7 Tips For Building A Solid Online Reputation

Published on:

The name of a brand can be destroyed in far less time than it's build. Here's how to build your online reputation that will last.

Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things different.”

Building a solid online brand reputation is one of the most important aspects of running a sustainable, enduring business. It is also one of the hardest to achieve. Once you earn the trust of consumers in your community, you will do everything in your power to keep those relations fruitful. That’s because you know how much blood, sweat and tears you put into acquiring them.

Unfortunately, things do go sour from time to time and you may acquire negative publicity, both online (i.e., negative reviews and social media mentions) and offline (i.e., word of mouth). If you stay proactive and know how to downplay unhappy customers, you will be able to divert a bad situation from getting worse.

Below are 7 tips for improving your online reputation management skills and building a solid online reputation that will increase your credibility and brand.

#1 Be Yourself

When building an online reputation, it’s well advised to take a personal approach. This is the best way to make sure that your brand is unique and vibrant. Not only does online branding become more fun when you are yourself, but your clients will be able to sense that it is genuine and will even pay more attention.

Below are a few ways to incorporate your personality into your online brand:

  1. Upload photos of your employees at corporate events and gatherings.
  2. Highlight community events you sponsor and attend.
  3. Make your hobbies and extra-curricular activities known. Make sure they are relevant to your industry.

#2 Get To Know Your Followers/Fans

So, you have 2,000 fans on Facebook and 5,000 followers on Twitter? Do you know anything about them or their needs and wants? Create occasional surveys and distribute them on all your online channels. This will help you serve much more accurate content in future posts. For example, if your customers are not able to input their credit card, which is preventing them from finalizing the sales on your website, it is crucial for you to be made aware. You will not know this unless you ask customers for their feedback.

#3 Stay Consistent

Every business in the world benefits from strategically developing a brand and maintaining it as an easily identifiable representation of their organization. A strong brand identity propels it to the forefront of those consumer attitudes which facilitate their spending decisions. Branding consistency is one of the most important means of brand recognition. Imagine if a company that did not maintain a consistent brand name; not only would it probably go virtually unknown, it would appear unreliable, not to be trusted.

#4 Do Not Neglect Your Social Media Accounts

It is better not to have a social media account at all than to leave an account empty and inactive. When brand advocates see inactive accounts, they not only unlike or unfollow them but take their business elsewhere…to businesses that have active accounts and offer active solutions to their problems. More importantly, if you fail to take care of those accounts, they will not be sufficiently strong enough to outrank any negative publicity you may have in the future.

#5 Listen

Online branding is a two way zone. When responding to bad reviews or customer concerns, you should seriously consider that there may be real weaknesses in your business. Don’t be inflexible; come up with creative ways to give customers what they want without creating friction. As well, spend quality time searching through Ask Me Anything (AMA) websites, such as Quora and Reddit, to get an idea of the everyday problems consumers in your industry are facing. If you have the solution, why not make it known directly on the AMA site, via onsite blog or YouTube video.

#6 Optimize Your Company Website

Optimize several pages on your website using what is probably your most important keyword term—your company’s name. Perhaps even buy a few additional domain names with your brand name in it and use them for blogging purposes. The more mentions you have of your brand name online, the less likely you will be overtaken by negative publicity.

#7 Apologize When Wrong

To err is human. If you or your company makes a mistake it is important to own up to it and make a genuine apology to those affected. A sincere apology can work wonders when it comes to diffusing a situation and can help move the process along toward fixing the relationship.

For many small businesses and startups, the complete lack of proactive online reputation management leaves them in the position of a sitting duck. With little more than just a website to represent them online, they are standing on shaky ground if anyone creates a site to target them. When your only web presence is a website even a simple negative post on social media could rank for your business name searches.  That’s why online reputation management starts the moment you open your front doors and not on a case-by-case basis.



Sharing is caring so please share this post. Thank you!