A cringe-worthy online reputation can haunt you for years, and in some extreme cases, turn you into a permanent industry pariah.
Despite the colossal effect that negative reviews, social media posts and other online content can have on a business, too many companies neglect to proactively monitor their online reputation.
The impact that you online reputation can have on your business and sales make it necessary to pay attention to what is being said in relation to your business and professional image. Taking an active role in monitoring and preserving the reputation of your business makes it possible to prevent or counteract any problems before they result in major or permanent damage.
Getting started with this process begins with understanding the individual roles involved in online reputation management and how to determine the online sentiment associated with your business.
The majority of the harm directed at your online reputation can usually be pinned down to people with malicious intentions as well as unsuspecting people. These two groups can have a significant influence on your website and business with relatively little effort.
– People with Malicious Intentions: This collection of individuals may include your competitors, people that have heard unfavorable things about you or your business or they could also be someone who has merely chosen to target you for no apparent reason. These people can wreak havoc on your online reputation and the negativity they put out has the potential to follow you around for years if it is not dealt with in a timely fashion.
– Unsuspecting People: This group of people does not usually have bad intentions but the results of their actions can be just as or more detrimental than those in the malicious category. The most common offenders are your employees, your family and friends and you.
1) Employees without the proper training or that do not take the time to think things through before they post things online can have large consequences on your business.
2) Friends that make inappropriate comments on your website or place unprofessional images of you and your business online can also damage your reputation.
3) What you personally say or do online can have the largest impact out of the people in this category. This involves any customer dealings or content posted to your website or social media accounts.
The process of managing your online reputation not only involves being aware of what people are saying about you but whether or not you need to join the conversation. The type of response and the timing of your reaction, are both essential to maintaining the reputation of your brand, products and services.
Keeping track of brand mentions online, customer reviews, and social media posts about or directed at your company requires regular monitoring and usually necessitates the use of various web monitoring tools. Some of these tools are free, such as Google Alerts, and there are other professional options that offer more comprehensive monitoring features. The use of these tools allows companies to collect online public content and examine the types of things that are being said about their business.
Even the most reputable organizations have to respond to online customer complaints and other negative content on websites, online forums and social networks. These types of interactions can serve as defining moments for your company, which emphasizes the importance of the way you handle a complaint or poor review. The astute business owner will tune into these online conversations and take part at the appropriate times build trust and maintain the desired reputation.