For a small business owner operating primarily on the Web, a good online reputation management is very important. It’s clearly among the most critical elements when it comes to building a positive brand image. If unfavorable reviews are constantly circulated about your products and services, they can irreversibly damage your brand reputation. You need to be proactive in dealing with such negative feedback.
Listening to online conversations and discussions
At its core, social media is targeted at forming and enabling a massive community of participants to productively collaborate. Today’s popular networking platforms encourage conversations and easy, two-way inflows of information that can help business make more informed decisions.
Over time, audiences have become increasingly selective about the messages they circulate. In a way, each potential customer, searching for your business online, is akin to a recruiter looking to find the best possible company. In this context, listening to conversations and discussions about your products and services is important.
Monitoring the user feedback and responding quickly to it, even the negative one, is crucial to attain positive word-of-mouth recognition as well as building a lasting relationship with your potential customers.
Leave the task to specialists
However, taking control of your business reputation on the Web and managing it on your own can prove to be a daunting task. This indeed is easier said than done! Once something is put up on the Web, it is not that easy for you or a third party to delete it sans help from the site administrator. It’s even more difficult to remove content from the search engine results. Most search engine cache their results and let surfers view content that has been ‘removed’ with the click of the ‘Cached link’.
So what is the way out? It is advisable to leave the task to specialists, who are more equipped to perform it for you. Approaching an experienced online reputation management expert is a wise idea.
Counter the negative publicity
You can definitely counter the negative publicity. Here are a few quick tips for the purpose:
- If you listen with intent to what users are saying about your brand on social media like Twitter and Facebook, you can definitely improve customer service as well as generate sales. You may start small and gradually build up the tempo.
- Try using your ardent ‘followers’ as an active informal focus group. However, if all that you do is mere ‘selling’, you are likely to turn your target audience off. Be more user-oriented, proactive and interesting.
- For this, you must maintain a dynamic site and a regularly updated blog. Ensure a dynamic Web presence with industry specific news, event details, product launches and other timely information that will interest your readers.