In the business world, reputation is just about everything. Businesses that have a poor reputation can have a very hard time surviving for long. This article will show you how to build a great reputation, maintain it and fix things if they start to waver.
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.
Set realistic expectations with your customers. If you own a small business, let your customers know when you will respond to their questions. If you cannot answer every question immediately, place a banner saying that all questions will be answered within a certain amount of time, such as within 72 hours.
Write articles on other sites for a better online business reputation. This can help many people see you as a professional. End your articles with your name, company, and a link back to your website. Where you write will depend on the purpose of your business, your niche, and your target audience. Try to keep the content as relevant to these items as possible.
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.
Be professional when posting on social media sites. Avoid using Internet jargon and slang such as LOL, YW or TY. Be professional at all times. Respond to comments just like you would to your clients in a face to face meeting. Use proper English and proofread all responses before posting them.
To start your business reputation on the right foot, keep your branding simple. Use a clean typeface and color palette. Make sure your logo is simple and clearly communicates what you do and stand for. These items must be able to work on all your corporate materials. Try to avoid using complex and convoluted items in your branding.
When you are publicly responding to any feedback that is left by a customer, make sure to address them by name. People want to know that business owners see them as individuals and not as one part of a very large group. Using their names will give them what they want.
Bring people that are looking for your site directly to your website. You can do this by using your business name and other identifying words as frequently on your website as possible without being annoying. This will bring searchers to you instead of websites with negative and possible untruthful reviews.
There are trusted companies that offer reputation management. You can do a lot of it yourself; however, with the explosion of social media, you need to monitor what goes on online as well. Therefore, having someone handling that is a good idea.
Social media can be a friend or enemy of your business. You need to learn how to use it to your advantage. Create your own pages on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Address the concerns of customers calmly and do what you can to make them happy. This will benefit your business immensely.
If you want to improve the reputation of your company, consider getting more involved with your community doing volunteer work. Consumers like companies that take social responsibility seriously. By donating your time or money to your local community, you are putting a positive spin on your company’s reputation, and customers will see that.
Try to follow up with your customers soon after they make purchases. This will make it more likely that they will express concerns with you rather than sharing them all over the Internet. You can use this as an opportunity to resolve the issue before it gets out of hand.
Make sure to read the bad reviews of all of the companies that are in direct competition with you. This will give you a good idea of things that needed to be avoided to keep customers happy. While there is nothing that will suit every customer, this will definitely help you find a happy medium.
Customers like companies that are responsive. When a website visitor contacts you by filling out a form, respond to it within one business day – the sooner, the better. You want to make a a good first impression. When you respond quickly, you are telling your visitor that you are paying attention to his needs. You will quickly develop a reputation of providing great customer service this way.
A crucial element in reputation management is claiming your brand name, especially on the Internet. Make sure that no other business or individual is able to use your reputation to enhance their own agenda or to discredit you. Use only one name across all your online venues, including social media, and secure any obvious variations of it that a competitor could take advantage of.
When confronted with criticism online, take the time to analyze it. Look at complaints carefully and isolate the specific issues you need to address. Determine whether or not the problem lies with you, the complainer or both. Consider the source. If the person complaining has a history of complaining in other settings, there may not be much you can do about this complaint.
A reputation can be damaged by old content still showing up in search engines, so be proactive in getting it removed. Send a request for content removal to Google and other search engines. Your request will be reviewed and granted for legal reasons, concerns over personal information, or if previously removed content is still showing up due to an old page not being crawled recently.
Everyone knows that a positive image is critical to maintaining customers over time. When things falter, businesses will decline in proportion to that failure. The thing to do is learn about reputation management and get active. The preceding advice is a great place to start doing so.