In this day and age of tweeting every single minute of our lives, there’s no way you can avoid people talking about your local business online. That said, many local business owners still don’t understand why and how managing their reputation on the Internet is crucial to building a good brand.
Online reputation management is sometimes an obscure topic. People think it’s simply building Facebook pages or responding to people on Twitter. Though both are part of it, it’s much more than that.
There are several aspects you need to cover to help you build and protect a good business image online:
1. Establish a presence everywhere
Cover the ground on all major social media networks that your customers frequently visit, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social networks. If your customer demographic consists of teenagers, for instance, you'll need to be active on Snapchat.
2. Don’t forget your executives
B2B operations or technical businesses, such as social media apps or electric cars, need to maintain high visibility for their leaders. Silicon Valley influencers, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, give a human voice to their otherwise highly technical brands.
3. Get blogging
Blogging has come a long way from being the online diary of '90s nerds. Blogging allows you to build your own “home court” where you can touch base with your followers. It’s also a great way to get a leg up on Google’s search results and ensure top spots on the first page for searches about your business.
4. Avoid getting into arguments with customers
At best, it leaves you looking unprofessional. At worst, potential customers can see you as downright nasty and not worth their money. It’s understandable to get mad at an unreasonable customer, but don’t let the world know about it.
5. Listen to criticism and address it
This is what’s nice about the Internet. People can tell you what they really think about your business, and you have the choice whether to ignore it or listen to it. Be a good business owner and do the latter. Your customers will appreciate you more if you show them you’re willing to adjust for them.
Don’t forget to ask for help. As you go down the line, you’ll realize you need extensive SEO and online marketing knowledge to pull through successfully. Social Connect noted that many online reputation management services in Phoenix and other parts of Arizona can lend some expertise to your efforts so you’re not only throwing stuff together and winging it as you go.
Along with the suggestions mentioned above, you should hire a professional who can help you make the most of your online presence. Do your research.