~by Dixie Somers~
As a business owner, you may understand that information posted on the Internet about your company can make or break you. People respond well to positive reviews, and they’ll carefully avoid companies that have a negative reputation online. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to safeguard your company’s reputation and encourage more positive information online.
1. Monitor Facebook
Facebook is the single largest social media site with 1.44 billion people actively using it every month. You can use your Facebook business account to get your information out to customers, improve brand awareness and promote a positive image.
2. Respond to the Bad Reviews
No company can please every customer every time. There will come a point when a bad review is posted about your agency. It may be deserved, or it could be the result of an unreasonable customer. Either way, you need to respond to it.
Start by reviewing the complaint to be sure that you understand the issue. If necessary and possible, reach out to the customer privately for clarification on the problem. See if there is any middle ground between what the customer needs and what your business can do. When dealing with the customer, agree with them as much as possible, and avoid the use of any negative words. If you’re able to come to an agreement with the customer, then ask them kindly to remove or update the negative feedback.
3. Ongoing Activity at the Website
One of the most important things you can do is to put plenty of your own positive content out on the internet. This makes it harder for people to find complaints about you. Update your website regularly to improve online branding. Consider buying additional domains that contain your brand name and then use them for blogging. You’ll improve your brand recognition, website traffic and your online reputation.
Remember to be yourself when building your online reputation this way. Post plenty of pictures of yourself and employees at corporate gatherings. Highlight any community events that you attend or support. If you have hobbies and extra-curricular activities that are relevant to your industry, then share that information in order to better connect with customers. The more people in your area know and like you, the less likely they are to put negative information about your company online.
The Internet is full of false information. Companies like ACN are seen as scams due to negative information online, and it can be difficult to overcome the bad reports. However, you can minimize this risk by keeping positive information in your social media accounts, on your personal website and in other areas online.
4. Admit and Apologize When You’re Wrong
It’s important to admit when you’re wrong and to apologize. Everyone makes mistakes, and even the most trusted companies can misstep once in a while. You’d be surprised how far a sincere apology can take you.
Many business owners make the mistake of waiting until they’re having issues to address online concerns. However, this tactic can turn repairing the damage into an uphill battle. Start off on the right foot by getting your positive information out there and updating it regularly. You’ll minimize the risk of serious complaints and make it easier to overcome problems later.
6. The Google Alert
Invest in a Google alert system that will notify you when your brand is mentioned online. This way, you can become aware of complaints right away and step in to limit the damage. You can also keep an eye on your reputation, watch for praise, and thank customers when they share a positive experience.
Remember to always stay positive when online. The Internet has the power to take your words and send them viral. More importantly, many customers report that they will stop doing business with a company following a negative interaction online. Remember this when crafting any type of posts, responses, blogs, or updates to share online.
Meet the Author: Dixie Somers
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, and those with an entrepreneurial spirit. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.