Are you doing enough to manage your online reputation? Most businesses aren’t. Part of having an online presence is keeping tabs on what people say about you. Your reputation can make or break you on the Internet.
Just consider this – You and another business offer the same or similar services in your area. Their Google Places listing has 5 glowing reviews about how awesome your competition is.
Yours has one good review and one person complaining that you didn’t have what they wanted. When somebody’s looking for your services and they find those listings, which are they going to choose?
You can hire a reputation management company that uses sophisticated software to protect your good name online; or, you can take matters into your own hands. Here are 3 ways to do that.
Find out What’s Being Said
If you’re not an Internet search wizard, you can learn some skills that will turn you into one quickly. One thing that you can do is to enter your business’s name into a search engine along with ugly, nasty, negative words like:
Okay, you probably get my drift.
Search for everything said about your business on social media sites, because that’s where you’ll find people talking. Look at Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and other sites that have business listings.
You can also sign up for services that alert you whenever your name appears online. One free service that does this is Google Alerts (google.com/alerts).
Remove Negative Listings
When you find these bad comments and listings, the next step is to get them removed. If there’s something bad or untrue said about you on a website, you can contact the owner of the site and ask them to remove it.
Explain to them that it’s hurting your business. Usually, they’ll be happy to do this. If what’s said about you is slanderous and the webmaster doesn’t reply, you can threaten them with legal action.
Post Positive Listings
The best way to protect your reputation online is to make sure there are lots of positive reviews. Even if there are negative reviews and they’re pretty scathing, if there are enough nice reviews, people won’t even notice.
For example, look at Amazon reviews. If you read reviews of a book or product before buying it, and you see 30 5-star reviews along with a handful of 1-stars, you get a pretty good idea that those 1-star folks might’ve been clueless.
You can get lots of positive reviews by simply asking your customers to leave them for you. Put the URLs of your listings on all of your printed materials, receipts, menus and other items and mention it to your customers when they leave. It usually just takes a little nudge to get them to do it.
Whenever anything is said about your business online, try your best to reply. When you get good reviews, thank them and tell them you look forward to seeing them again.
The truth is that no matter how nasty a person gets, you’ve got to show your best face online. If you’re nasty in your reply, you just look like a bigger jerk. Instead, thank them for their feedback and ask how you can improve.
Even if you’re seething and punching a pillow behind your computer screen, always be friendly and cool online.
Reputation management online is much more important than most businesses realize. They don’t know how just a few bad apples can hurt their profits. Be proactive and take charge of your online reputation and you can keep it spotless.
Here’s your Tweet (be sure to include the link to your content or article before the hashtag!):
Try this 3 prong strategy to manage your online reputation #ReputationManagement