All businesses need to be online, big or small, and that just means you are staking your claim in the digital world. This, however, means that you will need to be dedicated to it and work on your digital marketing – slow and steadily – to maintain your online reputation.
There are many things you could do in order to manage your online reputation which establishes your credibility and keeps your followers and potential followers coming back time and again.
If the ideal domain name is available, get it immediately and do this on social media platforms as well. With this, your customers, readers or followers will be able to find ‘you’ and not competitors or imposters when they type and search for your website or page, etc. If the exact domain name isn’t available, find the one that’s that closest to it to make it easier for followers to know that it is yours.
For social media presence, try keeping the exact same name or one that is nearly identical, this applies for all platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. When your social media handles match, it boosts your online reputation and helps build a trustworthy brand.
This may sound repetitive but the upkeep of your social media presence is imperative to building and maintaining your online reputation. This does not necessarily mean that you are required to post 10 times a day but you need to find the right balance basis your business and bandwith to post regularly so as to keep your account active and fresh.
You don’t need to post expert-level content, you could give your audience simple, yet helpful how-to guidelines, DIY tips, funny suggestions and anecdotes or even inside updates about you and your business. Valuable content (stressing on ‘value’) increases engagement and makes your profile and online reputation seem more human. Given the nature of social media, you can even speak in a more casual tone even while conversing directly with your audience.
Inactive pages and stale posts impact your online reputation and therefore your brand. Thus, having an active presence on social media makes you look more professional and lends a positive vibe to your reputation.
Google listing is your business profile that is used when someone searches directly or indirectly for you and/or the domain. It contains your location, hours of operation and contact information in one place.
Accurate Google local listings are immensely helpful for small businesses as it brings up your details in front of the correct audience just when they are searching for local businesses such as yours. You get to control the information in your Google listing, meaning, you get to control what people see about your business. Thus feeding the right information of services and/or products offered with working hours and accurate contact details is of utmost importance to have an authentic online reputation.
No matter what your product or service, your customers always have an opinion of you, maybe even suggestions. Hence it is important to keep an eye open to testimonials and reviews in order to boost or protect your online reputation – depending on the situation. Many people read the reviews of businesses before actually entering into deals.
Customers could post formal reviews on third party sites, (like Zomato for food-related businesses) or they could simply mention you in a post on social media. You need to be on the lookout for that and be present wherever they speak of you.
Setting up Google Alerts is a great way to keep track of this and you could also take regular peeks at third party review platforms enabling you to respond in a timely manner. By responding to positive stuff you show good customer service and appreciation of one’s post which improves the sentiment and feeling toward your brand. Many businesses tend to leave out negative reviews hoping that others would just take it with a pinch of salt, however, if responded to appropriately and timely, even a negative review could be turned into a positive one. It shows that you are open to receiving feedback and are willing to find a solution to enhance your service.
It isn’t easy to create a positive impression on the world, however, it isn’t that difficult either. Simple proactive steps could go a long way in showing your target audience what a great brand you are and that is what matters in upholding your online reputation.