While most e-commerce website owners worry about maintaining a positive online reputation, many brick-and-mortar companies that don’t sell goods online don’t think that is something they need to worry about. The truth is that way of thinking is false, and can seriously hurt their business. It can take a single negative bad review to diminish a brand’s credibility, which is why online reputation is important and needs to be monitored and managed on a consistent basis. How do you boost your online reputation? Start with the following three steps.
Monitor Your Online Reputation
The first step in boosting your online reputation is to know exactly what is being said about you online. Start by reading online reviews on your website and on review sites, such as Yelp and Citysearch. Review social media websites, like Facebook, especially if you have created business-specific pages or profiles, to see what your clients may be posting about you there.
It is advantageous to create a Google alert for your business name so that you can get current notifications right in your inbox anytime something is written about your company on the web.
Join the Conversation
To start boosting your online reputation and increasing brand loyalty, you must join in on the conversation about your brand. Start by responding to the reviews your clients leave, whether they are negative or positive.
Some business owners only respond to negative reviews, which is not a good business strategy. You want to thank the people that took the time to say something good about your business, and encourage them to do so more often. You can also use the space to follow up on their comments or suggestions by recommending a new product or service, thereby increasing sales.
When responding to negative reviews, be very careful. Even if they are untrue or extremely rude, you must remember to stay professional and on-point when representing your company. It’s best to thank the person for their opinion and explain that every single review is important to you, but correct something you don’t agree with in a calm and peaceful way.
When your clients will see that you’re actively involved and care about their opinions, they will feel valued and will remain your client for years to come.
Set Yourself Up as an Expert in Your Field
People want to buy from companies they trust, and the best way to establish trust with your clients is to set yourself up as an expert in your field. Put your knowledge to good use by becoming an educator for your customers in your marketplace.
If you own a hair salon, start a YouTube channel with advice on the best and most affordable hair management techniques. If you have a bodyshop, start a blog instructing people how to properly maintain their cars.
Whether your business is online or offline, you want your clients to see you as an authority in your space and the way to do that is by sharing your knowledge in an open forum, such as the internet.
There are many other more advanced strategies that can help boost your online reputation; however, many of them will require a financial investment.