Like any business should know by now, your online reputation is huge. The Internet is a place where potential customers go to obtain information about you or your company before they make contact with you. This is where many consumers make their first impression of your business, so it’s obvious, then, that your online reputation should be one that you look at proudly and shows both you and your company in a positive light. If, for some reason, this is not the case and your company is struggling in the online reputation department, luckily, there are a few things that you can do in order to boost yourself up into a more admirable light; it just takes a little effort from you, the business.
Here are 10 practices your business can do to boost your reputation:
1. Make sure your website matches your brand.
2. Do a little reinventing.Your website should express who your company is, what you represent, who you’re made up of; the whole nine yards. If, for some reason, you don’t think that it’s doing your company justice, then it’s time for a remodel. Hire a website designer that can really spice things up. Give your readers new and exciting content, and make sure to leave a positive impression. This is just the beginning of your reputation remodel.
Help build your company brand by creating a signature logo, or phrase that you can paste on anything company related: emails, newsletters, business cards, your website, etc. Reinventing yourself can be fun if you’re open to creative, new ideas. Remember to stay active with your new and interesting content that’s being posted on your website or any other site that your company runs, like its blog. Customers will appreciate your presence and will be intrigued by what you have to say.
3. Honesty is the best policy.
Although you should be thinking and creating new and interesting content to spread, remember to be authentic. This means that any information you do say should be true; don’t over exaggerate whatever it is you’re saying. People appreciate honesty and integrity, so if they feel you’re lying to them, chances are they will want nothing to do with your website or your business in general.
4. Be the bigger person.
If you do make a mistake, own up to it. As stated above, customers appreciate that honesty. By admitting you’re wrong on any given issue, you’re giving your customers the chance to believe in you, which is something they, obviously, should be able to do. Be transparent, and let them know that although there was a problem, you’re doing everything you can to fix it, giving them examples along the way. Show them your results, and make sure to never blame the situation on anyone else. It’s your responsibility to own up to your actions, not anyone else’s.
5. Interact with your customers.
6. Don’t be salesy.Even if you don’t make a mistake, still make sure to reach out to people who are talking about you, both good and bad. Customers enjoy companies that they can relate to, so by thanking them for their comment, addressing their concern, or commenting on something that they’ve said, this shows that you not only care about the company but you also care about what the customers have to say. This makes you approachable and reliable in the customer’s eyes, which is a great reputation to have.
An additional way to become relatable to the customers is by making sure that the language and messages you are putting out there about your company are not self-promoting. A good businessman should be able to portray themselves in a positive light that makes them likeable, honest, and trustworthy. These characters are what inspire customers to make sales, not an aggressive ‘buy now, pay now’ attitude. Having a sales-pitchy reputation doesn’t come off too positively, so, again, make sure to provide them with the necessary information without being pushy.
7. Let your customers do the talking.
Another way to become a significant business in the eyes of your customer is by sharing their information. Just like you’d expect them to share what you have to say, do the same and share some things that they have to say. Post content that asks questions, and highlight some of the profound things that people are saying. You can easily gain inspiration from you customers, so let them start talking. They’ll feel appreciated and important, especially if you take the time to call them out in a positive way. This is a great way to gain their attention, as well as their business.
8. Jump on the social media bandwagon.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure to create social media accounts for your company on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are great places to post information that you know millions of people have access to. Here is where a lot of business to customer interaction can take place, as well as a lot of idea sharing. On these social media sites, feedback can be instant, so make sure to keep active with your updates, and always remember to respond to the people who contact you.
9. Make friends in your industry.
If you’re seen contacting and communicating with other respected companies, chances are, people will begin to associate this feeling with your company as well. Share their ideas and content, and make sure to add them as your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn connections. Relationship building is an important aspect of a company’s life, and these relationships can either make you guilty, or hopefully, respected by association.
10. Incorporate graphics into your content.
While text is, indeed, valuable information, as the saying goes, a picture can be worth a thousand words. Show your customers what you’re working on through images, or create video tutorials on your products/services; they’ll appreciate your efforts in communicating with them, and at the same time, the videos and pictures will instill a love and interest in your products.
Follow these steps and your business’s reputation should be seen positively by all.