Tips and Tricks for Managing Your Reputation
It’s no secret that the Internet has become and will continue to wrap its arms around our daily lives. With millions more people joining online spaces by the day, the number one place where people will hear about your business, product, service, or yourself, is the Internet. Think about it – aside from word-of-mouth, how else would you seek someone to take care of that leaky faucet?
For modern-day businesses and brands, online reputation management, ORM has become a key component of their public relations landscape, with the former taking on increased importance for startups in the industry. Thus, let’s go over some handy tips and tricks to make the online reputation management process a bit simpler.
1. Claiming Online Spaces
When it comes to reputation management, claiming online spaces is a crucial first step to establishing and controlling your online presence, as well as preventing negative content from affecting your search results. After all, most people only bother to look at the first page of their search queries, so it is crucial to ensure that any negative content is not prominently displayed.
Thus, start by claiming your spaces on social media platforms and professional networking websites, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau. Even if you do not plan to use these profiles immediately, it is essential to register them in your name or business name to prevent others from using them and potentially posting harmful content that could be confused with yours.
Another important reason to claim your online spaces is to prevent others from registering under your name or business and posting defamatory content that could damage your reputation. This type of activity can be challenging to rectify once it has occurred, so it is vital to take proactive steps to prevent it from happening in the first place. It is also advisable to keep any social media profiles that you do not plan to maintain or update private until you are ready to utilize them.
In addition to claiming your profiles on social media, you should also consider purchasing domain names associated with your name and business, as well as anything else that is directly related to you. These domain names can be used for a variety of purposes, such as blogs, CV websites, portfolios, and more. Would you trust a business that didn’t bother to pay extra to get the website developer’s business name out of their own domain or email name?
2. Seeking Online Reviews
Online reviews can be highly effective in attracting new customers, particularly at the beginning of the buying process. If you are providing good service and satisfying your customers, consider asking them to post reviews to share their experiences and increase the number of reviews you have. There’s nothing that aids the ORM process better than proudly displaying loyal customers who’ve taken the time of their day to leave a glowing review on one of your company’s products or services.
You can use email marketing to encourage customers to leave reviews if you have a large customer base. Conversely, if your business struggles to obtain legitimate reviews, try incentivizing the process with a giveaway or competition as part of your marketing campaign. While this tidbit is outside the scope of the online reputation management deep dive, there are many ways you can reward your clients for leaving reviews and simplify your business’s ORM strategy.
Think about the number of times you’ve consulted a product’s reviews on Amazon when comparing similar options. Customers like us frequently rely on online reviews when searching for products and services, and platforms like Google and Yelp are especially influential because they often appear at the top of search results. This can increase trust in your brand and show that customers value it. Taking these seriously is a significant part of a proper online reputation management game plan.
3. Connecting With Your Audience & Reaching New Ones
With a brilliant social media strategy – as is the case with any single individual, brand, or company – your business is bound to build an audience over time. Consequently, more opportunities will open up to interact with your audience through comments and other forms of personal communication. Therefore, engaging with your customers, social media followers, industry-related experts, and even other businesses can help improve your search engine rankings and foster loyalty from your audience.
Business leaders should also review their target audience constantly and, if necessary, update their digital and social media strategy. The worst thing a modern-day business owner could possibly do is adopt an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. What works today certainly might not work tomorrow. Staying on the lookout for new trends and avenues is essential for constant growth.
Always seeking newer audiences – while staying in touch with your bread and butter – will help you identify who you want to reach and determine the most effective strategy to do so. As audiences increasingly demand visual content, quality audiovisual content will continue to be essential for online reputation management for years to come (think TikTok and Instagram Reels).
One effective way to reach new audiences and build trusted online properties is to be a guest blogger on other websites. Many blogs accept third-party content, which can provide valuable content without requiring a team of writers. You can reach a wider audience and establish credibility by publishing your content on other sites.
Moreover, in the context of ORM, there is great value to be had by positioning yourself (or the head of the company) as a thought leader in your field. It can be surprising how many people are interested in your story and how helpful you can be to someone who is just starting out in a field where you have a lot of experience. Believe in the knowledge and expertise you have gained over the years and take the first step in sharing it.
4. Keeping Your Cool Online
While connecting and being close to your audience is important, you should also avoid reacting emotionally. The anonymity of the Internet can lead people to be more hostile and aggressive in their comments. Responding to false or negative comments online or allowing your emotions to affect your content can inflict significant, perhaps irreparable, damage to your reputation management, and ORM strategy.
Remember that one emotional, angry response, even if deleted later, can be captured in a screenshot and remain online forever. Conversely, online trolls and bots have become so embedded on the Internet and social media that it is not worth wasting any energy responding to them. Remaining calm and respectful in your online interactions is crucial, even when faced with negative comments. Take a few deep breaths and return to the situation when you are more level-headed to explain your perspective.
In today’s consumer-centric world, customers are savvy and tend to prefer companies that consider their needs. At the first sign of a business not respecting the status quo and disregarding a negative experience, they’ll dash toward a competitor and impact your business’s profit margins. We’d probably do the same ourselves!
Thus, there is excellent value in listening to your customers and valuing their feedback, even if you disagree with their perspective. A simple 30-word review can spot a key flaw in a product or service and lead to more significant revenues thanks to a loyal Samaritan’s keen eye for improvements. Above all else, remember that they took the time to provide you with valuable insights into their experiences.
5. Hiring reputation management, ORM Team
If you find it overwhelming to manage your online reputation on your own, you’re not alone. As business owners, there are far more pressing things on the docket than worrying about someone leaving a troll review on your bakery. As a solution to this issue, many professionals and business owners turn to online reputation management, ORM teams for help.
ORM is a full-time job, and experienced specialists who can provide the necessary level of attention and expertise can be a valuable solution for those who want to take their reputation seriously but may not have the time to devote to ORM themselves. To find a qualified team that you trust with your reputation, consider delegating tasks to trained professionals who can handle the more technical aspects of removing harmful content and alleviate the time-consuming demands of ORM.
By entrusting your online reputation management to a reputable team such as BRANDefenders, you can focus on other important tasks while ensuring that your online reputation is well-managed. Say hello to increased profit margins, product or service quality, a devout following on social media, and much more!
Thus, if you’re one of these particular business owners who doesn’t have enough time to manage your business’s online reputation – or simply doesn’t know where to get started – contact us now to get started!