Why is Online Reputation Management Important?September 16, 2018
Think about it: when you’re looking for a product or service online, do you always trust the advertisement or website to represent it accurately? Chances are you probably also use online reviews to gauge whether or not it’s a worthwhile investment. That’s why online reputation management is so important – your online presence consists not only of everything you post online, but also of everything your customers post. You can’t always make sure every review is a winner, but if you’re paying attention to your online reputation, it will mean that bad reviews won’t stick out like a sore thumb as much.
If you’re the type of person that prefers to let your product or service stand on its own, the words “reputation management” can seem slick or insincere. But in reality, reputation management is just paying attention to the feedback you’re getting, and responding to it in a constructive way. When people post negative things online, it may just be that the author was having a bad day – but it could also be useful information about ways you can improve for future customers. Taking the time to read and respond to these types of posts not only shows other customers that you’re listening, but it also helps you improve the quality of your product or service over time.
Another facet of online reputation management that can be important is to make sure that other people associated with your business, such as high-level employees or co-owners, have personal presences online. Having key employees on LinkedIn, for example, can not only affect your search engine ranking, but can also make your business feel more established and legitimate. Paying attention to online reputation management means implementing these more subtle marketing techniques that are extremely cost effective but deliver great results over time.
In addition, if your business has a Facebook page, you’ll have to decide whether you want to link to your personal page or whether you want to keep them separate. It’s important to consider since both options can have upsides and downsides – for example, if you’re just starting a small business you may find that letting your personal contacts know about it is helpful, but if you have a business partner or are doing fine without linking to your personal Facebook page, then not linking means you don’t have to worry as much about things you post affecting your online reputation.
This can be important, since your social media posts will affect the way customers see you and consequently your product. If you want to keep social media as something you don’t have to think too much about, then it’s important to keep it more separate from a professional reputation that you’re trying to construct carefully. When you make these decisions ahead of time, you’ll avoid having Twitter or Facebook blunders having a negative impact on your professional brand.
Online reputation management should eventually be like any other marketing strategy you employ. Done effectively and consistently, it will make your company that much more polished and professional, giving you a competitive edge for free.