Reputation management has become one of the top business buzz words for both online and offline companies. This is because most businesses are so susceptible to having their reputation tarnished, and therefore their business damaged, through no fault of their own. Whether it is a disgruntled employee, and unhappy customer or even someone from a competing business, it is often far too easy for individuals to publish harmful content online about a company, which is then seen by thousands of potential customers.
Whether you’re running a restaurant, or you’re an affiliate marketer, your reputation is one of your most valuable assets, and it needs to be protected. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help keep your company reputation nice and clean.
Register on ALL Social Media Platforms
Most businesses today already have a Facebook account, and likely have one for Google+ and Twitter as well. This is great, but it doesn’t go far enough. Even if you’re not actively using a social media platform, it is important to have it registered to your company, so nobody else can take it. Whether someone registers your business name to attempt to harm your company, or it was an innocent mistake, it is still going to cause you problems. Get your brand registered on all the major social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and others.
Own Brand Domains
Buying a domain name is very inexpensive, often costing less than $10 per year. Buy up all the versions of your brand, including .com, .net, .info and others. In addition, if your company is starting to grow to a sufficient size, consider buying the ‘negative’ domains as well. Owning a site like ‘brandNameScam.com’ for example, can prevent someone who is hoping to do your site harm from ever getting the chance to buy it. While it is possible to go overboard on this type of thing, it is a small investment to help protect your brand.
Setup Google Alerts
Google alerts are one of the best ways to keep an eye on what types of things are happening related to your site. Setting up Google alerts for all the terms that are related to your site will not only alert you to any negative posts about your site, but will also help you find potential positive things that you can use to your advantage. Google alerts are free to use, and you can set up as many of them as you need to ensure you’re always aware of what is going on with your business.
Manage Your Own Reviews
Don’t rely on having a third party site list reviews about your company. You should have a few pages of your website dedicated to customer reviews. These reviews should be from actual customers. In most cases, simply asking a current customer to write something up is all it will take to get them. For performance marketers, you can ask a company you’re marketing for, or reach out to people who have purchased something due to your recommendation.
Having customer reviews on your own site will not only provide some ‘social proof’ for your business, but it will help you to rank for terms like, “your business reviews.” It is much better for people to find these reviews on a site where you have control than one where people could say anything they want, even if it isn’t true.
Provide Excellent Service
The best way to keep your reputation strong online is to consistently provide exceptional service to your customers. While it is impossible to keep everyone happy, it is best to have the positive experiences far outweigh any negative ones. When you consistently provide people with great service, your reputation will be strong enough to even get through the occasional unhappy one.