With the Internet playing an essential role in today’s marketing era, protecting your online reputation is more important than ever. Even if you don’t have a social presence, that doesn’t mean people aren’t talking.
What is being said about your business, and who listens to it? It’s time to get serious about your online business reputation and take charge of directing the conversation around your brand.
Don’t pretend people aren’t talking
Suppose you stick your head in the sand. In that case, you’ll end up with thousands of unhappy customers and an excellent reason to delete your public pages. Instead of pretending that specific conversations don’t happen, respond to negative and positive criticism and do your best to isolate the damage. It’s easier said than done on social media, but remember that the sooner you solve the problem, the less it will spread.
Evaluate your online business reputation: what’s new?
Social listening is a compelling way to discover what is said about and around your brand. There are tools you can use to help you with this aspect of the brand reputation process, so don’t be discouraged if you’re not entirely familiar with social listening.
Monitoring your social media is a great way to monitor positive and negative conversations about your brand. It allows you to intervene when someone has questions, concerns or complaints.
If you haven’t done it recently, Google your brand and see what happens. You may be able to diffuse any negative comments you see, and it will also give you an idea of what people see when they search for you on Google.
You’ll need to do this frequently, once or twice a month, to keep up with the ever-changing search results. If the best results are negative comments about your brand, you are in trouble, and you will need to act quickly.
The truth about lousy publicity
By now, we’ve probably all heard Barnum’s famous words: “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” But the truth is that this is rarely true, especially with the introduction of social media into our daily lives.
The causes of bad publicity can be things like negative reviews, hateful comments, and even negative media coverage. These types of things take work to handle. They can cause big problems because they are the type of things that appear in Google results for the most positive information.
The worst thing about lousy publicity is that there is no way to eliminate it. Why? Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medium, regardless of borders.”
Social listening can be very beneficial. And suppose you need to invest more time and money. In that case, you’ll pay the price later because sometimes even the best companies can annoy people. It’s much better to have a system and a disaster plan instead of panicking at the drop of a hat. The first sign of chaos.
Take control of your online presence
To control the conversation, you need to maintain your online presence. As we have explained, social listening lets you know what is being said. But what can you do to really be in control of the conversation?
- Make people respect you: This is one of the most important things you can do because trust takes time to earn. Secondly, you give your audience something to relate to regarding how they can expect to be treated and cared for.
- Be transparent: Transparency plays in the area of respect and trust. When you make a mistake, be open and honest about it, offering a way to fix it and make amends. This includes discounts, coupons, and free items or services.
- Be the first and fastest to respond: Ensure you’re ready with answers regarding criticism, comments, questions, or anything. Also, be polite. You’d be surprised how far a simple “I’m sorry” online can go regarding a negative interaction.
- Address criticism directly: Freedom of speech does not mean it is okay to make false accusations. Sometimes, legal action is necessary; in cases where it is not, it addresses criticism directly. Walking away from that makes you look guilty and won’t get you any positive points with your audience.
- Run a business that you are proud to be a part of: If you’re not proud of your business, there’s no chance your reputation will reflect anything else.
- Speak with your brand voice: This is a great way to keep your audience on the same page. This way, impersonations are more accessible to detect, and you can maintain the trust of your audience through clear and specific communication.
Protecting your online business reputation is vital
Protecting your online business reputation is not only important, but it is also essential if you plan to grow and prosper as a business. If you and your employees are serious about being the best, start by creating a company worth investing in, and then invest your time and effort into giving your audience an experience they can’t help but share.
Protecting your online reputation is about more than just addressing criticism of your business. Stand up for what’s right and shape your company values into things that people outside your company can get behind.