A businesses online reputation is similar to its offline reputation with one major difference, your online reputation is easily accessible by anyone, including yourself so that you can what your online reputation is and work towards improving it. In contrast, it’s an awful lot harder to figure out your offline, word of mouth reputation.
It doesn’t matter if you have an online or offline business or for that matter what type of business you have, large or small. Nowadays a business must manage its online reputation, here are eight reasons why this is a must do.
1. People Will “Google You” before Buying from You.
When you are looking to purchase something, what do you do to find out information about your purchase? You, like almost everyone goes to Google and searches for information. It doesn’t matter to you if it’s a local business or not, you go to Google type in a name, and then you read the reviews and any other information about that business.
2. People Buy from Those They Trust
By locating and finding good information when searching, helps people to build trust in your brand. A great review of your company and products results in people trusting you whereas a bad review or negative customer service feedback or anything else might just send them into the arms of your competitors. Worse still is, this prospective customer finding information about a competitor who is located in a different state, or come to think of it a different country and ordering online.
3. Reputation Builds Brand Awareness
By building an online reputation through the use of social media, websites, blogs, YouTube videos and more, you will build brand awareness. If you do it right, you will build positive brand awareness about yourself and your business. But the flipside is, if you do it wrong you might inadvertently make yourself look bad. My advice is to always focus on always being positive and not negative, unless of course that is your personal brand. It’s always a good idea if you are going to post something that might be taken as negative to sit on it for twenty four hours, so that you can make sure you want to post it, this trick also stops you responding negatively to negative feedback.
4. Good Reputation Gives a Competitive Advantage
The aim of most things you do online is to build such authority and such a great reputation that whenever someone searches for your name, a search phrase or your product, you not only appear in the search results you also appear in a good way. By doing so, you’ll gain a massive advantage over your competitors who either don’t appear in the search results or have a bad reputation online.
5. There are No Secrets Anymore
There are no secrets anymore, everything known about you is online, and this is the world we live in nowadays. This is especially true if you want your business to be online and for it to make an impact and get noticed, you cannot have one without the other. So be yourself, be proud and share your opinions, take control of your reputation online by actively participating online and planning the seeds of your future reputation. Using social media positively is a great example of working on your reputation, just don’t get drawn into negativity, you can also use podcasts, blog posts, discussion forums to get your message out. And remember you can ensure that the positive outweighs the negative if you make a concerted effort.
6. Customers Care about Your Values
When I first started work, everyone cared more about their bottom line and no one gave their reputation much thought. Today however, people want to know about your character and your ethics. If your character or ethics don’t meet your customers’ expectations you will lost money because they won’t buy from you, and will buy from those that do. With the online world, everyone has easy access to this information.
7. Unscrupulous Competitors May Attempt to Trash You
By monitoring your online reputation and by positively working to improve your online reputation, should anyone, competitors for instance try and trash you, you’ll know and be ready. I’ve known of people hiring others to post poor product reviews, or they might do one themselves, and post things that simply aren’t true with the intention of hurting your reputation. How you respond to negativity makes all the difference, never post a knee jerk reaction, take it on the chin and seek to turn it to your advantage.
8. Every Action You Take for Better or Worse Affects It
One thing you have to know about being online and running an online business is that everything you do will be analyzed and scrutinized. It’s imperative that before you post that picture of you drunk and partying in town that you consider how it will impact your online reputation. So before you spout off to a rude customer on social media, consider how you can turn it around in a way that is positive because even if you’re ultimately right, how you respond matters because it isn’t who is right and who is wrong that counts, it is other people’s perception of you.
Building and maintaining your online reputation is an important way to build your brand, improve your business, and make a massive difference to your bottom line. Simply work on it, measure it and respond positively to those negative comments and you won’t be unhappy.