Online reputation management is a crucial way to help boost your brand and maintain a positive image online. Managing your reputation online can be done in a few ways.
Many companies, business owners, and individuals hire service providers like BRANDefenders to manage their online reputation. However, it’s possible to manage it on your own; it can be a little tricky sometimes.
What is Online Reputation Management, and Why is it Important?
Reputation management is critical in today’s digital world. Everything is posted online, from public opinions to photos and reviews. Some companies strictly use the internet to conduct business and don’t even have an office or storefront customers, and clients can visit.
The internet and the content posted online about your brand and company have a massive pull on how potential customers view your company.
Online reputation management companies strategize to influence the public’s perception of your brand. This is not done deceitfully but in a strategic, tactful way that allows your business to have positive press and combat negative news online.
Reputation management isn’t just for large companies and huge brands, but for small businesses and even individuals, as one nasty comment, review, or news release can affect your reputation and cause problems in your future.
Even the best companies have harmful content circulating on the internet from time to time. So, it’s not a matter of if negative news will come, but when. This is why online reputation management is so important.
When you manage your online reputation, you will be able to rid the negative and untrue content about you and your business online while infiltrating it with positive content that will boost your brand image.
As mentioned above, hiring SEO and reputation management experts is the best way to combat these adverse effects of a bad reputation online; however, it is possible to manage your online reputation.
When managing your reputation, be sure to avoid these five common mistakes businesses make.
1. Arguing With Negative Reviews or Comments
With the rise of social media and opinions being constantly shared on the internet, it is no secret that people are willing to say more hurtful things over the internet than they would ever say in person.
Knowing this and keeping a level head when negative comments and reviews are left on your social media sites, and different review sites is key to remaining cool, calm, and collected.
One of the greatest mistakes individuals and business owners make is responding to comments and reviews with more hurtful things. This is not a great tactic for combatting negative reviews, even if the reviewer is not being honest.
Arguing over the internet is never a good look, and it can end up damaging your reputation more than the negative review did.
Plus, people are more likely to share a negative experience with a product or service than a positive one. Instead of focusing on the few negative reviews or comments and getting hurt, try to learn from them and take the necessary feedback to implement change.
Many entrepreneurs treat their business as their baby, so it can be highly hurtful when something negative is said. However, use this as a catalyst to improve processes, innovate, and grow your business.
If you stoop to arguing over the internet, you will lose the trust of your customers and stakeholders who love your brand most.
2. Staying Off Social Media
Even though we just mentioned how social media could solicit negative comments and hurtful anecdotes from internet users, it is also a vital tool for boosting your online reputation.
Those who stay off social media are missing out on a huge opportunity to interact with clients, customers, and others interested in your brand and business.
Social media has grown into a robust marketing tool over the last few years, and some businesses get their highest sales from social media.
Most importantly, it is a platform where you can engage with your target audience, answer their questions, and give them a behind-the-scenes look into your business. Interacting with clients on social media can be some of the most rewarding work you do for your business and can certainly benefit your perception online.
Learning the different social media channels and what is best to post will help you to improve your online presence. LinkedIn profiles, Instagram, and Facebook pages all rank well on search engines too, so it’s hurting your brand if you stay off these sites.
3. Being Inconsistent
Inconsistency can be a detriment to your online reputation. Letting multiple people work on your reputation and not being consistent with one person can be a significant downfall.
Every person thinks differently and responds to issues differently, so if you aren’t consistent in your reputation management in responding to comments, sharing positive content, etc., you could be putting mixed messages out to your consumers.
Being in line with your brand and the message you want to share is critical for all team members to understand. If one person is a little more sarcastic while another team member is more direct, it could confuse clients and damage the brand image you have spent countless hours creating.
Consistency is key to your online reputation management, so your clients always know what to expect. Along with being consistent, it’s important to note the importance of brand values and even a motto that your team members can stick to.
Clients who know that you are honest, reliable, and consistent won’t have to worry much. Instead, they can leave the work to you and focus their time and energy on other things.
Creating brand guidelines for your team to refer to can help, or hiring an outside reputation management company like BRANDefenders can ensure that your online image stays consistent.
4. Mixing Your Personal Life and Professional Life
You should be cautious of mixing the personal and professional. Being consistent and having tools and resources to turn to when managing your online reputation can help curb this.
It can be tempting to post your personal opinions and beliefs on your company’s social media profiles or websites, but it can often hurt you more than help.
Expressing personal opinions should be left to your personal social media account. Although it can be hard not to combine the two accounts, it’s best to try and manage your company’s reputation by keeping your personal opinions to yourself in the professional environment.
Sharing your personal beliefs may drag customers away because they disagree with you. This is where a professional reputation management company can help too. They can help you discern what is meant for your personal page versus your professional.
Using reputation experts is always a better solution to most of these problems, as they know how to represent your company through online reputation management best.
5. DIY Online Reputation Management
One of the greatest mistakes people make is assuming they can do all their online reputation management independently. Now, it is possible, but there are so many aspects to being a business owner, and so much of your time is spent in many different areas of the workplace.
Instead of spreading yourself thin trying to stay up to date with the latest trends on social media and all the reviews your company is getting online, hiring reputation management experts allows you to free up your time for other essential things.
One of the most significant aspects of online reputation management is being proactive. It can be hard to juggle this and all the other things that involve running a business.
DIYing your online reputation is often the wrong strategy because there are so many other things you could be doing with the time and headaches spent managing your online presence.
As a business owner, it’s often your instinct to get defensive about your brand. Why throw all that hard work away? Hiring reputation and SEO experts allow you to have peace of mind knowing your reputation and brand image are in good hands.