More and more small and medium sized businesses are starting to understand how important online reputation management is becoming. As a result, demand for reputation management services is also up. So what is this new trend all about?
What Is Reputation?
A reputation, whether it is a bad one or a good one, stays with a business for years. A single bad experience can turn a whole year around and deliver lower profits. Indeed, once a reputation has been tarnished, getting it back up can be incredibly difficult. Even if there is no negative reputation, getting a positive online reputation is a lot of work. And it is incredibly easy to lose it all very quickly. This shows just how important it is to keep your reputation up.
Approaches to Keep Your Reputation Up
It is always better to take a proactive approach to online reputation management, rather than a reactive one. This is because it is incredibly difficult to repair a reputation that has been damaged, so making sure you do things to stop this from happening in the first place will always be more important.
The issue is that negative information may be out there about you without you even knowing it. And that information may not even be true. However, you can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s there. Hence, make sure you always search for your own business online so that you see what others have said about your business.
It is also about encouraging others to speak positively about you. Ask your customers to leave a positive review if they are happy with their experience, for instance. Most will be more than willing to do so.
Sometimes, however, you do have to be reactive. If you find out that bad information is out there, you will need to take steps to fix this problem, or your profits will suffer. This is about more than simply having a nice website. It is about interacting properly with your customers and having an awareness of where your reputation is being built or destroyed. This means you need to keep your eye on places like:
- Online forums and communities
- Social media platforms, particularly Twitter and Facebook
- Review websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor
- Websites with blogs and articles
These are just a few of the places where your business can be discussed and where you reputation can either make or break. None of these have any link to your own personal website. This is why online reputation management is about far more than simply having a good site of your own.
At the same time, however, you do have to get your website right. Hence, keep the following in mind:
- Your website should be business related and professional at all times.
- Always respond to your customers and always do so politely, even if they are being obnoxious.
- Never lose your cool.
Hopefully, the above will help you to become slightly more proactive in terms of your own online reputation.