Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to have an excellent online reputation. With the rise of social media, anyone can learn about your business with just a few clicks. And if you don’t have a positive online presence, potential customers will go elsewhere.
There are a few reasons why online reputation is so important. Consumers are more likely to trust businesses with good reviews and ratings. Research shows that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Your brand’s online reputation can also directly impact your bottom line. A study by Harvard Business School found that each one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5%-9% increase in revenue. A solid online presence can also help you attract new customers, build relationships with your customers, and grow your business.
To ensure you know the best practices in online reputation management, we’ve put together a guide with 4 essential tips.
Keep an Eye on Your Online Reputation
Keeping an eye on your business’s online reputation allows you to quickly identify and respond to potential problems. With the rise of social media, it’s easier than ever for customers to leave reviews and feedback about their experiences with your business. And while a few bad reviews are inevitable, too many can damage your business’s reputation and lead to a loss of customers.
Make sure you are active on all the major review sites, such as Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. Claiming your business listings on these sites will allow you to respond directly to any reviews, good or bad. For example, if there is a negative review on Google, you can try reaching out to the customer directly to resolve the issue.
It also makes sense to set up Google Alerts for your business name, product names, and key executives. This will notify you anytime your business is mentioned online, and you can quickly respond to any negative comments.
Know About Your Legal Options By Consulting a Pro
Let’s say you learned that someone is spreading false information about your business online. Your first step is to try and resolve the issue directly with the person who made the false claim. If that doesn’t work, there are a few other legal options available.
It makes sense to consult an experienced solicitor specializing in defamation cases. They can help you determine if the statements made are actually defamatory and if you have a case. Just make sure you find a reliable one that answers all of your questions has a good track record and has already handled similar cases in the past.
A defamation solicitor can also come in handy even if you are yet to face a possible defamation case. They can help you draft a “cease and desist” letter, a formal request for the person to stop making false claims about your business.
If you have been defamed, solicitors can minimize any damage done by taking legal action in court. This means they’ll try their best to prove what happened and find out if there are grounds for opinion or reputation repair, so people don’t think less of your brand. This can help clear your name and restore your reputation.
Engage in Positive Promotion
Proactively engaging in positive promotion can help protect your business’s online reputation. This means regularly creating content that puts your business in a positive light. One of the best ways to do this is through social media.
Make sure you are active on all the major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Utilize these sites in sharing positive news about your business, such as new products, awards, and achievements. You should also make an effort to engage with your customers on social media.
Don’t forget to share positive customer reviews and testimonials on your website and social media platforms. This is a great way to show potential customers that others have had a positive experience with your business.
In addition to social media, you should also consider creating quality blog content. This can be anything from writing about why customers should choose your business to share tips and advice related to your industry. Positive promotion can help improve your business’s online reputation and make it easier to recover from negative comments or reviews.
Commit to Business Transparency
Customers today expect businesses to be transparent. This means being open and honest about your business practices, product ingredients, and anything else that could affect customer trust. Make sure you are clear and concise when sharing information about your business.
Don’t try to hide anything from your customers, as this will only make them lose trust in your brand. One example is avoiding deleting negative comments or reviews another customer leaves about your business. This will only make you look like you have something to hide. Instead, take the time to respond to all comments and reviews, both positive and negative.
For negative ones, try to resolve the issue directly with the customer. If that’s not possible, simply thank them for their feedback and let them know you are working on making improvements.
By being transparent, you can show customers that you are committed to providing them with the best possible experience. This can help improve your business’s online reputation.
Managing your online reputation is essential for any business, big or small. By following the tips in this guide, you’ll be on your way to protecting and proactively promoting your brand online.