The Internet is a vast landscape; today, anyone can post their opinions and comments online, whether good or bad. Unfortunately, this can impact the trust in your company of existing and potential customers. All it takes to turn your stellar reputation into one that isn’t so shiny is one negative comment on social media, another website, or your own/someone else’s blog. The good news is that through reputation management, you can control the affect of any negativity and avoid potential disaster.
Of course it’s best if you can establish a trusted reputation as an authority in your industry BEFORE a crisis occurs, however when the damage has already been done you can also take steps to rectify the situation. Here are a few key tips for successfully managing your company’s reputation online:
Watch what you (and your employees) say online. What you and your staff say online is just as important as what others say. Whether using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, a company blog, or other means to communicate, choose your ‘company voice’ carefully, have a policy in place for any employees who engage in social media on behalf of your company, and be authentic by really engaging with others in a way that doesn’t involve constant promotions or PR pitches.
Really know who your customers are. What do your customers like about your products/services, and what do they tend to complain about the most? By knowing your customers in-depth, you can focus on the good and take steps to correct or address the areas your customers aren’t so happy with. Survey those who visit your website or blog; take a poll, get involved in the conversation on social media.
Make sure your employees are properly representing your company. Know your employees and what they think about the company. While you hope they don’t, employees do talk about their jobs outside of work – and hopefully what they say is positive. Listen to your staff, encourage them to share with you what they like or don’t like about the company. When you develop a strong relationship with employees and listen to their opinions, they’re more likely to have positive things to say to family, friends, and others they know in the social environment.
Develop your online reputation starting today. Positive, engaging content can do a world of good when beginning a campaign to manage your reputation! Start a company blog, get reviews/testimonials from customers praising your products/services, even customer service. Engage in social media, address any negative comments right away, take steps to resolve the issue when possible. Interact with your target audience and develop great content often. Don’t put off building your reputation, or others will take care of it for you – and that may not be a good thing!
Be consistent, sincere, and loyal to your customers most of all. Reputation management isn’t too difficult or time consuming if you already focus on customer satisfaction first. Focus on giving your customers the best possible experience, avoid any “shady” business, and always seek to secure feedback from both customers and employees so that you can always improve the various aspects of your business.
In addition to the above, it is important to monitor what others are saying about you on a frequent basis, so that if anything negative is being said you can address it now rather than when the damage has already progressed. Today, it is critical to have an online presence for most companies – but there are drawbacks, such as negative comments or attacks. Ease your worries and enjoy success on the Internet by practising reputation management from the very beginning.