a careful look at search results and social media chatter surrounding keywords associated with your business, you should be able to gauge what sort of steps you’ll need to take to ensure a positive online presence for your company. Are other businesses already dominating the social media space around your branding? You may want to consider adjusting your branding accordingly, both to avoid consumer confusion, and potential copyright infringement action. If not, it will be important to quickly establish a social media presence for your company.
2. Be Active in Social Media
For many consumers, social media is a key point of contact for businesses they interact with. It’s accessible to them, and a method of communication they’re likely to already be using daily. Being active and attentive on a variety of social media platforms will allow you to not only keep in touch with your customers, but also to catch wind of trouble early on. Negative reviews and feedback can often turn into positive PR if addressed quickly and handled properly. Many customers post their frustrations simply as a way to vent. Receiving actual assistance from the business they thought was too big to notice them is a great way of building loyalty among your consumer base.
3. Consider All Aspects of Your Online Reputation
Social media is a big part of your online reputation, but it isn’t the only part. There are other aspects of your reputation that aren’t as easily managed by you or your employees. More esoteric concerns, such as search engine optimization, can be more difficult to manage. Addressing customer complaints sent directly to you through social media is easy enough, but finding upset and frustrated consumers on the wide variety of third party review sites can be far more difficult. Depending on the size of your business, these sorts of reputation management tasks can be nearly impossible to tackle alone.
Thankfully, there are companies whose sole purpose is to aide other businesses in their reputation management. BrightPast is one such company, and they offer services in the realm of reputation management. BrightPast can work with your business to build an action plan for managing your reputation online. From identifying areas which need to attention, to ongoing maintenance of your reputation, they can lend their expertise to help your business succeed.