Managing your business’s online reputation is essential to your long-term success – after all, building stronger relationships with your target audience and improving brand awareness are both key steps if you want to grow your business, sales, and customer base.
Online reputation management is all about handling the way that people feel about and connect with your brand on the web. You need to make sure that the perception of your business is largely positive, and that any negative sentiment is dealt with in an effective manner. The goal is to increase trust in your brand, which ultimately leads to more people choosing you over the competition and buying your products or services.
So, how do you go about maintaining and enhancing your online reputation? Follow our 4 top tips to effectively managing your business reputation online:
1. Create a Google My Business account
If you haven’t already utilized Google My Business, you’re missing out on a free tool that can help you to manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps.
A Google My Business listing comprises of your business name, location, working hours, and much more. Whilst this may seem simple, its potential and power should not be underestimated. This Google listing embodies professionalism, showing potential customers that you’re a credible business they can trust, and provides vital information that will direct people to your website and help them easily get in touch with you.
The best bit? A Google My Business listing can often help you to get ahead in the search results, as a fully optimized profile can do wonders for your ranking in local searches.
2. Encourage customer reviews
Reviews play a major role in the consumer decision-making process. Whether on Google, Facebook, or Trustpilot, reviews are often the first pieces of information potential clients search for. They hold the power to make or break the customer’s decision.
Having a range of positive reviews will increase your visibility and will build trust with your customers, alleviating any potential concerns they may have. Essentially, the more positive reviews your business has published online, the more likely a potential customer is to proceed with their purchase or enquiry.
While far from ideal, negative reviews are inevitable when you’re actively collecting customer feedback online. Sometimes these can be a blessing in disguise, helping you to improve your services or products. And, as long as you deal with these negative reviews in a polite and professional manner, you can still protect and even enhance your reputation.
Much like thanking those customers who have left positive reviews, it is equally - if not more - important to respond to any criticism you receive. Not only will this give you your best chance of resolving any issues, but it will also help you manage your online reputation – people judge businesses based on how they respond to reviews, with 70% of consumers more likely to use a business if they respond to negative feedback.
3. Use social media
While you can’t control the sentiment of the reviews you receive, something that will always remain in your power is your social media presence. Use the different platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, etc. - to promote and showcase your products or services to your target audience.
By regularly updating your page and engaging with your followers, you will develop the strong customer relationships essential to any successful business. Social media is, after all, the perfect vehicle for humanising your brand, allowing you to connect with your customers on a more personal level.
Strike for the right balance between personality and professionalism and don’t be afraid to show some character. Behind-the-scenes shots of your business and video insights can go a long way to building trust. After all, people are far more likely to have confidence in a company if they know there are real people behind the brand.
4. Maintain a regular blog
Frequently publishing high quality blog posts can work wonders for your reputation. Much like a social media account, a blog helps to drive traffic and awareness to your site, helping you to grow your audience and, ultimately, attract new leads.
A blog can also be an effective way to increase transparency about what is going on with your business. Whether you’re introducing a new staff member, promoting a new product or service, or celebrating a milestone, all of these details will help customers to build a meaningful connection with the business. By using your blog thoughtfully to share industry insights and useful advice, you can improve your brand awareness and write your way to an expert reputation.
Of course, whilst these steps can all help you to manage your online reputation, the key to building a strong reputation and maintaining your credibility as a professional business on the web is to have an expertly designed website that sets you apart from the crowd. Acting as your online shop window, your website is where the majority of customers will form their first impression of your business, and if your site isn’t up to scratch, this is unlikely to be a good one.
If you’re looking for a professionally designed website that will show people you’re a business they can rely on, then we can help. At TheMillCreek.net, we create secure, affordable, and bespoke websites that encourage visitors to stick around and convert into customers. Get in touch with us today!