News travels fast in online communities. Both positive and negative comments about your business can have a strong influence on your business reputation.
An online strategy that takes into account why and how people use social networking will help you ensure people take away a good impression of your business.
Monitor, manage, join in
Many social media enable you to search mentions of your business and gauge your reputation. Social media management tools and Google offer detailed searches of the ‘social web’.
If you know where people are talking about you, you can join in. Being seen to be proactive can enhance your reputation, and resolving problems will turn bad impressions into good ones.
Enhancing online reputation through improved customer service
Social media can be excellent consumer relationship management tools. Twitter enables you to interact directly and answer queries quickly. Facebook invites more detailed responses and allows you to add value with special offers.
Social media will be the main point of contact with your business for many customers. Being seen to provide good customer service can persuade people to buy.
Engaging with customers
Taking the time to build relationships will enhance your standing and can generate sales and referrals. Be sure to:
- be responsive, don’t just broadcast
- develop an authentic voice – transparency and honesty create trust
- give people something useful to take away
- allow followers to feel they ‘know’ your business
- be consistent in your social media use
- always address complaints and misconceptions about your business, and do so professionally
Building reputation through sharing
Sharing helpful content on your website or blog with your social networks will boost your online reputation. Adding share buttons to your website content will help spread your name more widely.
Add ratings features and comment boxes to your content, too – positive reviews are evidence of your good reputation and persuade people to buy. Of course, you’ll have to provide a good product or service to get the recommendations.
Enhancing reputation in your industry
Business networking sites can help increase your standing in your industry. Demonstrate expertise by answering queries and providing insights in forums and blogs. A good online reputation among your peers can turn into collaborations, speaking engagements and media interviews.