Your Business Rep: Online & On the Line

If you have any kind of business – whether on the web or off it – the chances are that somewhere, someone is talking about you. If you are lucky, every little thing that one of those people say will be of a positive nature, but is anyone ever that lucky? It’s doubtful, and the reality is that unless you are tracking your online reputation in a robust and vigorous way, you could be getting a lot of negative press.

Ultimately, people like a bad story and negativity can spread like wildfire. Everything you have done for your business, from starting it out with no budget to growing it to its current size, could be at risk if you aren’t aware of what people are saying about you. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that you are keeping on top of your online reputation and overall business image.

Track And Trace

There is a huge range of tools you can use to alert yourself to news of your online mentions. Google Alerts is an obvious starting point, and you can also set up search functions for your brand keywords on social media monitoring platforms. Now, it’s important to remember that you can’t rely on these tools alone – you should also make some random checks on places like review sites.

Make An Effort

No business can escape the wrath of an angry customer these days. But don’t forget that it isn’t necessarily the original complaint that other people will remember – it’s how you deal with it as a business. If someone has a problem with you and airs it, don’t get sucked into an argument with them. Be polite, pleasant, and fair – and make a visible effort to resolve the issues they have.

Get Some Help

Managing your online reputation can be a struggle as it is so time-consuming and intensive. It might be that you need to establish a specific team to deal with your online image, or look to using an online reputation management company to give you a hand. If you are just a small business just starting to get yourselves out there, it’s probably OK to take the DIY route. Just be wary that as you scale, more negative comments online will need to be managed.

Focus On High-Value Sentiment

Not everyone online is equal. And if your business is getting a good rep from industry influencers, movers and shakers, then it can often negate a lot of the damage caused by the occasional customer with a chip on their shoulder. So, start building up relationships with those influencers in your industry that people respect. Follow them on social media, interact with their profiles and blog posts, and put yourself in full view. We’re not talking about being promotional, here, however. It’s all about being sociable, knowledgeable, and helpful wherever you can.

Has your business ever been the victim of negative online opinion for no reason? If so, what did you do about it? Let us know in the comments section below!

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