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Internet Reputation Management

IRM: Be Yourself and Plan Ahead

internet reputation management

In today’s always-connected world where websites and social media platforms can make or break a business, reputation management has become more important than ever.

Google searches have joined word-of-mouth at the forefront of proven marketing tactics, and social media has made it easier for anyone to promote a great new restaurant, or badmouth a lazy roofer. Keeping negative comments about your business off of the first page of a Google search will ensure you maintain a positive brand image and Internet Reputation Management.

Being Genuine to Your Audience Is Still the Smartest Strategy

Internet Reputation Management, or IRM, can be as simple or as difficult as you want it to be.  Being genuine towards your customers goes a long way in leaving lasting, positive impressions. Trying to get that down-to-earth, boutique message across makes your customers feel special on a personal level no matter how big your business is.

People do business with people. Be as personable as you can when resolving an issue in the Digital Age can really sway a customer in whether they praise or bash you to their friends and social networks.

Have a Plan

Are you looking for yourself on Google to see what your customers can see? If you’re not there, it may be time to do a little SEO to optimize your website for your company’s name so that your customers can find you.

When you Google yourself, are you finding old reviews from customers? Does Ripoff Report show up? You’re not the only one seeing this.

For bad reviews on Google or Yelp, be ready to respond. Address the reviewer by name and try to take the conversation offline. Even if the customer is wrong, apologize for their poor experience with your company and give them the name of their contact and a phone number to call to talk about the experience. Don’t continue the conversation online and be sure to give them a real person to talk to, not a support number.

Social media has revived the true definition of PR as a two-way communication with an audience. Opening communication with your customers can be a great investment, but you need be aware of what comes with the territory. An infographic by MDG Advertising shows that half of consumers using social media use it to express concerns or complaints against the brand. Fans and haters alike have full access to either praise or troll your pages and you need to have a plan in place to be ready for the latter.

In keeping up with your company’s Internet Reputation Management, be sure to shed a positive light on your business and who you deal with on a regular basis, and remember to be genuine. Protecting your online identity can be vital in bringing new business in and growing your network. Be sure to leave a lasting impression on your audience that will conjure positive thoughts rather than negative ones.

 

By Bill Pettigrew

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