What are some of the elements of a personal reputation?
You probably tossed out terms like character, consistency, ethics, morals or actions. All of these (and more) go into how others view a person.
What about when the reputation refers to that of a business? How does today's internet society affect that?
Maintaining a strong business reputation requires focusing on more than just how you treat customers, how competitive your prices are or how effective your services or products are. Since so many people turn to the web to check out a business's reputation before they decide to patronize it, being proactive in reputation management is becoming a prerequisite for businesses to survive and flourish.
A good reputation management system is made up of five elements:
1. Negative items.Like a personal reputation, an online reputation takes a long time to build, but a moment to destroy. Since people (unfortunately) remember negative things more easily than positive information, it is of paramount importance to address any negative comments, reviews, blog postings or other types of content that you may come across. Do this in an objective and calm tone without becoming angry or defensive. If an apology is necessary, issue one and offer to rectify the situation to the satisfaction of the customer.
2. Social media.From LinkedIn to Facebook and Twitter, millions of people are spending more time on social media sites. It's wise not only to have a presence on all of these sites, but to keep these pages and profiles current and engaging. You should be proactive in recruiting people to follow you on Twitter, like you on Facebook and keep track of your other social media profiles. Be sure and post photos, text entries and even video footage if possible on a regular basis. Use contests, surveys and open-ended questions to boost engagement and seek feedback.
3. New content.Search engines rank companies higher if they are constantly being mentioned on the web. While you can't control what others may say or write about your business, what you can do is produce much of this content yourself. Start a blog and post regular entries about your products, employees, and/or community involvement efforts. Whenever something important happens with your business, issue a press release and send it to whomever will post it. You can even post photos or produce videos in the hopes that they will go viral.
4. Updating profiles.It may seem like there are an endless number of listing and directory sites which are always asking for your business information. However, you must keep providing it and keeping the info current. Also fill in as many fields and blanks on each profile or site as possible. The more data you submit, the better your search engine rankings will be.
5. The big picture.This is often the most difficult element because it can be hard to step back from your operational duties and plan an overall strategy. However, it's vital to have a game plan in mind so that your online reputation management efforts are working in unison and feeding off of each other. All of the work you put into bolstering the above mentioned four elements must be consistent with your company's overall message, focus and target audience. Otherwise, you're wasting a whole lot of your precious time.
ReputationDefender has the knowledge and experience to help companies find their vision and tailor these reputation management elements to meet those goals. If you worry that you may not have the time or the expertise to effectively manage your company's reputation, consider contacting ReputationDefender today.