In the modern business world, having an online presence is crucial to success. The Internet is one of the first places that consumers, clients, partners, and investors are going to go to gather and confirm information about your business.
You need to go beyond just having a presence online; you need to take the time and make the effort to actually manage the presence that you have so that you can control your online reputation.
With proper management, your online presence can have many rewards, but, managed improperly and your online presence can be the downfall of your business.
Having a website and a Facebook page is not the same as managing an online reputation.
Being in the space will establish a presence, but managing your reputation will make that presence strong. With reputation management, you can increase your placement in search results which will make your business more accessible and trustworthy.
Here are a few things you can bring to the table when discussing with your digital agency how to use online marketing to control your business’ reputation:
Get your name before someone else does.
Part of being able to control your reputation means having an intuitive and recognizable name that you use for your online accounts. If you haven’t already, you need to claim your brand’s name on social media, even if you aren’t yet ready to start using the networks in your marketing strategy.
If you don’t claim these names, you leave the door open for someone else to claim them; if that happens you’ll end up spending money to buy the name back or spending money to run campaigns that introduce your audiences to your official name.
Offer lots of places to collect and respond to feedback.
Another way to use digital marketing for your reputation is through reviews and user-generated content. You can’t control all of the reviews that get posted about your company, but you can actively respond and send the message that you are listening, that you care, and that you are serious about making your customers happy.
Offer a review platform on your own website too; this can help give counter or back up the reviews people might see on sites like Yelp!. You can also use unsolicited, unpaid user content to promote your business and your reputation. When content comes from someone that is engaged but hasn’t been paid, audiences are more trusting.
Impress anyone that may want to do business with you.
Customers aren’t the only ones that will be looking at your website and reviewing your online reputation. Potential partners, investors, and financial institutions will turn to the Internet to deem you a worthy or unworthy business venture.
Managing your online reputation will make sure that they can see your values reflected in the way you use digital marketing, making you trustworthy and instilling confidence that you would be a great partner.
Make your business an employment destination.
Your online reputation goes beyond just your partners, though. It can also impact whether or not you’re able to recruit top talent. Get on Glassdoor.com and be active by providing information and encouraging your workforce to post honest reviews. Keep your website current, and include a “Career” section that explains what it is like to be an employee.