How to Protect Your Brand’s Online Reputation
In today’s search-happy world, you can take it as a given that your customers will be searching you on Google long before they ever give you the chance to speak with them about your business directly.
Because of this simple fact, it is imperative for any brand to have a strong online presence. Creating reputable, shareable, and easily searchable content is the best defense over a negative comment or review appearing first in a search for your company.
We’ve discovered 5 best practices you can implement right now to boost your brand’s credibility online.
1. Don’t ignore your PERSONAL brand.
Business owners often forget that their personal brand online is just as important as their company’s brand!
Investing time on refining your personal social accounts and website (if you have one) is an effective way to influence how your customers see your brand. Often customers will search your name before your company’s – especially when your business is just starting up. So, it becomes equally as important to have a positive online presence personally as it does professionally.
Fill up your LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube accounts with content that points not only to your professionalism, but also the qualities that you value in yourself as a person. Be real and be consistent.
Remember, your personal online reputation can be the thing that makes or breaks your business!
2. Keep your company website up to date.
To assure you leave potential customers with a good first impression, having an up to date website is top priority. After all, your website is typically the very first place people will visit when researching your brand.
Get the groundwork done first – your landing page, contact information and service or product offerings. From there, you can add more details about you, your team and your accomplishments.
One way to interact with customers would be to have an ‘About Us’ page. This creates a strong profile for your employees as a measure to refine your company’s brand image.
Bio pages are also a great way to present yourself and your team to potential customers in a very relatable way. Most companies not only include their skills, accomplishments and professional background, but they also want to make sure to include some personal details as well. Hobbies, interests and passions make your customers feel more connected with you on a personal level, and that creates the opportunity for deeper and more trusting business relationships.
3. Post relevant content on company social accounts
Society has become social media driven and apps and sites like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are integral when it comes to potential new customer exposure. There is no better – or cheaper – way of creating more controlled brand awareness than providing consistent and relevant content on social media!
Make sure that your customers and potential customers know about every single innovation that you practice! Include professional tips and tricks, images of events or products and services, relevant video content, and use effective calls-to-action.
If you showcase your company as an active and consistent trendsetter by sharing recent press, upcoming events or notable announcements over social media, you are sure to gain new business through exposure alone, and you’ll have more affect over what new customers learn about you before doing business with you.
4. Create a blog
Blogging is one of the best ways to not only promote our brand but also enhance our visibility in search engines.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important as it creates more organic (or free – to the laymen out there) traffic to your website. The more information you have on your website that is relevant to your business, and therefore relevant to your customers, the higher up you will appear in search results.
What is relevant? Think about stories you would tell your customers to get them on board to work with you. For example; professional advice (tips & tricks), how-to’s for your products, success stories from previous customers, etc.
It is, however, imperative that we deliver quality content through the blogs. Our content will be where we share our brand and culture with the world. Therefore, getting quality content is vital. Professional freelance copywriters are a great way to outsource that work so as to not overburden an in-house marketing team, and also get high-quality content whenever you need it!
5. Manage online reviews
Research states that 88% of consumers trust online reviews and personal recommendations. That’s an incredibly high number! Highlighting testimonials and positive customer reviews on your business’ website can balance out any future potential negative feedback.
Spending time on Google, Facebook, Yelp and any other sites where reviews about your business exist to respond to EVERY review (positive OR negative) is how you show people you genuinely care about their feedback. That in turn creates a healthy environment for trusting business relationships to begin!
The first step is providing a quality experience to your existing customers; make sure you take the best care of their needs and be communicative through every step of the process. Through outstanding customer service, it becomes easier to encourage and enable them to write a review after they do business with you and share it to your website and social platforms. This is likely to leave a positive impact on your online image in general!
In short, starting with these 5 steps is the best way to manage your online reputation. It IS a lot of busy-work so considering outsourcing these services to independent professional digital marketing companies is a common practice amongst businesses who are smart enough to keep their in-house marketing teams free to strategize.
SocialFormula is experienced in providing support to businesses looking to create and manage a more positive online presence. Contact us today to learn how we can help you!