Building And Managing Your Business' Online Reputation
Posted on Dec 20 2012 at 10:25:03 PM in Marketing & Advertising
Positive online reviews of your business can be a powerful way to attract new customers. But you should never underestimate the power of negative reviews, either. If left unchecked, they could have long-lasting damaging effects on your company’s reputation and on how the public generally perceives your products and services. One of the things that potential customers do when planning to buy a product or visit a business is search for reviews online. So online reviews can either attract new customers or send them to a competitor. The best time to begin building and managing your online reputation is right now, and here are some things that you can do.
Know Your Weak Points, Sell Your Strong Points
The best way to keep a positive reputation is to proactively identify your weak points. You don’t have to wait for your competition or detractors to point this out to you. By the time that these reviews have been published, you might have already suffered irreparable damage to your reputation. On the other hand, you can create an advertising campaign that showcases what’s great about your business or your products. Some simple ways of doing this are by displaying customer feedback or positive reviews in your ads or on your site. Highlight your company’s strong points by displaying the information in an easy to view manner.
Create A Blog
Blogs are a great way to connect with your customers. Rather than creating multiple sales pages that only serve as marketing fliers, why not create a blog where you could explain your products and business in greater detail and teach visitors something that is of practical value to them. A blog on your site provides you with a more personal way of communicating with your customers and is also an easy way for them to give feedback. Providing a comment section, for example, gives them an opportunity to voice their concerns and helps identify potential trouble areas in your product or service. It also prevents them from voicing their concerns publicly all over the Internet.
Optimize Your Social Media Profile
Identify places where your customers are likely to be found. Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular social media platforms today. Social media platforms provide an easy way of informing your customers about your services and the latest updates about your products. They also provide an easy way for your customers to post positive or negative reviews about your business. So it’s important that you monitor social media and respond to both the good and bad comments. Forums also provide a great place to monitor conversations about how people generally feel about your business.
Monitor Your Online Reputation
Posting a negative review or comment about a business has never been easier. Whereas in the past, most of these negative reviews were only found in print media, anyone with an Internet connection today can easily publish their feedback. Bad news or reviews are popular simply because people find these more entertaining and they could easily out-muscle and outrank a good PR campaign. Constantly monitoring your online reputation helps you nip these potential PR disasters in the bud. One way you can do this is by setting up alerts through Google. Google Alerts will notify you of any instance in which your business is mentioned on the Internet, good or bad.
Face the Music
Some businesses make the mistake of ignoring negative reviews, hoping that the storm simply blows over. Facing your detractors and responding to every negative feedback may not be possible, but you should always do your best to address negative feedback in a timely manner. By addressing negative feedback and complaints, you let the person and other readers know that you care about your customers and you want to do what’s right for them.
Be Honest and Sincere
Even with your best efforts, your products and services may not be as perfect as you would like them to be. Problems will occasionally arise, but acknowledging these shortcomings, apologizing, and then extending solutions will help you minimize any negative repercussions. It will help build trust among your customers and make them feel that any problems they are having or will ever have will be addressed.
By means of the Internet, it’s very easy today for customers to voice their opinions about your business. That could be good or bad, depending upon their experiences. But by taking these few simple steps, you can help not only monitor your online reputation, but build it so that your business becomes one that people can trust and confidently do business with.
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