At some point it smart to manage your online reputation. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late and you have a PR crisis on your hands.
Here’s a how-to guide for how you can proactively up your online game.
Actively Monitor Your Online Status
There are plenty of social media sites other than Facebook and Twitter. Plus, any press you may have attracted along the way. That old saying, “any press is good press”, is true. If it’s good press, you can leverage it. If it’s bad, you need to know and react immediately and responsively in order to counter it.
But you need to know about it. You can track the Internet for ‘mentions’ using any number of for pay or free tools. To get started try Google’s Alert’s. It’s basic, but free.
As well as monitoring the Internet for mentions of your company name, monthly, or at the very least quarterly, perform searches on your name and brand. Use an incognito browser. This is a pretty worthy exercise.
Always be as Responsive as Possible
When you receive a review or comment on Google or social media (good, bad, or neutral) respond within 24 hours. If you are working on raising your online profile, make responding to any feedback your priority. Set your Google preferences to send you a notice and then respond.
People expect quick a turn-around on their complaints. And, they appreciate your acknowledgement of their comments or requests. Even if you don’t have the answer, acknowledging them in a timely and positive manner sets out on a positive note. Let your reviewer know they are heard. Amazingly, responding quickly and positively can actually build good will. After all, it’s the humane condition to make mistakes. It’s how we handle our mistakes that raises our profile. People appreciate goodwill with repeat business.
For your blog articles, reply immediately to anyone who comments. You want to cultivate a relationship and build community around your brand. Comments indication engagement. Engagement activity on blog posts is a KPI I strongly recommend for tracking your online success.
Ask for Reviews – They Matter
Online reviews are very important within the sales cycle. People read them and will conduct business based on their assessment. If you are one of the gazillion reputable businesses in the world, you really don’t have anything to worry about. Your good reviews will outweigh the poorer ones. And as mentioned above, getting a compaint aired can sometimes work for the best.
So ask your customers for their reviews. People will give reviews if asked.
The other reason you want reviews, especially Google reviews, is because Google will list companies with more and better reviews higher in the results. This is especially true for local search.
A great way to get reviews is to send a followup thank you email to your customers and ASK. Make sure your email gives a link to make it easy for your customer to add their review.
Don’t Panic! Transparency is Important
Trying to cover up the truth can be the worse thing you can do. Be honest and patient. As noted above, admit your mistakes. If someone complains on social media, don’t delete the comment, but respond to it. People know that everyone makes mistake, it’s how you handle them that makes or breaks you. Any response other than a direct one can cause a situation to spiral out of control. And, this is what we don’t want.
This set of guidelines can help you improve and manage your online reputation. It will take time, patience, and know-how. For an assessment of your online properties and how they can be improved, contact us today.