With more and more customers turning to the web to research the shops they’d like to do business with, taking steps to manage your online reputation is essential.
“Imagine if there were a handful of things you could do right now to seriously mitigate the chances of your company falling victim to an online reputation management nightmare?” Lisa Barone, cofounder of Outspoken Media, asked in a recent column for Small Business Trends. “Imagine if proactively putting in place a couple of systems would help you hear your customers in a way that is productive to the company, instead of potentially damaging?”
Barone shared 15 ways to protect your online reputation, including:
Improve your Google ranking.
“Blog, make videos, sponsor events, create a company Tumblr account, start a podcast, etc.,” she wrote. “This will help you control what’s ranking for your brand name and keep negative mentions lower on the Google totem pole.”
Tell customers the best way to contact you.
“If they’re experiencing issues or concerns, should they reach out to you on Twitter, on Facebook, use your contact form, call you, etc.?” Barone wrote. “Let them know the best way to resolve their issue so that they can use your company-approved method to get a response instead of ranting on Twitter or dissing you on Yelp.”
Engage with customers online.
“If you stumble across a negative mention of your company, become part of that conversation,” she wrote. “Let that customer (and everyone watching) know that you want to make things right and offer a plan for how to move forward from this experience.”
Get satisfied customers talking about you.
“Proactively use Facebook and Twitter to build brand evangelists you can count on to defend you when sticky situations arise,” Barone wrote. “It’s always better to have someone come to your rescue than for you to be the lone voice speaking on behalf of your brand.”
“Develop a crisis plan so that if or when something does go wrong, you have a plan for how you’ll react,” she wrote. “Know what steps you’ll take and who’ll do what before a problem arises.”
To read the complete Small Business Trends article, click here.