In today’s fast-moving ultra-connected world, there is little more important than understanding how to best manage online business reputation.
Creating, growing, and maintaining a favourable online presence takes time, strategic decisions and effort. However, just a few negative reviews can swiftly undo all of that work very quickly.
How do you maintain your online business reputation?
Businesses have little direct control over what other people say about them online. However, successful businesses understand the importance of taking on customer feedback and tackling any issues head-on. This can go a long way to improving or maintaining a positive online reputation.
Your corporate online reputation incorporates a number of elements including, but not limited to, customer reviews, media coverage, blog posts and social media chatter. It also includes elements within your control, such as your website, corporate social media feeds, and optimised content.
What is the importance of managing an online reputation?
For any business that wants to be successful and grow, it’s essential to take control of its public perception. At the end of the day, the external perception of a brand is arguably more important than the product or services it sells.
Maintaining a positive online image always is about building a two-way relationship with current customers as well as potential. Successful management of a corporate online reputation demands a balance of search engine optimisation (SEO), PR strategies and digital marketing, all aimed at the promotion, growth and protection of the reputation.
Taking control of your corporate online reputation management allows constant measurement and monitoring of the changeable face of customer opinion. This then allows you to take steps to alter it where necessary.
How can you manage online business reputation?
Research shows that around 40% of digital marketers monitor their brand’s reputation every day, with others monitoring it even more closely where possible. Ignoring customer opinion and discourse concerning your brand is simply not an option in today’s world.
Worse, having a negative online reputation will damage your standing and your bottom line. A positive reputation is one of the greatest assets a business can have.
How do you build a positive online reputation?
The first step to building and growing a positive reputation is understanding the importance of Google search results. Consider the following:
- Google controls more than 90% of all search engine traffic.
- When customers want to research a business or brand, 64% innately trust search engine results.
- Around 95% of the traffic of a Google search of your business name is on page 1.
Given these statistics, it’s clear that it’s essential to monitor and – if necessary – improve the first few links that appear on Google about your business.
A well-managed business online reputation management strategy will show your business in the best possible light, build trust with customers, and insure you against any possible future negative press or coverage. If you have managed to build and maintain a strong level of trust, then the chances of any negative reviews harming your brand long-term are fewer.
What are the three elements of measuring online business reputation
There are three main elements of managing your brand or business online reputation are:
Monitoring your reputation
As a reputation management consultancy, Igniyte deals with every client’s reputation on an individual basis. However, we always start in the same place – effective monitoring of your online reputation in order to create a bespoke plan. The goal of online reputation management is to create, maintain and enhance a positive reputation across every media channel, and therefore it’s necessary to monitor all these channels.
Repairing your reputation
This is where the strategy to suppress negative content and boost positive content comes into play. A repair strategy of this nature aims to end up with only positive links on the first page of Google search results. This could be by using lawful methods to remove content from Google, creating high-quality optimised content to push down negative results, cleaning up social media profiles and other forms of reputation building.
Building your reputation
This is the proactive part of online reputation management. We work with clients to create positive and high-quality, legitimate content that will rank highly on Google and therefore help to build a positive reputation. Content creation is a key part of this strategy and should be seen as a way of building a defensive barrier between your brand and negative coverage. It’s not about creating false information but making the most of your business or brand through the creation and dissemination of high-quality content.
What are 5 things you can do to protect your online reputation?
As well as working with a professional reputation management consultancy to strategise and implement your reputation-building plan, there are many ways for business leaders to improve the company’s reputation. Here are five suggestions that could work for you.
Develop a clear brand identity
By systematically creating and working to maintain a brand identity, you can ensure that everyone in the business is aligned with the same goals. A clear brand identity helps to inform people on how to deal with online communications, including social media in order to boost the external reputation of the company.
This may mean working with professional reputation managers and finding ways to diversify your brand’s presence across social media networks and other key channels.
Package your values
Customers want to feel like they are dealing with a brand that cares about them. They want to have connection with your business. This is particularly true in times of great challenge and uncertainty, such as the last few years of coronavirus. Brands and business leaders can play a major role in cultivating positive communication with customers by clearly displaying their values through their actions.
To manage online business reputation always remember your customers
This is an obvious step, but an important one when it comes to building your online reputation. For customers, nothing is more effective than great service to improve their opinion of your business. That is always the bottom line – if they feel like they have been listened to and helped in some way, then they will organically champion your brand online.
Make customer loyalty your goal
By creating customer loyalty, business leaders will automatically show the superiority of their brand’s services. Happy, loyal customers are worth their weight in advertising revenue, and all it takes is genuinely good service.
Do not ignore feedback
It’s often tempting to try ignoring that negative review or online feedback. However, this kind of dismissal is exactly the wrong thing to do. Whether the feedback is from a partner, customer or employee, do not dismiss it. Look for key trends in feedback, respond to it and find ways to improve.
For more on protecting your business’s online reputation click here.