Your online reputation is important. A bad reputation can have several negative effects on your business’ success and can lead to its financial failure.
Research in 2015, found that bad reviews were costing the average business £30,000 ($36,000) a year.
While the major focus of this report was on fake bad reviews and malicious trolling; the impact of genuinely negative reviews must be similar.
Reviews are some of the most trustworthy sources for customers to learn about products and services. Therefore, getting good reviews is important as it can completely change the perception audiences have of your brand.
It Isn’t Just Bad Reviews
It isn’t just poor reviews that can affect your brand’s online reputation; negative news stories, social media updates and associations can really damage the reputation of a brand.
During the recent US presidential election, a pizza shop saw how a poor online reputation could make business difficult. It was claimed, though found to be fake, that the shop was the centre of illegal activity. The bad reputation even resulted in an attack on the business’ premises.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
The trouble is, if you are only reactive to bad decisions and negative comments, you are never going to achieve what you want online. Your business’ reputation will always be at risk, and you might face criticism whether it is justified or not.
If you want to be proactive, here are seven tips to consider to prevent a deterioration of your online reputation.
1. Good Grammar And Spelling
While it is almost impossible to be 100% perfect with spelling and grammar, you should try to be as accurate as possible. Use grammar checkers like Grammarly or Grammar Check to help you out. These are free and there are also premium versions available.
2. Don’t Spam Audiences
One of the major complaints against brands on social media is that brands tend to sell too much on social media. Social media should be used for conversing with your audience and demonstrating your knowledge and expertise – not products and services.
3. Respond To Comments
Another major issue is when your brand fails to respond to comments. Whether the comment is positive or negative, via email, phone call or social media, a customer contacting you is a marketing opportunity. Many negative comments can be turned into a positive marketing moment. So be sure to take advantage of them.
4. Poor Content Decisions
Brands are always getting into trouble on social media for publishing content that could be offensive. The London Dungeons and DiGiorno both have suffered from negative backlash after publishing insensitive updates on their Twitter profiles.
5. Not Having Control Of Your Online Content
Employees who are disgruntled but have sole control over an aspect of your online profile can damage your reputation. Therefore, it is always important to have an authorisation step in your publishing strategy where senior management sees updates and authorises them before publication. At the very least, keep your login details safe and secure.
6. Not Checking Your Online Reputation
You should always be aware of the latest online reviews. So regularly check with Yelp and other online review sites to see the latest thoughts on your brand. Not being aware of bad comments that have been made about your brand is no excuse.
7. Breaking Digital Laws
There are lots of laws regarding digital marketing. Some include not buying email marketing addresses; others include cookie warnings on your website. Breaking the law can lead to substantial fines but more importantly, plenty of negative press for your brand. Be sure you are aware of, and understand, digital communication laws for every country you operate in.
What are your tips for a good online reputation?
Let us know in the comments below.