arthur, dw, pbs, twinsIt’s essential that you know what is being said online about your business and that you are diligent to protect its reputation. Otherwise, you could be losing potential customers and not even know it. Here are four tips to help you manage your business’ reputation.

Focus on Reviews          

Angry customers or ex-employees not only tell everyone they know how unhappy they are with a business, but they now do it online. They may vent their frustrations on their social media pages, but sometimes they take it to another level. They may post a negative review of the company either with their version of the truth or with complete lies. While you can defend yourself, it’s not that easy to overcome bad publicity.

You do still need to reply to negative criticism, but you also need to establish a policy of asking happy customers to provide positive reviews for you. The more good reviews you have, the less people will pay attention to the bad ones.

Monitor Your Company Name

The sooner you find out about negative publicity about your business, the faster you can deal with it and the less damage it can do. It is important to do a search on your company’s name at least weekly. In fact, you can set up an alert on Google for each time your company name is mentioned. This will help you know when you need to take action.

If your company operates under multiple names or uses various versions of the name, you will need to set up a search for each one. If this becomes too time-consuming, you can also hire a reputation management company to do the monitoring for you. Before you decide that’s too expensive, think about the revenue you can lose with bad publicity that isn’t dealt with.

Act, Don’t React

When you discover something negative that has been publicized on the internet, don’t do anything about it. Instead, take some time to think about your response. You want to make sure that the action you take is well-thought out and shows a side of your company that you want others to see. Posting an angry response to a blog comment or review only makes your company look bad and can actually give credibility to the attacker.

Create Good Content

Make sure that the first results a person sees when they search for your company are all good. You can do this by creating content that is both helpful and positive. Guest posting and setting up social media networks also help improve your ranking on search engines. Since most people only browse through the first page of search results, if you can keep everything on that page a good reflection of your business, then your online reputation will benefit.

The most important thing for you to remember about protecting your online reputation is to not ignore it. Even if you serve local customers with a brick and mortar building, you undoubtedly have an online presence. It is imperative to your business that you know what it is.

Read more: 5 Steps to Maintain a Positive Online Reputation