Every business faces the challenge of creating a cohesive brand that will resound with consumers in a good way. Marketing a business is hard work and realizing that there is a big need to protect and nurture a company’s online reputation is paramount.
Most business owners are beginning to realize that marketing has changed drastically in the past decade. Even the Mom and Pop shops that fought hard and fast to stick with the more traditional types of advertising are waking up to the fact that we are living in a digital world – a world where social media sites and sites such as Yelp are dictating a need for them to engage directly with customers online. They need to actively monitor their online reputation.
With that in mind and our goal to help small business owners in Delaware and across the nation grow their business through using a variety of marketing techniques and actively participating in managing their online reputation, here are 10 steps you can use to take control of your reputation.
10 Steps to a Stellar Online Reputation for Your Delaware Business:
1. Get Your Social On
Networking has always been important. Face-to-face networking is still effective. However, if you are not networking online, it is doubtful that you will be successful at connecting with your consumer base. There are a number of tactics to control your presence on social media and use it to improve your digital reputation.
2. Stake a Claim
We advise all our clients to claim their company’s social media profiles, even if they are not ready to get social. This will prevent someone else from stealing your brand’s identity, which can cause serious damage to your online reputation. Search for your business on all the major social media sites and take control of your social properties now!
3. Brand Your Pages
Once you have claimed your social media profiles, decide which platforms that you should invest the most time in.
4. Find Your Audience
Find out where your Ideal Customer is hanging out online. This will vary by type of industry and audience and preaching to the wrong crowd will waste time and money. Facebook is not the only platform you need to focus on. If you are trying to hit a younger market, consider sites such as Instagram and Pinterest.
5. Spread the Love
To keep your reputation in check – diversify. Get your social on with a variety of platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, SlideShare and Reddit. Be sure to brand and link them in a similar fashion.
6. Be Lively
A healthy digital reputation requires frequent posts, comments and replies to other’s comments. Respond promptly and professionally to comments and requests that show up on social media sites.
7. Take Ownership
Show you care about your audience’s opinions. Do not automatically delete negative comments. Use this opportunity to show how your business responds well to criticism and look for ways to appease the situation. Offering sincere heartfelt apologies when something unfortunate happens is important. Social Media sites are public arenas where companies will be judged by how they handle negativity.
8. Become an Authority
Strategical designed quality content that helps, informs, educates and engages your audience is a great way to become an authority in your industry. The more quality content you publish, the more likely it is someone searching for you company will find the information you want him or her to find, rather than reputation-damaging material, like negative reviews.
Publish a consistent variety of blog posts, press releases, videos and infographics to maintain a positive digital reputation and be the one to turn to whenever a consumer has a question.
9. Get Noticed
Blogging is a terrific mechanism that will not only get your audience’s attention, but will capture the attention of search engines. Blogs are a perfect tool to use SEO (search engine optimization) to increase your rankings and stand out for your targeted keywords. Publishing fresh relevant content with information about your brand is a great reputation-builder and way to share your company’s thoughts and values.
10. Monitor Comments
The comment sections of a blog provide another way to engage with your audience. Making sure to monitor for any positive or negative comments and handling in a way that will reflect positively on your company.
Bonus: Measure Your Progress
Ultimately, using your online properties effectively to actively develop a stellar digital reputation is a marathon, not a race. So get ready, as it does not happen overnight. Hammer out a consistent and diverse reputation management plan that will keep your business and brand on topic and on the positive side of your audience. And as is always the case with any marketing plan, measure, analyze and tweak your strategy to better optimize your results.
If you would like help with your online reputation management, get in touch: