Online Reputation Tips: Getting Your Head out of the Sand to Start Repairing Your Brand
The online reputation of your business is something you should take very seriously. These days, most people start their search for a product, service, or information online, and what they find will influence how they feel about your brand.
If they come across a lot of negative information, there’s less chance that they will want to do business with you, so it’s important to keep an eye on your reputation and take steps to improve it if necessary.
Here’s what you need to know to get started.
What Is Reputation Management?
Reputation management essentially involves keeping a close eye on what people are saying about your brand online.
This could be on social media, in blog posts, in comments, and elsewhere. It involves using dedicated tools to quickly find out whenever your brand is mentioned so you can reply quickly.
By knowing exactly what people are saying about your brand as soon as they say it, you can take steps to rectify any problems and influence your reputation.
Why Should You Do It?
There are a few good reasons why you should have an online reputation management program in place.
Firstly, people are going to mention your brand whether you want them to or not. Some of these mentions may be positive, but some of them will be negative. By keeping an eye on what people are saying, you can use it to improve your service and find out where you are going right and wrong.
If people make negative mentions of your brand, it’s important that you get involved in the conversation. Conversations may be going on about you that you are not even aware of, and these could be based on unfair information.
For example, a customer might have a complaint about you that is unjustified. Only by seeking out these mentions out can you get involved and put across your side of the story.
When a negative comment is made about your business, you might be able to remedy this. By showing that you are keen to help your customers enjoy a positive experience, you are showing that you care, and this is great for your brand image.
As well as potentially improving the relationship with the customer who has a complaint, you will be demonstrating a positive image to other people who come across the conversation.
It’s also important to find positive comments because you can use these to improve your relationship with these customers. By simply replying to a positive comment with a thank you, you show that your customers’ opinions matter to you.
How to Manage Your Online Reputation
To manage your online reputation effectively, you will need to use a dedicated tool. There are simply too many places online where people can mention your brand, and you will need a powerful tool in order to find these quickly and respond to them.
This SEO tools page has a useful online reputation audit tool to get you started. This will search in all the most important review sites at the same time and provide you with a detailed report to give you a good idea of your current situation.
Once you’ve done that, experiment with a few different tools. Some of the most popular include:
But these are just the start. Using these tools, you can get instant alerts as soon as your brand is mentioned, based on keywords that you want to search for.
So try them out and decide which tool or tools work best for you.
Have a Plan of Action in Place
Once you come across brand mentions, you need to have a plan in place for how to react. For example, if you find a positive mention, you might simply want to say thank you as soon as possible.
But negative mentions are more complex. The most important thing to remember here is not to get angry and react the wrong way. Instead, take some time out before you respond.
Think carefully about the best way to react, talk to your team to come up with some ideas, and only reply once you are clear on how you want the conversation to go.
Reacting angrily or rudely is very bad for business. Remember, other people besides the person making the negative comment will see your response, so always keep it professional and helpful.
Keep Track of Your Online Reputation
Online reputation management does not have to be difficult, but it should be considered essential. If you have not yet started to monitor your brand online, make it a priority. Otherwise, you’ll have no idea what people are saying about your brand, whether positive or negative.
Declan Patterson has witnessed the power of SEO firsthand. He enjoys writing about his experiences online on a variety of marketing websites.