Internet use is becoming rampant more than ever. People use it not only to look for answers to their questions but also to find companies or organizations they are interested in. Moreover, it’s important to note that those who search for certain businesses are likely to believe the reviews and comments they find online.
As a small business, this trend is something that you should pay attention to. Your growth heavily depends on how you communicate your business to the people and how they respond to your efforts. To continue attracting new customers and keep existing ones coming back, you need to establish a strong online presence and manage your reputation, too.
To help you get started on maintaining your image and building trust online, follow these effective tips:
1. Study Your Current Online Reputation
One of the easiest ways to do this is to Google your organization. What came up in the search results? Are these articles highlighting your successful activities or achievements? Or are these full of old, random photos or content that do not help your image at all?
What comes up on the first page of the search results significantly influences the opinion of people about your business. If you want to build brand awareness and establish trust in your brand, you have to make sure that this first page is clean, impressive, and informative.
You can do this online reputation audit manually, but it will take a lot of time and effort. A smart alternative would be to work with online reputation management firms. They have the skills and the appropriate tools to identify possible red flags in search results quickly and take care of them for you.
2. Respond to Online Reviews
Look for places online where people have left reviews about your business. This is essential because people consult and trust online reviews before purchasing a product or service. Considering this, it’s best to regularly monitor these comments and be proactive in responding to them.
However, here comes another challenge. Replying to positive reviews is easy to reply to—but what about the negative ones?
They’re not exactly pleasant to deal with, but the best way to approach these is to offer a solution or give them an option to contact you to take the discussion further. The next thing you can do is to continue encouraging your team as well as your previous and current customers to leave their reviews as well.
3. Be Visible on Social Media
You can use social media as a platform where you can give constant updates about your latest activities and events. You can also utilize it to announce promos or to share any relevant industry news. This gives prospective customers more opportunities to know more about your offerings and the team behind it.
However, take note that you don’t have to go on a lot of channels. If you have a small team, one is enough to start with as long as you maintain it and keep it updated.
When it comes to managing your online reputation, you have to accept that there are things that are and will always be out of your control, such as the reviews you receive. However, this is what makes it even more valuable. Since they are out of your control, they are trustworthy in the eyes of other people.
Rather than deleting negative reviews and faking positive ones (which you should never do!), it’s better to follow the tips above to manage your online presence. Better yet, find a reputation management company that can help you stay on top of the situation.
If you need help in managing your organization’s online reputation, we’re the ones to call! At Envision WC, we specialize in digital marketing for small businesses. We will be happy to monitor and manage all aspects of your online reputation, including listings, reviews, mentions, and more. Get in touch with us today to get started!