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No matter how many good reviews and positive remarks your business may have, it often seems like the only comments that get shared are the negative ones. This can be discouraging. However, when those negative remarks get shared online, the affect can be devastating because the audience is so much larger! And, in today’s busy world, keeping up with the comments made online, whether on social media sites, review sites or blog posts, can seem to be a gargantuan task.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help manage your online reputation, without having to spend hours every month scouring the Web. The following steps will help you redeem (if necessary) and keep your company’s online reputation positive.
- Search your name online using several different search engines – Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. – plus as many social media sites to see what comes up. Be sure to try several combinations of your name and your business name. If there any negative comments or if you find any bad reviews, save the link and note who made the comment. Once you have the list, go back and politely respond to each comment. You may need to offer free products/services, or it may be just a matter of going out of your way to apologize and correct the situation. But whatever you do, don’t get defensive or hateful. Remember the old adage, “You get more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Be sure to allow the person to respond to you, and be sure you make a public post of apology. Once you have made peace with each other, ask the person to consider taking down the negative comments.
- Now that you have addressed any pre-existing comments, be sure to take a close look at social media platforms. If you have an old profile somewhere that reflects negatively on you, close the page down. Now it won’t eradicate your past, but it will make it harder to find.
- Control your online image by countering the negative posts with positive ones. Do this by joining professional sites such as LinkedIn or Twitter and then asking for recommendations.
- Write professional blogs on your website that point to your expertise in your field.
- Find creative, unique ways to tell your story and that of your business. Be real, and own up to mistakes. Use a conversational tone and be human. This helps people respect you more, and can often give you and edge on your competition.
- Get a professional headshot that you can use on your various social media platforms and your website.
- Be sure that your information is up to date. Do you have specific office hours? Have you received any awards? Maybe, you have recently completed more training. Whatever it may be, be sure your various web platforms are current.
Online reputation management is an important part of business. Failing to check out what others are saying about will come back to bite you. Remember, you want the Web to be your friend – so make the most of the platforms that can help you. If you aren’t sure how to use the Web to your favor, talk to Mobile Associates of Atlanta. We are here to help.