4 Ways You Can Manage Your Online Reputation Effectively

Reputation Management

“This business sucks!” All it takes is one comment like this to have a negative impact on your online reputation. Your business may not be brought down by one not-so-flattering review or comment. However, not paying attention to what’s being said about your business, no matter how big or small it may be, isn’t an option today. We’re living in a world where a few negative comments can easily be amplified. Even when slams are way over the top or simply not true at all, having something negative associated with your business lingering “out there” can be enough to drive potential new customers to your competitors. Consider the following steps you may able to take to effectively manage your online reputation.

1. Create an Online Presence That Makes Sense for Your Business

You can’t be everywhere online. But you should have more than just a website. Doing so will give you multiple ways to get your message out in a way that best reflects your brand’s image. Ideally, your online presence should include:

  • A few social platforms you can manage well enough to consistently post new content
  • Niche directories specific to your business
  • A Google My Business listing to improve your visibility online among local searchers
  • Accurate information about your business (name, address, phone number)

Having a strong online presence isn’t only good for your ROI. It can also be an effective way to drown out any negative stuff that’s posted about your business.

2. Use SEO Techniques to Minimize Negativity

Strategically using keywords and links within your content can direct attention away from anything negative that’s online about your business. This is especially helpful if there are older reviews or articles out there that aren’t reflective of how your business operates today. Google tends to favor newer content over older content. Consequently, the effective use of SEO with your recent posts and reviews can make older content less visible.

3. Solicit Reviews, Feedback, and Comments

There’s nothing wrong with encouraging customers to say something nice about your business. In fact, it can be an effective way to stockpile positive comments in case you get a couple negative ones here and there. Just make it easy for your customers to share their thoughts by:

  • Including a comments section directly on your website
  • Sending follow-up emails to customers after purchases are made with a link to where they can post a review
  • Embedding links to your social media pages on your website to make it easy for customers to share their recent experience with your business with their followers

4. Listen, Apologize, and Respond

Accept the reality that some criticism about your business may be justified. That being said, don’t ignore legit criticism. Have a policy in place that you and your staff can use to respond to valid issues quickly and effectively. Generally, you’ll want to do this by:

  • Sincerely apologizing for negative customer experiences due to an issue on your end
  • Making an honest attempt to show that you are aware of the problem and taking steps to correct it
  • Offering an incentive to make it up to the offended customer (e.g., a discount on a future purchase)
  • Responding to valid criticism quickly (angry customers with legit complaints will only escalate things if ignored)
  • Taking individual customer issues offline or out of public view with private chats (it’s not appropriate to get in a one-on-one back and forth with a customer online)

You can’t control what people say about your business online. Still, having a solid plan in place to handle your brand’s reputation can mitigate the damage should you find yourself dealing with an onslaught of negativity. Contact the team at 445 Media today for help setting up a reputation management plan specific to your needs and budget.