In our previous post, we discussed why your online reputation is important, and that your reputation may be online, even if your business isn’t – but how do you actually manage the online reputation of your business?
With a reported 30% of SMEs citing threats to their reputation as the most sizeable issue for their business*, it’s clearly a significant concern; so taking research-driven action is arguably a wise move indeed.
Here, we’ll offer advice on how to manage your online reputation, providing simple theory to help you adopt a pragmatic approach.
Research where you are now
This is a good place to start. Using a variety of platforms, such as search engines, social media and the like, try to establish exactly where your business is mentioned and where it has a presence. Basically, you’re looking for reviews here and finding all of the different cogs that could be feeding into the decision-making machine of your current and prospective customers. If you can find it yourself; chances are that they can find it too.
Establish and grow your online brand presence – set the framework for the future
A statement that has the potential to be dismissed as corporate jargon; what is meant here is that you should get your company name online and out there – promote it! If you find reviews of your company online and they’re good – you’re probably going to want more of this. If they’re bad; why are they bad? How could you get more of the good stuff out there? Suffice to say, posting rogue reviews is bad practice, but encouraging satisfied customers to leave genuine reviews on the platforms upon which you’re present; go for it.
Review and repeat
How you envisage your online reputation strategy developing will probably dictate how much resource you channel into this entire process, but whatever you decide upon, you’re probably going to want to conduct periodic reviews.
If you can’t or don’t track activity in general, then it’s often difficult to measure. You could therefore be wasting time and energy to little avail. The same applies here, so you may want to develop a method, or a routine, of measuring your online reputation performance.
The reviewing process itself could be something manual like repeating the research phase again every few weeks, or perhaps, you could consider monitoring it using online reputation management software. Whatever you decide upon, try to ensure that the insight is used to your advantage, potentially driving business decisions and shaping strategies moving forward.
Measure your online reputation with us
As well as monitoring your business credit profile in real-time, My Business Profile now offers the capability to measure your online reputation too. With an integrated solution developed in partnership with Reputation.com, it’s now possible to not only monitor the online reputation of your own business, but of up to three of your competitors too, so you can see how you compare and remain competitive online.
To find out more, click here.
*Taken from research conducted by the Broker Network, on a sample size of over 500 SMEs
Source*: Smeinsider.com, Staffing, reputation and regulation top the list of SME concerns, 29 July 2016