Regardless of the size or industry of your business, online reputation is important as it plays a significant role in ensuring the long-term success of your business. Surprisingly, more than 25% of your company’s market value is directly attributed to its reputation. This makes sense since 94% of online customers always read reviews before making purchase decisions. As such, you could be losing 92 customers in every 100 prospects.
However, since anybody can publish their comments online, you should closely manage your business’ online reputation. Unfortunately, it is normal for businesses to experience a surge in negative reviews or social media crisis. Consider the following reputation management tips if your business is facing negative publicity.
1. Identify the Cause of Damaged Reputation
Before delving into the many ways of managing reputation, you should begin by identifying the source of this problem. In some cases, a damaged reputation results from content vacuums that Google fills with anything it finds, either positive or negative. Negative publicity can also occur due to viral news from a single event, creating a disparity of negative content.
Disgruntled employees and competitors can also contribute to negative reviews, especially on review sites, such as Glassdoor. That said, identifying the root cause will make it easier to tackle the problem and start creating a positive reputation. You will also easily assess the full extent of damage caused by the damaged reputation of your business.
2. Implement effective SEO strategies
An effective search engine optimization ensures that your business ranks high in search engine results for phrases or keywords associated with your business. However, to rank these keywords, you should create valuable content that targets important keywords. Businesses should create more of such content if they recently experienced negative reviews.
By doing this, you will have more beneficial and insightful content floating on search engines, pushing down negative reviews about your business. Search engines rank fresh and quality content better, and an estimated 75% of internet searchers don’t scroll beyond the first results page in search engines. Therefore, your reputation will stay steady if negative reviews are on the second or third pages of search engine results.
Besides uploading valuable content to your website, use SEO to boost and rank positive content better in search engines.
3. Create a Facebook Business Page
Facebook is currently the leading social media platform with 2 million daily active users. Therefore, apart from searching the internet, the high chances are that potential customers will also browse through your business’ Facebook page before placing orders. That said, if you don’t have a Facebook page, begin by setting up a page highlighting all the important information about your business.
Facebook is a social platform, and you should use it to socialize with your audience. With a detailed Facebook page, start uploading content and engage with your followers. Respond to their comments and questions where possible. You should also encourage them to leave reviews since Facebook reviews appear as part of Google search results.
You may occasionally receive negative feedback on Facebook reviews. If such happens, take some time to respond as you try to resolve the complaint. Establishing a positive presence on Facebook and other social media platforms will establish your business as a trusted and reliable brand.
4. Ask Google to Pull Down Affected Page or Site
Unfortunately, removing negative information from the internet is difficult. Therefore, the best way around this is asking Google to remove defaming and inappropriate content, images, or videos about your business from its listings. Ensure that you check Google’s content removal policies to understand the type of content that can be removed.
Negative content can cause irreparable damage to a business. It can paint the business in a poor light and destroy years of credibility and trust. If you do not want this to spoil your business sales, you need to take the negative content down by working with experts which can get this done for you. The past few years have seen the emergence of several credible platforms that can help you remove negative publicity around your brand on search engines and social media.
Note that even if Google or any other search engine removes the content, you still have to contact your website’s webmaster to pull down the affected page or site. Just because negative information cannot be found on Google doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist on the internet.
5. Encourage Positive Reviews
You can also manage negative reviews by encouraging positive reviews from your customers. However, most businesses are either afraid or don’t know how to ask for reviews for their businesses. To gain positive reviews, begin by asking your customers for feedback. Immediately someone makes a purchase, ask if they can rate their shopping experience from your business.
Another option is including CTAs and sites that automatically prompt clients to leave reviews of your products or services. Social media followers are also another great audience that can provide positive reviews. However, note that you shouldn’t bribe anyone to leave a positive review on your website or social media platform. Fake reviews can easily be spotted.
Reputation is a fragile business aspect to deal with. Remember that managing your reputation is an ongoing process that requires time and effort. While these situations vary from one business to another, the best way to repair your business reputation is to remove negative content that you can control, establish business credibility, and provide excellent customer service.
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