The reputation that your business has can make or break a business. All it takes is one comment online that can go viral. The internet has made it easier than ever to make unfounded an often untrue accusations about businesses and the people who own them. Here are some things that you may want to consider doing to protect the reputation of your business.
Before putting too much effort in reputation management online, check to see how much you need, if any. Search your business with Google and Bing. Do negative results come up? Do the websites and blogs your business runs only show up on a few hits or none at all? Answering yes to either question means that you have work cut out.
One of the primary ways you can manage your reputation is to claim your business brand online and take charge of the content about you. Use either KnowEm.com, UserNameCheck.com or NameChk.com to locate every online instance of your business name popping up. You only need to use one, but any of them can let you know if anyone out there is misrepresenting your business or speaking ill of you.
Host contests to help bolster your reputation. This is especially important if you have received a bad review. A contest will create a lot of positive information about your company which can help increase your company’s exposure online. This technique will also help raise your page rank on Internet search engines.
When you speak with your audience, make sure that you do so in a conversational tone. People do not like the idea of business owners always speaking to them with marketing in their minds. While you do want to make a sale, you should never make a customer feel like this is your only concern.
Create a mailing list. Make signing up for your mailing list fast and simple. To help bolster you mailing list offer a coupon or other incentive to encourage signing up. As an added bonus, you can increase your mailing list by offering a coupon for referrals. This can be a free small product or a cost saving coupon.
If you offer sales that are private or a promotion that is, make sure to keep it private. If you are discounting to make up for a complaint, then this is important. One thing you do not want to do is post a great deal for a complaint; otherwise, you might end up with lots of complaints so your other customers can get the deal.
When you have a business, it is very important that you establish a process to handle reviews that are negative. Always respond to negative reviews properly and quickly; otherwise, your silence can come across as indifference. Also, it is just as important to acknowledge any positive reviews with appreciation and reinforcement.
As you can see, a reputation can either build a business up or it can bring it down. That is why it is more important than ever to manage the reputation that your business has. So keep the above tips in mind and help protect the reputation of your business.