The importance of your online reputation
Have you ever researched a business before buying from them? Of course you have! It’s often the first step in the decision making process. You’re looking for clues about the reputation of the business you’re considering giving your hard-earned money to. Building a positive online reputation takes time. If you get started with a good foundation, you can achieve great things in a short amount of time. Here are a few tips to get you started on the right foot.
Ask for reviews – post them all! Even the bad ones. You will not please every single person you encounter. In order to keep your reputation online from seeming staged or fabricated, it’s important to include those bad reviews. If you’re working your business and providing top-notch service, this should be a small percentage of your reviews. Now I’m not saying just leave negative reviews out there. It’s also important to respond to those reviews. Hopefully you’ve done everything you can to make the situation right and you can share that information with your audience. If not, you’re missing letting an opportunity slip by.
Look for brand ambassadors in your existing client list. Do you have clients who are always sending you referrals? Ask them to help you build your reputation by sharing your business profile to their social media accounts and email campaigns.
Reciprocate! An idea I had recently turned out to be a very successful one. I decided to invite my personal and business connections to come share their business website and elevator speech on my Facebook business page. People responded well to the invitation, some even expressing surprise at the idea. There’s no cost to you beyond the investment of offering it and it will create a lot of engagement with your audience. See the post here: https://is.gd/v3DnVV I’ll be doing this every Saturday from now until it’s not working anymore so stop by and share your business!
Watch your language. I don’t just mean keep profanity out of your posts, although that’s a HUGE part of my online reputation management strategy. I’m talking about your writing skills. If you’re a great writer, jump in with two feet. If your vocabulary, spelling or grammar aren’t up to the task, hire it out. Nothing loses your online credibility faster than posts and articles littered with typos and poor grammar.
Look yourself up. Run a search for your business name, your name and common misspellings of either. See what your customer sees. If there’s an issue, fix it. Don’t forget to search images too. You might be surprised what you find.
The internet is FOREVER. A lot of people don’t understand this concept. You may think you can keep your business life and your professional life separate online but the truth is, search engines are smart. They make connections we don’t even think of and if your personal social media accounts are not showing you in a good light, your potential customer may end up seeing it.
Review your website. If it needs a facelift, get it done. Nothing turns off a potential customer like a bad website. Ensure you are following tip # 4 when it comes to grammar and language. Not sure if your website is customer ready? Check out our complimentary website review.
These tips don’t include everything you need to do to build your online reputation but they do summarize a variety of things you can do to get a good start. Later, we’ll post some tips on recovering from a bad online reputation, specifically bad reviews. If you’d like to learn more about how ASG can help you manage your online reputation, contact us today.