If you have a business, then it is vital that you have an online presence. But you also have to make sure that this presence is positive, which means you must engage in reputation management. How people see you online, and whether that is a perception that is aligned with your desired brand image is vital. You cannot simply guess that people are saying positive things, you have to check that.
Understanding Reputation Management
Through reputation management, you take control over your brand and how it is perceived, particularly online. To do this, you must continuously monitor what is said online, ensuring that the overwhelming majority of things are positive. This means boosting good comments and reviews, and pushing negative ones back down.
Why Does it Matter?
The world is now online. Everyone is on social media, every business has a website, and everyone looks for you before deciding to make a purchase. You cannot escape this, nor should you. In fact, for many brands, the internet is their main source of business.
New stats have shown that 92% of people will check out reviews before deciding to make a purchase. Furthermore, around 80% will go elsewhere if they read a single bad review. This means that, if you don’t manage your reputation, you could lose a whole lot of business. You have to stay in control of this, or you may as well give up.
How to Manage Your Reputation
Reputation management is a real skill and it requires a lot of time. You need to approach this with a strategic perspective and always be on top of what is happening. This is why it is recommended to work with professionals on it. Together, you will do three things:
- Determine what your current reputation is and whether this aligns with your goals.
- Fixing whatever damage is out there in order to reach your goals.
- Keeping the goals once you reach them.
What Is Your Reputation?
The starting point has to be finding out what your current reputation is. This will tell you how much you have to do, while at the same time demonstrating your brand’s strengths and weaknesses. Key is that you find out what your customers are saying. You can find out about this through review sites, social media, forums, and blogs. By entering your business’ name in any of these locations, you should be able to find a number of results. Read those and determine what the image is that is being portrayed. Do also see how highly your website ranks on the search engines, as you want to make sure that it is easy for your customers to find you. During your research, you should take the opportunity to see what complaints about you exist as well, and start to address those by making changes to your policies and procedures, if they are true. Your reputation is your most valuable asset, nurture it properly.