The one thing every business relies on the most to win over customers is their reputation. If your company image isn’t a good one, then you’re going to forever suffer with gaining the trust of your audience. And if that’s the case, good luck with converting them into customers. Local businesses should definitely take heed, especially since a lot of mobile device users are using the Web to find local businesses to shop at. Your online reputation management strategy is key for increasing foot traffic, don’t overlook this!
No Business is Perfect
Every company has its share of negative reviews circulating the Internet, but this shouldn’t deter you from getting a hold of what people see about your brand on the Web. The idea here is to try and resolve issues that are within reason. It will help you to possibly win back a customer you would have otherwise lost and it shows others reviewing the conversation that your brand is willing to go over and beyond to rectify mistakes. It’s a win-win-win situation – the customer gets what they want, you win back their trust and you possibly get the business of new prospects.
There’s No Turning Away
Once you understand the impact the Internet has over your business, you can’t deny the importance of online reputation management services. If you’re not willing to do it yourself, then it’s a good idea to hire an agency to do it for you. You need more than just a website to represent your local business. You need a solid strategy that incorporates content marketing, search engine optimization and social media marketing. Together, these will help give you the reigns for your online image. Remember, it will cost your business a whole lot more if you disregard the importance of managing your reputation.
Here are some ways you can improve your brand’s online existence.
Spread Your Presence Everywhere that’s Relevant
Where are your customers? Where are people talking about your brand? Where are people potentially going to talk about your brand? You need to analyze this to determine which venues you need to be targeting for your online reputation management strategy. As a rule of thumb, you should have profiles on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. But would it make sense to also have accounts on Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat? Only if it will benefit your particular business.
Update Your Social Profiles Frequently
Social media isn’t a set it and forget it method. You need to be diligent with posting content frequently, so that your followers have something to interact with. The goal is to get them to comment on, like and share. If they’re doing these things, then they’re helping you to create more buzz for your business. If you don’t have the time or the know-how to pull this off, then consider hiring reputation management services.
Claim Your Brands and Products
If you have multiple brands or popular products that are more well-known than your actual brand name, then consider making social profiles for those as well. It’s about taking control over the keywords people use, so make sure you are implementing those keywords into your profiles and in any marketing content you post. Keywords should include names of brands and products.
Create Profiles for Key Individuals
The founders, owners or executives of your brand should have profiles on social media, especially if they are distinct. It’s better to have some presence than no presence, because this will only leave the door wide open for defamers to trash your brand. Just make sure these individuals keep a low profile, so that they don’t end up causing harm to your company image. It’s a good idea to set up some type of online reputation management guidelines, so everyone knows what to do and what not to do. This can potentially save your business a whole lot of heartache down the road.
If you’re serious about your local business, then it’s time to start taking measures to manage your online reputation. You can work together with an ORM expert, or at least consult with one before embarking on your own strategy. These are just some of the many ways you can take hold of your brand reputation.