Did you know that 25% of a company’s value is directly influenced by its reputation? You can’t afford to let your online reputation build organically. Managing your company’s reputation is more important than ever. This is where Reputation Marketing comes in handy.
Mastering reputation marketing can help you manage:
- negative search results
- what search results you show up for
- awkward Google auto-completes.
An increase in negative auto completes, for example, could really hurt your brand.
You don’t want to see ‘scam’ turning up in autocomplete after your business name.
So how do you stop it from happening?
There’s a way to control that through reputation marketing. Here are eight helpful tips to get you started.
- Know What People Are Saying About Your Business
This is the first rule of reputation marketing. You can’t manage your reputation if you have no idea what it is.
Make sure to stay on top of what people are saying, whether that’s through reviews, blog posts, or other online formats.
You don’t have to do this just by Googling yourself every day.
Find a tool that will scan for specific keywords — in this case, your business name — and alert you to what’s being said. Google Alerts is one such tool.
- Optimise Your Search Results
How often have you clicked the ‘next’ page on Google results? Have you ever scrolled through two or three pages of results?
Most people will only look at the first page of search results and not go any further.
If you control the first page of search results, you can also control a large part of your online reputation.
How do you do that? The easiest way is to set up high-traffic social media profiles for your business. Each one will take up space on the page.
You can also create multiple websites or contribute to existing sites.
Of course, you should only worry about controlling the entire first page of results if your website is already result #1. (And not for your name by the way.)
- Use SEO
If your homepage doesn’t rank first on the page when you search for your business, you may want to consider revamping your SEO.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is an important aspect of reputation marketing. SEO helps to make sure that your company shows up in search results.
If you skip this step, your business won’t have a reputation that needs managing.
Blogs are great ways to boost SEO.
Two important SEO factors to think of here are:
- Title tags and metadata
- Inbound links
Focusing on these will help boost your rankings and enhance your online reputation.
- Leverage Social Media
Although we all know how vital social media is these days, not everyone knows how to maximize its full potential.
Social media isn’t just a great way to build name recognition. You can also use it to build an engaged audience.
Interact regularly with your audience on social media.
It will build trust and can also keep you in the loop when something is going wrong with your brand that you need to address.
Because of how quickly social media moves — especially on sites like Twitter — you can find and solve problems before they become an issue.
- Listen to Your Customers
This goes along with the golden rule of business — the customer is always right.
Keeping your customers happy is crucial, especially since unhappy customers are more likely to hurt you online.
Listening to customers can take two different forms.
If you’ve already got to the point where someone has left a furious review, don’t just let it be. Respond to them.
Engaging with the person can help you figure out what the issues may have been and ensures that they feel listened to.
It also looks good to the people who are reading the reviews, trying to decide whether to do business with you or not. They’re more likely to trust a business that is clearly willing to address an issue, than one that ignores their customers or clients.
You should also listen to suggestions from people who are happy with your business or product — there are always ways to improve.
- Admit When You’re Wrong
This goes hand in hand with listening to your customers.
It doesn’t matter how much effort you put into reputation marketing. Everyone makes mistakes, even the most careful people.
When that happens, don’t try to cover up the mistake or act as though it never happened. People can see through that, and it will do more to hurt your reputation than help it.
Instead, openly admit to the mistake and share what you’re going to do to fix it.
When people see that you are willing to own up to what went wrong, they are more likely to trust your business. It also helps them to feel heard, which increases the chances of people engaging with you.
A little apology can go a long way.
- See the Value In Your Reputation
It’s all too easy to focus on the negative aspects of reputation marketing. We get bogged down in anxiety about bad reviews or associations.
However, we should also realise that managing our business reputations can also be about recognising the good.
Our business and personal reputations can drive revenue and bring in new customers.
Asking customers to write good reviews and engaging positively on social media are two ways to be proactive about your reputation marketing.
With these tips, you’re on the path to taking control of your business’ reputation. If you’d rather not worry about it, however, let us take care of it for you.