The past year has seen our world truly catapulted into the digital era, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Online shopping for groceries, clothes and other essentials has become more prevalent than ever, and remote working with the help of technology is more widespread increasingly widespread.
Most businesses these days have an online presence, whether that is an e-commerce store or social media accounts, to grow their brand recognition. The internet also allows consumers to provide feedback on your goods or services and have the potential to be viewed by thousands of consumers.
The feedback that your business gets online is crucial to how people see you and your company. No business can forgo this in 2021. Fortunately, there are ways that you can manage your online reputation to ensure that it remains positive and a true reflection of your business.
What Is Your Online Reputation?
Your online reputation is made up of reviews and feedback from customers online. It is also impacted by the content you put out and interactions you have on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. There are many moving parts that contribute to a business’s overall online reputation. Given that the reviews on sites like Google and Trustpilot are often beyond your control, it can be challenging for a company to ensure that its online reputation remains stellar.
Fortunately, there are a number of tools available to help businesses manage and improve their online reputation. You could consider using a combination of these tools to decide which works best for you.
Review Your Online Reputation
The first step to a positive online reputation is to review what is being said about you online. You can do this simply by searching for your business on Google and seeing what kind of results appear.
Regularly monitoring what is being said about you online will help ensure that you can clearly see where your business’s positive and negative feedback is coming from. It may take some time, but you should do your best to review all of the feedback you can find on as many review sites as possible. Make notes of criticism and praise to see if they have any common themes. Learning from criticism, not silencing it, is essential for a positive online reputation.
Stay In The Know
You will need to take steps to know what is being said about your business in the long-term. There are many places online that you may need to keep track of to ensure you are in the loop and up to date on business feedback. You could consider making use of tools like Google Alert. This tool allows you to set specific search term alerts that will notify you when anything mentioning these terms comes up in searches. This can be an excellent way to ensure you are notified of any criticism or negative reviews as soon as possible and puts you in an ideal position to respond promptly.
Decide What You Want Your Reputation To Be
It can help when considering online reputation management to have an idea of what you want your online reputation to look like. For instance, do you want to be seen as experts, as a fun company or down to earth? Take some time to consider how you want to be perceived online, and then make a plan of how you will make that a reality.
Ensure That You Have Control Over Your Online Branding
It would help if you ensure that you have control over any domain names related to your business. Ideally, you should do this as soon as you form a company to protect your brand and ensure that you have access to all domain names you may need in the future.
It is worth securing domain names even on social media sites you don’t envision yourself using. This can ensure that no one else can use them. Third parties using domain names associated with your business can sully the water and create confusion among consumers. It also prevents any potential nefarious activity from being posted under the name of your business.
You need to be noticed if you want to grow your online reputation. Having little online chatter about your business can often be as off-putting to potential customers as pages and pages of negative reviews.
To gain an online reputation, you will need to focus on reviews and ensuring that they are positive as much as possible. There are many ways to do this, including sending follow-up emails to ask customers to rate their experience and requesting reviews on social media.
You can also use specialist services and tools that can help to cultivate and grow positive reviews. Online review management is an essential service for any business wanting to get noticed among the crowd of today’s digital landscape. If you’d like to know more about the resources available, you can see this tool for an idea of the quality of services out there. Signpost is an industry leader in online review management and is ideal for helping your business gain the recognition it deserves.
Criticism is a natural part of operating in business. You will never be able to satisfy every customer fully, and sometimes mistakes are made. The important thing is not to ignore or try to hide criticism but instead address it head-on. You should do your best to be open and honest when discussing criticism online and provide clear answers to any questions raised.
You can use online criticism as a way to show consumers that you are learning and growing. Demonstrating that you are taking criticism on board will show them that their feedback matters to them and will show you in a better light. Never respond to customer complaints in the heat of the moment. What goes online seldom can be removed permanently, so your response will be there to be read by anyone searching for your business in the future, so you should ensure that it is calm and measured.
Gaining Credibility And Trust
Credibility is essential to any business’s success, and this is particularly true for companies operating online. People entering brick and mortar shops know the person they are dealing with because they can see them face to face. This is not the case online, so you will need to take other measures to gain consumers’ trust and show that you are a credible and reliable business to deal with.
