At mRELEVANCE it is our goal to help your business grow and prosper online. You may not think that your online reputation is all that important, but it does play a significant role in how both prospective and current customers view your business. Your online reputation can one of the first things that people can encounter when they search for you online.
As more consumers turn to the internet to make purchases and find companies to work with, those same consumers are also turning to the internet to post reviews about their experiences with businesses. Recent studies have shown that at least 88% of people put some trust in an online review. Obviously the more positive reviews people find about you, the more likely you are to increase your customer base. But since not all reviews are going to positive, it is essential for your business to learn how to handle any negative reviews or feedback that you might receive online.
Doug Silk is the SEO Manager at mRELEVANCE, and his group handles Reputation Management for our clients. According to Doug, “it is absolutely essential for any business to have a positive online reputation. You can have the best website in the world, and offer a price 99% cheaper than your competition, but if potential customers keep reading negative things about your company’s products or services, they will not want to do business with you. “
So how do you create a positive online reputation?
Make your presence known through social media channels as this is where most people will find your business and see what your company has to offer. Make sure to create strong profiles on these channels, keep them updated and active. These profiles are your way of helping further establish credibility. Look at your target market to help you determine what social media platforms would benefit you the most. B2C businesses should be on more social channels like Facebook and Twitter where they can interact with customers whereas B2B business may have better luck with a site like LinkedIn.
Monitor regularly not only your social channels, but review sites such as Yelp, Google My Business or any site where people can leave reviews or correspond with you. Once you see a comment/review come in respond. Good or bad…respond. For a positive review, just say something simple like thank you. If the customer can take 2 seconds to say something nice, you can take 2 seconds to thank them. Other customers or potential customers will take notice. Another thing people will take notice of is negative reviews. Negative reviews need to be addressed in a timely manner and should be done in a polite, professional and non-defensive tone. Negative comments are never good but if done properly, you can turn the negative into a positive. Negative reviews provide an opportunity to show that you are a company with real people who treat their customers, even the unhappy ones, with respect and let them and other know that you will take ownership and work hard to resolve any issues.
Get involved in online communities relative to your business. This lets you interact with people who have a very good chance of turning into a customer or suggestion you to a potential customer. Are you a home remodeler? Go to a DIY online community and answer a question for someone. Others will see your interaction and will appreciate the effort you are making. Will it turn into a huge remolding job? Maybe not but it could turn into the person you helped going to a review site or one of your social profiles and letting others know what happened.
There are other things you can do to help insure that you’re online reputation is one you can be proud of, but we would recommend following the suggestions we outlined above as they should have a rather large impact.
If you have any questions or currently find yourself dealing with a negative online reputation, contact mRELEVANCE and our experts can work with you to create the positive reputation you need to succeed in today’s online business world.