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Take control of your online reputation and brand today with the help of our 11 tips.
By Jane Garfinkel - Review Response Specialist
Online reputation is the new word-of-mouth, even for local businesses. People are turning to the internet to decide where they brunch on Sunday afternoons or take their car for an oil change. These choices can be heavily influenced by a single bad review or a Facebook page full of spam.
To keep your digital reputation in the best condition possible, protect your brand with these 11 tips.
At Widewail, we believe that there are many ways for companies to manage their online reputation. That being said, the number one best way to protect your brand is to provide excellent service.
Take care of your customers in the store so they will have great things to share once they leave.
There are a million places that your company’s name may pop up online, and you need to be aware of all of them. Claim your Google My Business locations, create social media pages, create alerts for keywords, and wherever you can, ensure that your data is accurate.
Once you’ve created your social media pages, update them regularly. This will help discourage people from posting anything that is blatantly false as they will know that someone is watching. When negative posts do happen, you will be alerted immediately and can respond quickly.
Consumers read an average of seven reviews before trusting a company, so reviews are important.
Unfortunately, most customers won’t be inspired to post about their experience without any encouragement. Your business needs to establish a way to consistently request feedback from clients - either by having employees ask directly or by using a tech solution. Widewail's review generation product Invite pairs with your point of sales system to collect customer information and automatically send them review requests. It's one of the easiest ways to ask for reviews, and to protect your brand.
Something as simple as a thank you can hugely benefit your online reputation. Responding to your positive reviews shows that you appreciate your paying customers. Perhaps more importantly, saying thank you provides an example to potential customers of the kind of service they can expect at your business. As an added bonus, reviews and their responses are two of the most important factors for local SEO ranking.
Negative reviews are a lot less pleasant than positives, but they are just as important. By responding in a timely, thoughtful manner, you can demonstrate how seriously you take feedback. These reviews are also an opportunity to resolve the customer’s issues, earn back their business, and maybe even have them remove the poor review.
If you’re new to GMB Q&As, now is the time to get familiar. This Google feature is an awesome tool for assisting potential customers and encouraging them to visit the store. There is one downside, however: any person with internet access can ask a question or leave a rude comment. Stay on top of your Q&A so that bad language and misinformation don’t remain on your page any longer than necessary, and understand how to best optimize Google My Business.
Blogging is vital for any business with an online presence. Your company has knowledge and experience to share, so write about what you know. This is a great way to build trust with your potential customers and demonstrate expertise in your field. Blog posts are also an opportunity to use SEO terms, boosting your site’s ranking.
If a dire situation occurs, you need to find out about it as quickly as possible. Set a Google alert for your company’s name and any other related terms. Hopefully these alerts never become necessary, but in case they do, it’s much better that you learn about bad news online than through a loss in sales.
Unfortunately, even the best businesses will often have to face out-of-line, abusive, and libelous language. This can come in the form of attacking reviews or spam-like Facebook comments. While it may be tempting to get into an online argument, this is the last thing you want to do. Consumers want to see that you are professional above all else. State the facts, report anything that violates posting policies, and, after you’ve done all you can do, walk away.
If you’re concerned about protecting your brand, consider investing in a service that will make the process easier. At Widewail, we cover the essentials of brand protection: generating online reviews, responding to reviews, monitoring Facebook comments, and seeding and answering Google My Business Questions. If you’re interested in partnering with us to improve your online reputation, click here.
I’m a New Jersey native who joined the Widewail team during my brief stint in Burlington. Now living in Jersey City, I currently serve as the Response Team Lead and Content Specialist. My background is in writing and my work has been published by Thrillist, Reductress, McSweeneys, The Rumpus, and more. I occasionally update my own blog No Meat, Some Potatoes, and in my free time I hang out with my dog Jake.
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