A great way to gain credibility is to show that you have the endorsement of other trusted entities. This could be by displaying accreditation or trustmarks from well-known organizations such as McAfee or PayPal. Trustmarks are given to businesses that pass specific criteria with the provider, so having these displayed on your website or social media profiles can help to instill trust with consumers.
Credibility and trust are crucial factors that customer use to decide if they are willing to purchase a product. You should do what you can to promote your credibility and trustworthiness, which will help to ensure business success.
Content is crucial to business success in 2021. It is one of the best ways to get your brand noticed and ensure that you rank highly in search engines. Content is also a fantastic way to allow your audience and potential customer to get to know you and your business, enabling them to effectively engage and connect with you.
You should ensure that the content you put out is high quality and consistent with your company’s overall tone. It should be relevant and engaging to your target audience. For instance, if your target demographic is teenage girls, you will need an entirely different tone than if you are producing content aimed at middle-aged mechanics.
It would be best if you tried to have a broad range of content for customers to consume. This should include blog posts, photos, videos and tutorials, depending on the products or services your business provides.
Social media can be an excellent way to grow your online reputation. This should be approached with caution, however, as social media users can be notoriously fickle. It can be hard to predict the response to social media campaigns, and for as many positive viral corporate Tweets, there are many more negatively received posts.
Social media interactions should always be polite, friendly and straightforward. Depending on your business’s size and resources, you could consider employing someone to be dedicated to social media outreach. If you decide to do this, you should ensure that this person or team knows how you wish your business to be perceived and fully understand the tone that they should approach social media interactions with. You can use humor in your social media interactions, but it should be done carefully and never at a prospective customer’s expense.
As with the use of accreditation and trustmarks, you could consider making strategic partnerships as an excellent way to promote and manage your online reputation. There are many options to choose from when considering a partnership, and who you choose will largely depend on your business and target demographic.
Partnering with influencers can be a great place to start. Influencers are social media users with large followings that use this fanbase to promote and discuss products and services. The most well-known influencers are for beauty, fashion and tech, but there are also influencers that specialize in science, sports and almost any topic you can think of.
Experts are another excellent option for business partnerships. The backing of an expert in your business’s industry can do a lot to increase trust in your brand among consumers.
Changing, growing and improving is crucial for any business to succeed. Focusing your attention on your online reputation can help to foster innovation and bring new ideas to the table. Online feedback is an invaluable tool in business growth and development, and when used well, can ensure that you remain at the top of your game.
It could help to take note of the various criticisms or less positive feedback that you get. You can evaluate these and see if there are any ways that you can change the way your business operates or make improvements to your products. For instance, if you receive a lot of less positive feedback about a specific feature or part of a product, you can take this on board and make improvements.
Another advantage of good online reputation management is that having a positive reputation will make your company a highly attractive place to work for potential candidates.
For many job hunters, the first thing they do when considering a role is to do a Google search of the company. Like potential customers, you will want the results to be positive if you are to attract the best talent.
The best talent is crucial for the success of any business, and showcasing an excellent online reputation can be a vital deciding factor for many candidates. You should ensure that your online presence shines, not only to attract customers but also the best and brightest minds that can help you grow and prosper.
A business’s online reputation is crucial to its success in 2021. The online arena is increasingly crowded, with different companies vying for the attention of consumers. An excellent online reputation is vital to ensure that you stand out among the pack. There are many steps that you can take to manage and optimize your business reputation and ensure that it is healthy and positive.
A clear policy for your tone online is crucial to ensuring that you gain a positive online reputation. You should also ensure that you address criticism calmly, professionally and politely. Where possible, showing that you have learned from customer feedback can do a lot to ensure an excellent online reputation.
It may help to enlist the services of professional online reputation management organizations. This can ensure that your online reputation is in the best hands and that you have the advantage of their knowledge and expertise to grow your reputation. If you decide to use professionals, you should ensure that you do your research and choose a company that can provide you with the best chances of success.
Related content from StrategyDriven