When it comes to selling goods or services, a positive online reputation is essential to sales and business opportunities.

Of course, even some major, well-known brands will have negative comments, but due to the reputation that they have built up, it is unlikely that one or two negative reviews will affect their sales. However, smaller companies or companies without as much content or as many assets may suffer from prominent negative reviews affecting their business.

Research by Lightspeed has shown that 79% of online users look for reviews via a search engine, such as Google. Further research shows that 75% of British people would change their mind about a purchase if they read three or more bad reviews about a product or service.

When viewing your search engine results for your brand name, is it mostly positive or are there negative results ranked prominently on page one? If there are any negative reviews or comments, then you should make it priority to remove these from page one and to improve your online reputation with your customers, as those reviews could be having an adverse effect on your sales.

Social media is hugely influential when it comes to Online Reputation Management. Social media websites, such as Twitter and Facebook, can offer a variety of business opportunities for companies or individuals. It allows the company to connect with the consumers, showing that they are an active brand and regularly engage with the public. This builds trust and reputation as ‘tweets’ or ‘posts’ are continually submitted.

It also provides a platform on which to advertise goods or services, with a wide audience base available. By promoting services or goods via a social media website, it can help to bring further business opportunities as word-of-mouth advertising will effectively be taking place. It will get your services noticed, talked about and discussed from many people, and the international aspect of many social media sites opens up a huge base of potential customers.

Also, by creating various social media profiles, and keeping them updated regularly, you can help to remove negative comments and reviews from page one. Websites cannot be deleted from a search engine’s results page, but they can be pushed down by quality, content rich sites and social media profiles.

When setting up social media profiles, it is important to try to keep it as close to your brand name or keywords as possible. This will help when people are searching your brand, as they will easily find the profile, but will also ensure that it is able to rank and help to push the negative reviews down the search engine rankings.

Of course, social media is only one of the solutions to regain a positive online reputation.

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