Managing your Reputation Online

Regardless of the size of your company it really does matter what people say about you.

Some companies can afford to cheat all the rules and fake a good reputation but most of us can’t so it takes diligence and paying close attention.

When first starting out take the time to build your reputation in a way that will propel your company into the future. By going out of your way to ensure you have happy clients you will be in a better position than someone who is only out to make money today.

People love gossip, and we love it even better when its nasty. Do your best and you have a better chance of minimizing the negative gossip mill.

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”

~ Winston Churchill

Once you have built a good rep then you have to keep it up. Things like offering extra services or catering to your faithful customers will keep them engaged.

If your reputation takes a dive then you have to do what you can to recover from that. Don’t shy away from a negative review – if you can – fix it.

Keeping your reputation in check is a lot of work. It requires constant monitoring of the internet and paper publications. Being able to mitigate anything as soon as it happens is key to staying on top.

Where do you start with managing your business’s reputation?

First – keeping in mind that your company is unique- start looking in all the places a client would be saying bad things. Facebook, free blogging spaces, Twitter, Pinterest, Online registers etc.

When you find negative feedback – be constructive and try and fix it. If you can reply publicly to them in the same forum – it will look to others like you are at least addressing the problem and expressing interest and concern.

Using social media surveillance and analytics process’s to gauge public opinion of your company or service, you can tailor a campaign that will address any potential or existing problems you may have.

One thing that you can do is create a ‘positive opinion’ campaign. This will help to raise the visibility of all the good stuff which has the effect of diverting the focus away from the negative.

This is done simply by producing a quantity of positive and informative documents and social networking communications. You can do this by participating in social conversations, publishing helpful reports and initiating PR news feed.

If you do find a particularly nasty review, and can prove it is from a competitor or have done your best to make them happy, there are other things you can do.

Sometimes you can have the remarks removed from the particular forum. Sometimes you can reply, sometimes you just have to swallow it.

Engaging constantly in social networks is one of the most economical and effective ways of manageing your business reputation online.