What a potential customer reads about you online can make the difference between their using your services, or not. Sometimes all it takes is a negative or ‘unprofessional’ search result, for customers to move on to a competitor. We look at what steps you can take to protect your business’ online reputation.
Google yourself and the business
Knowing what the search engine results find when someone searches for you or the business online helps you prepare for action. If old photos from blurry nights out aren’t part of your business brand, get personal social media profiles set to private. Ideally, the first results to turn up should be your website and professional social media profiles.
Set up Google Alerts
It’s useful to know what others are saying about you online. Tools such as Google Alerts will notify you of any online mentions.
This only really applies to Google search results though, which generally consist of web news and blogs. The valuable missing piece of this particular puzzle is social media activity and mentions. Other tools such as Mention or Awario can be used to monitor both, and are closer to real-time in the way they provide notifications.
Think carefully about what you post on social media
You might be spotting a pattern here! Social media is the online face of any business, and anything you post should reflect your brand. Divisive topics such as politics or religion can be very provocative, and it’s generally best to avoid them.
The same goes for your personal profiles, especially if you list a business as your place of work – even if you’re the owner. Keep the private stuff set to private, and consider what the outcome could be for your business if your personal views go public.
Manage your online reviews – both the good and bad
As a business operating online it’s always a good idea to collect customer reviews, even the negative ones.
Showing how you deal with complaints and problems can help you turn a negative review into something good. Done well, it will demonstrate that you’ll do as much as possible to help customers have a good experience.
Do everything you can to solve the problem, and show that you’re not simply ignoring them or letting them pile up. Try replying to bad reviews offering help, and it’s also a nice idea to reply to good reviews with a simple thank you.
Learn more about our online accountancy services for small businesses. Call one of the team on 020 3355 4047, or request a free call back.
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About The Author
Forensics graduate-turned copywriter and blogger. I love turning complex topics into easy to understand, yet engaging pieces of content.