We’ve all seen just how fast word travels these days, and nowhere is that more important to your business than in the world of your online reputation. What took you several years to build can be destroyed in seconds. If you’re not up to pace on why exactly your online reputation matters so much, let’s consider a few statistics. Cone Communications found that a full 89 percent of consumers view online channels as trustworthy sources, and that 80 percent have actually changed their decision about purchasing after taking a look at a negative review. Not just that, but your own social media accounts is where the action is! The Society for Communications Research says that another 72 percent report researching companies through their social channels before making purchasing decisions, and 59% use these same social sites to let the world learn about their frustrations about you and your customer service.
5 Ways to help guard your online reputation
- Check your online reputation regularly – Google yourself and your company name at least once per month. Create Google alerts to inform you if there are any mentions of your names or brand. Easy, free and necessary.
- Claim your online property – Someone who is intent on doing you and your business harm can do a whole lot with your name. Make sure to buy your company’s domain name, or your personal one, and avoid at the very least having them show up in Google thanks to an exact match name.
- Be active on your social networks – Beyond claiming your presence on the major social sites, also work to use them regularly. Being present can help you see and minimize potential issues easily.
- Deal with any unfavorable content quickly – Do your very best to take care of negative postings and complaints expeditiously. Try very hard to make contact with the poster directly, offline if at all possible, and see if you’re able to handle their concerns. DON’T get in to a flaming match online. You’ll be the loser.
- Be careful what you put online – Those lovely pictures of you and the staff partying hard are not exactly what you want to show up in a business context.
We’re all part of a fast paced information-driven world. Make certain you’re in position to use this to successfully manage your online reputation!