The song says, “I don’t give a damn ‘bout my bad reputation.”
Those lyrics sounded fun and rebellious when Joan Jett sang them but taking that attitude when it comes to your online reputation can be disastrous to your business.
Not caring about your online reputation is a mistake. And your online reputation consists of more than your carefully-thought-out website and social media pages.
Most importantly, your online reputation is something you can control – for the most part. Here’s what you need to know.
The Elements of Your Online Reputation
Your online reputation is the total of everything shown or said about your company online. That means that all of these play a role in creating your reputation:
In other words, you can have the best website in the world. But, if your online reviews are terrible and you’re not managing them properly, your reputation may be significantly less wonderful than you want it to be.
How to Get a Handle on Your Online Reputation
Not sure what your online reputation says about you? The first step is doing a reputation audit. That means Googling your company and getting into the nitty-gritty of what people are saying about you – and what they think.
I suggest starting with Google and scrolling at least the first three pages of results. Visit any sites that mention your business and read what they say about you. Make notes of any factual inaccuracies or negative comments – you’ll need those down the line.
Likewise, track your social media mentions. If you don’t know what people are saying about you on Twitter or Instagram, it’s possible that you could be allowing incorrect or negative information about your company to spread.
Make a list of all review sites where consumers have reviewed your company. At the same time, audit your NAP listings so you can standardize them and consolidate your online presence.
Claim Your Listings on Review Sites
Next, visit every review site where your company is listed and do what you need to do to claim the listings. The process may be involved, so it’s important to start as soon as possible.
Once you have claimed your listings, you should:
Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world, but they can cause real problems if you don’t respond to them promptly and professionally. Remember, every negative review is an opportunity to demonstrate that you care about your customers.
Get More Reviews
Reviews play a huge role in your reputation because more than 80% of all consumers read reviews before purchasing a product. Old reviews don’t carry as much weight as new ones. That means it’s your job to encourage your customers to leave reviews.
Here are a few creative ways to get more reviews:
Many of the same rules apply to testimonials. The best time to ask for a testimonial is when you know the customer is likely to be highly satisfied. For example, a real estate agent might ask for a testimonial right after a successful closing, or a wedding photographer might ask after delivering the pictures to a happy couple.
Make Reputation Management a Priority
The key to keeping your reputation strong is to make managing it a priority for yourself and your employees. That means doing the following:
While it’s true that you can’t control every aspect of your online reputation, you can control a lot of it. By taking an active interest, engaging with your followers online, and making their satisfaction a priority, you can give your reputation a boost.
Ultimately, your online reputation plays a big role in your success. In just a few minutes a day, you can implement procedures that will ensure your online reputation remains strong – and helps you to attract new business and retain your most loyal customers.