Managing your Business' Online Reputation

Managing your Business' Online Reputation

More and more businesses are reaching their customers online through their websites and the increasing number of social media outlet’s available. Managing your business’ online reputation is important throughout the year, but it is especially crucial during the holiday season if you have a retail business. This month, we’re looking into the best ways to close the gap on how you want to be viewed and what your client’s are actually seeing about  your business online.

1. Discovery

Take stock of what’s out there.

 Take an inventory of what information is available online about your business by doing a Google search for your company. Don’t just focus on page one of the results – you need to go a few pages in to really see the whole picture. Ask a friend or employee to also do a search online for the company. Ask yourselves: Is there any negative content that could be impacting my business? What is the overall feeling that this information is giving? Is there enough information available online for a customer to find us credible and positive?

Make a list of the content you can control. This includes your website, Facebook, etc and brainstorm strategies for managing the content you can’t control.

2. Action

Set up alerts

to be notified of when your business is mentioned in new content. You can setup alerts at google.com/alerts and Google will email you when your company name shows up in newly indexed articles and sites. This will allow you to keep track of what content is being generated about your company.

Audit the content on the sites you can control (your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) and remove or edit content that is no longer appropriate. Implement strategies to clean up the content you can’t control. For instance, if you have poor product reviews on Yelp, try asking current, satisfied customers to add reviews to Yelp to cancel out the ones you don’t want potential customers to see.

Claim your name. Whether or not you feel you’ll need a Foursquare or YouTube account in the future, you should signup for an account in order to claim your businesses name. Otherwise, someone might do it for you and your customers won’t understand that the content posted there isn’t directly affiliated with your company.

Create and link to new, positive content. Before doing this, it is crucial that you have a set marketing message and that you have determined boundaries for your new content. Make sure your new content falls within those guidelines.

3. Maintenance

Continue to take inventory and do content audits on a consistent basis.

Some businesses need to take an audit of new content on quicker intervals than others, but make sure you are consistent with it.

Continue to create positive content that follows the values and message of your business. Engage with your followers, fans, and reviewers and keep your content authentic.

Be likeable. When engaging with potential customers be careful not to be constantly selling or posting negative responses. Make sure to respond positively to comments and reviews, always listen, ask questions and share with all of your audience.

Remember, the easiest way for your business to be seen in a positive light is for your business to act positively and stay on message with your current brand message.

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