People are using Google and other search engines to research your brand before making a final purchasing decision. What are they finding on there? Is it good or bad? If you can’t answer this question, then there’s a good chance that you won’t like what you’ll find.
Neglecting your online reputation is one of the worst things you could do for your business. Just because you ignore it doesn’t mean the problem won’t persist. If you have disgruntled workers and customers, then there’s a big chance that they’ve used the Internet as an outlet for their frustrations.
Unfortunately, this also means that millions of other people can see it as well. Negative comments, whether warranted or unwarranted, will be found and taken into consideration by prospects. Sometimes, ensuring your products and services are the best isn’t enough.
With that said, you should learn to understand the following about online reputation management.
Find All of Your Online Assets
The first thing you need to do is a quick search to see everywhere your brand is mentioned and any profiles you currently have. Once you have accumulated a list of all your online assets, it’s time to determine which of them pose the biggest threat. You can also find channels to leverage, such as social media.
It’s About Control and Letting Go
It’s important not to get caught up in the hype as you start to read the negativity spread about your brand. Your ORM strategy is about gaining control over what’s being said about your brand, but don’t use this time to lash out at the naysayers. There’s no point for this, as it will only fan the fire, not put it out.
Ongoing Monitoring is Key
You can’t just check your online reputation one time and expect it to be the same months or even a year later. This must be an ongoing process to ensure your methods are working and that your customers are satisfied. Remember, finding negative comments can be turned into an opportunity to offer stellar customer service.
Don’t Wait Until Negativity Hits
Even if you have no negative comments and posts yet, you should still work on your reputation. This is a great way to stay ahead and in control of your online identity. It’s best for Internet surfers to find your content than someone else’s any day – unless it’s a positive review!
Hugh Benjamin is an Internet marketing expert that deals in online reputation management, SEO, content management, social media marketing, PPC marketing, Web design and business development consulting.