5 Essential Reputation Management Habits
By Matt Bacak
Reputation management means managing or controlling your online reputation, i.e. how you are seen by the public on the web. When you search for your name or company name on a search engine, what results pop up? Are the negative or positive? Just because you find negative results doesn’t mean your career is over but it does mean you are losing valuable sales. And even if you find positive results, that doesn’t mean that you have nothing to improve upon.
Here are 5 essential reputation management habits you must start using right now so you can stop losing customers, money and respect:
1. Learn SEO or hire an SEO expert. If you don’t have the time, find someone who can help explain to you the steps needed to make sure the results coming up for your name or business are relevant and prominent.
2. Utilize social media for branding and keeping customers happy. This is the age of social media and if you aren’t making yourself known out in the social media world, you are missing out on a lot of great thing, including reputation management. Consumers today are constantly checking Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and all sorts of other sites like them to see what companies are doing. They go on these sites to get their customer support questions answered and to interact with other like-minded people. This is your opportunity to get involved and make you/your company look good.
3. Think across the board. If you’re using many platforms to get the message out about your business then you need to make sure that your messages are in harmony with each other. No matter where someone finds you, whether it’s on your Facebook fan page or your blog, they should get the same excellent experience and information.
4. Be available. If you’re a small business, it’s hard to be available all the time but with the competition for people’s attention being so tough, you have to be. Now if you’re just a one man show, you’re thinking, how the heck am I going to be available all the time? There are several programs you can use that will alert you to when someone is speaking to you, no matter through what medium. Take advantage of what’s out there so you aren’t missing out on chances to interact with your consumers.
5. Don’t outsource. I know how it feels like you don’t have extra time to maintain your reputation online but it’s important. It’s so important that I don’t think you should give it away to someone else to take care of. No matter who you find to take over answering questions, writing blog posts or updating your Facebook wall, the problem is they’re not you. They don’t know your company like you do. And when you have the opportunity to speak one on one with your customers, you learn a lot of really valuable information about how to do your business better. That can only lead to more money in your wallet and a better online reputation.
The bottom line is if you don’t know how you are perceived online, you’re missing out on a lot of things that can increase your business. I’ve given you some tips to get started but you have to take the first step and make it a priority.