Top-notch brands invest a lot when it comes to the reputation management of their brand(s). Pick any brand you like and imagine all the hard work they have been through to establish the current reputation they have online. Why go far? Just look up yourself on Google and you will find a Facebook page, probably a LinkedIn account. There are also other sources that you may have not heard of but they have some information on you.
It is absolutely imperative to alter the way your name appears anywhere in the search engines. This also falls in the category of search engine optimization. While it is essential for any business to flaunt only the neutral or positive content online, there are ways in a small budget that can help the small businesses protect their online reputation. Better control the way how your business, and its products/services, is perceived now, when you have only commenced, before it's too late to cover up.
Here are 10 tips that can help you protect and manage your brand's reputation online.
1. Authenticity and Originality
People like to read content that is human and sounds not-so-corporate, given your target market. For this you need to portray all the originalities and be as transparent to the audience as possible. It helps them to stay connected and aids you in developing an understanding of the consumer behavior.
2. Combating Negative Reviews
If you are to go for a vacation, you are instantly going to check the resort before you book, look up its social media profiles and read the reviews. The last part is important, yes, reviews. This is what all of us are relying on these days because reviews come first-hand from the consumers of the very services. That's where negative reviews come in too. What most businesses do is that they encourage the consumers with positive experiences to post on various sites they have created like Google Places, Yahoo! Local and even Yelp.com. What about when you are to respond to a negative review? Don't throw a marketing-spiel or you will be experiencing Internet trolls. Be open to them and promise to make corrections or offer them something positive.
3. Writing Press Releases
PR Web is available for help every time you look out for tools or websites to help you build your reputation. You can create articles here for your business featuring news, new product releases or anything you are expert in. Invest in writing quality content and it is sure to outrank any websites that don't have too much authority over the internet.
4. Removing/Replacing Content
Many at times certain websites have negative reviews about your brand. You can simply ask them if the particular content can be removed. If that is not possible in any way then request them to add something neutral that may replace the negative content in the Google search results.
5. Creating a Business Blog
Create a blog with your business name and get the word out about your company, its products/services, share latest trends or news in the same industry, or expert opinion in the form of useful tips and tricks, like an industry expert. Make use of sub-domains that bear your business name for the existing websites and they will eventually get you the traffic you require.
6. Guest Blogging
There are many influencers and websites out there that allow guest blogging feature. It is a way of allowing external contribution to their website so that it has a blend of quality content from elsewhere. Later when the contributor promotes it on their channels, the website and the contributor together tastes the fruit of success. Offer to write guest posts and ask for a link back to your website. Make sure that you look for a prominent blog over the Internet so that it can push down any negative publicity and get you traffic.
7. Business Profiles on Social Media Networks
Create pages for your business profiles on various social media networks. If there are so many for you to manage then it is not necessary to get your presence just about everywhere. Simply take some time out to figure out where your audience is and set up accounts over there only. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are a must though under any circumstances for everybody has at least one account here.
8. Encourage Positive Reviews
While many may call it feedback but if you call it so then get ready to receive some negative comments too. A wiser way to concede positivity is to ask the customers to submit reviews regarding what they like best about the services you have provided them with. If they have any complaints, deal with them immediately before the matter gets out of hand and they write it online. One bad review and who knows, it can trigger bad memories from previous customers too. Beware!
9. Be Nice to them
If you are good to your customers in the first place, offer authenticity, don't brag about anything, chances are your reputation will never be haunted. If you do that, you will be cautious about making mistakes, or cleaning up the mess instantly. Customer relationships are everything, keep them very close and at the heart of your business and success won't be too far.
10. Regular Monitoring
Keep a close check on your business. Often look up in different search engines and see what comes up. Check all the links mentioned and see what you can control. Regular monitoring will save you from a series of crisis created in the future.
Reputation is a sensitive matter. Once established, it needs to be constantly maintained in order to protect the brand. Use the aforementioned tips as tools to help you manage your reputation online and you will never regret a day in your life. Take the matter of online reputation management of your brand into your very own hands or get a reputation management agency to do it for you. Either ways, just get it done before it's too late. Good luck!