It’s no secret that in today’s world, almost everything can be done online.
People can research, purchase, and review products all from the comfort of their couch, which is way different than life even a decade ago.
Everything about your business is online for the world to see and now, more than ever before, it’s imperative to keep up your online reputation!
9% of consumers do not search for businesses online. This means that 91% of consumers are likely to look up your company. With that in mind, many people read online reviews, and even more, people make purchases based on said reviews! Your online audience is more critical than ever before. Follow these tips to maintain your digital reputation, and ensure your business’s success.
- Market Your Product
Getting your product online and visible is the first hurdle. Keeping it visible and telling the story behind it is what keeps consumers returning. Telling your story builds a connection with people that make the product/service you’re selling more personal and more real. Consumers react well to these stories. In fact, 63% of consumers will remember parts of your story, thus making stories a smart and savvy marketing choice.
Online business directories get the business name out there. Become listed in as many as possible. Good SEO procedures also ensure that the business name pops up in search engines. Keywords, hashtags, categories, and links all help with SEO. Keep an eye on your online presence. Chances are, if you can’t find your business, no one else can. Additionally, remember to monitor your competition. See if there are any new marketing/branding tricks they may be using that you should get on board with. Reputation management software can also help alert you when your company is being searched or mentioned online.
- Use Social Media
Social networks are responsible for guiding 74% of consumers to their purchases. Keeping well maintained social media accounts that connect with people via shared content and frequent interactions is step one. Next, make sure the business’s message and brand is identical across all accounts. A strong, memorable message is one to be remembered. Don’t forget to acknowledge reviews, even the terrible ones. Responses that are empathetic and helpful will sway future consumers in the right direction and may even save a few “lost” ones.
Neglecting your social media accounts may have a negative effect on your business. As a general rule, adding content daily or multiple times a day is best across most accounts. Each platform has specific formulas to make the most out of their audience through engagement practices.
- Be Authentic
Building a strong rapport with consumers means being authentic. People need to trust in your brand name and the product/service you are selling. Most importantly, showing that you’re not perfect but that you take measurements to correct flaws is a big way to keep business booming. Real people make mistakes, acknowledge them, and try to move forward — your business should operate the same way.
- Don’t Do This…
Here is a handy list of online actions to avoid:
- Don’t ignore bad reviews
- Don’t ignore customer concerns
- Don’t delay responses
- Don’t respond if you’re angry
- Don’t deny your responsibility
- Don’t ignore solutions
- Don’t respond with attitude or partake in comment wars
- Don’t forget to follow up with complaints in a personal method
- Delegate Help
Maintaining social media accounts and managing your online presence is a ton of work for one person. Chances are if you are running the company, you don’t have time for that. This is where a task force comes in. Put people in place to manage online activities. Establish policies and future goals, both short and long term, for these individuals to follow. In the event of an online crisis (public relations drama or a bad review), have an action plan in place. An immediate professional response is always better than hiding from the issue. Also, the task force can monitor the competition, and look ahead to possible growth opportunities for your brand and business online.
If your efforts to create a task force don’t run smoothly, or are simply not in the budget, consider working with a third party. Plenty of companies are available to run your online presence for you! Outsourcing the work will take a load of stress of off your shoulders, and safely into the hands of experts.
Businesses rated four stars online have a 94% volume in consumer usage, whereas businesses with a two star rating have a mere 14% volume in consumer usage. The correlation between star reviews and consumerism proves that reviews matter. Your online presence as a business matters as a whole, too. If you haven’t been managing your brand’s digital identity, now is the time to start!