One of the first things an individual or a brand might do before hiring you is Google your company and do a little research on their own.
It’s not a new concept. We do this ourselves when we’re trying to figure out who we can trust.
Even if you think you can safely assume that your online reputation is in good shape, regularly Googling your company’s name and checking up on what’s been shared and what the conversation around your brand looks like is a wise first course of action when it comes to your online reputation.
Regularly checking in on what’s going on as well as treading lightly in terms of marketing and treating your customers right are all ways you can protect your online reputation. But what about if there are already negative conversations happening around your brand?
Let’s get started.
What IS an Online Reputation?
Your online reputation is everything your audience can find about you online. Your public profiles, anytime your brand was mentioned on the web, both positive and negative customer reviews and more.
Your online reputation is one of the many essential elements that make up your brand on the web. It can’t be forgotten because controlling the conversation is the first major step in protecting it. So what can you do about it?
Don’t Be Fooled By Privacy Settings
Hiding behind certain privacy settings and trying to disappear won’t fix your problem because 1) Growing your business requires being online and “plugged-in” thanks to our current digital age and 2) Because the angry customers, the scathing reviews, the demanding critics….they’re going to find you. And whether they post anonymously or leave you a half a star and one hundred reasons why your customers should stop doing business with you, it’s going to hurt your brand.
Securing private information like SS numbers, important brand documents and more is VERY important as far as identity theft and the reputation and security of your brand and employees. However, this type of security won’t do much when Jordan leaves a review that would make any customer run for the hills.
And that’s where proactive online reputation management comes in.
The Proactive Approach to Safeguarding Your Online Reputation
If there’s one thing that’s true about the internet, its that it never forgives and certainly never forgets. However, there are some things you can do to flush out bad content and draw attention to other admirable company qualities and give the world a second glance.
What’s The Current Message That Your Audience is Seeing?
Googling your brand and doing an extensive search can usually pull up the worst of what people have to say, so this is a good place to start.
If you know what people are saying around your brand, you have a better chance of recovering your reputation and minimizing the damage.
Regularly Publish (Good) Content
Optimizing and building up your social profiles and your blog is a definite step you can take to protect your online reputation. However, it’s not enough. You need to be publishing not only regular content but good content.
Respond to Reviews With Urgency
84% of consumers trust online reviews like they trust recommendations from close friends. This means that if you aren’t proactive about responding to bad reviews as well as good reviews and trying to put out fires where you can, that small flame could become a much larger blaze.
Secure Your Brand Name Across All Social Platforms
And not just the popular networks like Facebook and Twitter. Securing your brand name on smaller platforms like Quora will help keep your brand identity from being impersonated and ruined.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
And this is especially true online.
You can say whatever you want online, but the truth is going to come out in your services and in your products.
Do your brand and the world a favor and be genuine and caring about both your offline and your online interaction.
Protecting your online reputation can mean the difference between the destruction or success of your brand, so taking it seriously is an absolute must.
There is reputation management software that can alleviate some of your fears, but at the end of the day, a well-managed online presence and treating your customers right is the best solution.
Have any online reputation management tricks? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!