Untruths and misleading information is everywhere on the internet. Unfortunately, it will lead you to have to defending your reputation.
Your reputation can suffer when these untruths involve your small business. The information these sites; like Rip-Off Report; are fed is not inspected by the sites before they make it available to everyone to read.
False information can ruin your company’s reputation and can be easily left by your competitors to damage you.
There is something worse than just getting a “bad rep”. In order to defend yourself, these sites will charge you money to do so! It costs nothing to leave a bad or negative review, but they charge money for you to reply or defend yourself.
In just a few minutes, dishonorable competitors or disgruntled employees can ruin your company.
What The Study Found Into Local Reputation Management
Statista’s research shows that over 68% of people view online reviews as a trusted source and an influence in their purchasing decision.
Your competitors will benefit from you having negative reviews or no reviews at all online. It is becoming even more important that you ensure your brand has a positive reputation online. How can you accomplish keeping the positive reviews coming in?
Find More Statistics at Statista
Simple Steps to Defending Your Reputation Online – 4 Easy Steps
To build a positive reputation online and protect it, there are 4 easy steps that you can do.
- Setup and Manage Social Media Profiles
- Build Useful and Helpful Links
- Monitor and Respond to Online Reviews
- Claim and Update Your Google My Business
1. Setup and Manage Social Media Profiles
Social media sites have been around for many years now; and, they are not showing any sign of going anywhere anytime soon.
You must update and engage your audience regularly on each social media platform. It is just as bad to have a stagnant presence on social media as it is to have no presence at all.
Responding to questions, comments, and reviews about your business daily is vital to managing your online reputation. Updating your pages at least once each week is essential, too.
Sharing fresh content about your industry or your business will help you grow your viewership and reach. Don’t delete any negative comments you get on your profiles.
Instead, provide “above and beyond” customer service in response to these comments. Use the negativity as an opportunity to showcase your business’s professionalism to adversity.
2. Build Useful and Helpful Links
A great solution for any business, guest posting on other sites can provide links to your website and social media profiles.
With only a requirement of a small amount of time, link building with guest posts is perfect for businesses of all sizes, even ones that have very little liquid capital.
You don’t have to write the posts yourself. Having a trusted, knowledgeable employee write these articles and posts for your business is a great way to increase moral and the feeling of “ownership” for them.
This will increase the views to your social profiles; and, it will, also, help fight negative reviews. This truly is a win win scenario.
3. Monitor and Respond to Online Reviews
People taking the time to leave a positive review when they have a good experience is much less likely than those that time their time to write negative or reviews, according to recent studies.
Make it easy and even offer an incentive to your customers to take a moment to leave a positive review on these social media profiles that you have setup. Most businesses find that asking alone for this valuable and helpful feedback is often enough to receive it.
If you decide to offer up an incentive for or not, make sure you don’t let negative reviews be the only thing people see when they search for your business online.
To combat negative reviews you need to be proactive. In the virtual world, it is important to ensure your company has a positive online reputation.
4. Claim and Update Your Google My Business
Take control of your business’s listing in a single platform with Google My Business. Posting content, images, and even videos on your Google My Business is one of the best uses.
Control your reputation and brand in a streamlined process that this platform has. Without having to walk into your business, potential customers can see what you have to offer.
Engage the audience of your company with Google My Business. Monitor and respond to legitimate (and fake – people posing as customers) reviews on your page.
Make sure that you take the time to determine exactly what and how you want to respond to any negative reviews that are posted. Make sure that you are professional with any responses to positive and negative posts.
“The customer is always right!” doesn’t always apply in business, as we are told it does. We can’t please everyone all the time.
All responses to any comments or reviews should be nothing less than positive in nature. It is expected that you will get negative reviews about your business; but, the manner in which you take action in responding publicly to the negativity is what will speak volumes about your business.
Online Review and Reputation Facts
- Show potential customers that you care about exceptional customer service with how you respond to reviews. Remember, their review and your response are both shown publicly.
- 11 reviews is the amount the average consumer will look over before they make a purchasing decision.
- There is a learning opportunity for you and your employees in any negative or bad reviews that are factually based.
- “Negative publicity can be as good as positive publicity.” 68% of consumers say that they trust a business more that has both positive and negative reviews, than one that only has positive reviews.
Managing Reviews The Right Way to Protect Your Reputation
Your good name and reputation is everything! It is gold in business that is acquired and built, never bought.
To beat out your local competition online, you want to have a stellar reputation, that will also keep the larger service providers from hanging over you.
It must be understood that you have to handle reviews properly. What defines a proper handling of a review? Leave your business looking like a shining star in your customers mind, with a few tips on how to handle negative reviews.
- Always Under All Circumstances – Be Professional! – Show that your business is prepared to solve any problems that are brought to your attention through reviews; and, that you do care about the issues.
- Negative Reviews Require A DIY Approach! – Addressing public negativity must be handled in the right manner. Any time your business’s reputation is on the line, you should handle the task of addressing it. Don’t delegate the task of responding to bad reviews online to an employee.
- Share The Details! – Detail the steps you took to fix the problem that is discussed in any negative reviews. Remember to keep a professional manner in the way you tell your side of the story.
- Actions Speak Louder Than Words! – A certified letter, emails, or even simple phone calls should be used to respond to negative reviews. Show that you are ready and willing to solve any issue to your customers, and potential ones, that are reading the reviews.
Conclusion – Simple Steps to Defending Your Reputation
You are certainly not only going to build up, but you will also protect your online reputation by using the steps and tips that we outlined in this guide.
Building a strong reputation should be any business’s owner’s goal. Any business’s reputation online or offline is their lifeblood to existence.