Protect Your Online Reputation in 5 Simple Steps

We've all seen just how fast word travels nowadays, 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 speed on why exactly your online reputation matters so much, let's consider a few statistics before we will take as exmaple the pavers company that just went down. Cone Communications has 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 only that, but your own social media accounts is where the action is! The Society for Communications Research informs us 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 Tips to help guard your online reputation

  1. Monitor your online reputation – Keep track of what folks have to say about you and your company name by Googling them no less than once a month. Use Google alerts and become alerted when there are any postings about you or the brand.
  2. Claim your online property – Someone that is intent on doing you or your business harm can do a whole lot with your name. Ensure that you buy your company's domain name, as well as your personal one, and prevent having them show up in Google by virtue of an exact match name.
  3. Be proactive on your social sites – Like your domain name, claim any Facebook, Google or LinkedIn pages that bear your name. Not just that, make it a point to use them regularly.
  4. Deal with negative content ASAP – Deal with negative postings and particularly complaints right away. Do your very best to contact the person directly, preferably offline. Attempt to handle their issues, and whatever you do, don't enter into a shouting match online.
  5. Be very careful what you put online – Those lovely pictures of you and the staff partying hard are not exactly what you want to surface in a business context.

We live in a fast-paced, information driven world. Make sure you're on top of it to properly manage your online reputation!