In a world where an increasing amount of people go online to research products or services before they make an investment it’s become more important to manage your online reputation.
And we tend to take the Internet for granted so it’s easy to forget how big it is and the length of its memory span. We’d all do well to remember that once someone has posted something on a website or commented on an article, it’s on there for years, so you need to make sure your businesses online reputation makes you a credible and trusted brand.
Claiming your name
Even if you’re not active in social media it is definitely worth registering your business username across the various social media platforms available such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This means no-one else can adopt that username and pretend to be you online, which could have negative results for your company. Often people who take on another person or businesses username will do this so they can spam other users, and those targeted may be your potential prospects or even clients which would ultimately be detrimental to your brand.
Once you’ve created your various social media accounts make sure you link them to your website and add links to your social pages on blogs, emails and any other marketing collateral to make sure people are aware these are real accounts and to protect these online assets.
Protecting your account
Once your accounts have been set up, make sure your account is protected and has the correct privacy settings to build your online identity. You’ll have to keep your profiles public, but you can control which information gets shared. It’s also vital you only share passwords with people who are actively using your social media accounts, and if someone leaves your company you should change the passwords straight away.
A good way to boost your credibility is to ask your connections for feedback on your services/products they’ve used. You could get feedback from either contacting customers or clients you have a great relationship with or even post an update online saying you’re looking for people to review your company and remember it will be damaging to your company if you post fake reviews.
What are people saying about you?
When you’re active in social media, it’s crucial to find out and manage what people are saying about you online. Some great tools to use to monitor comments are Klout, Hootsuite and Social Mention. Working the same way as Google, you can search for your brand name and phrases associated with your brand and can track brand mentions and reputation. You can also set up triggers and alerts so every time your brand gets mentioned online, you receive an email straight to your inbox. This is also a great way to monitor and keep up to date with what social media your competitors are doing.
It’s best to check this everyday so you can keep on top and respond to any comments. But in the unfortunate event you find you received a negative comment, respond politely and quickly – don’t ignore! Don’t be provoked to respond in a negative way, just treat it like a conversation. And of course, it’s also important to show appreciation for positive comments.
So, to build a really good online reputation for your brand you need to have really good management of all of your accounts along with authenticity and being social media savvy!