Managing Your Online Reputation
Where do people go first when they want to learn more about your business? According to Nielsen ratings, 85 percent of customers check out a business online before visiting or calling.
When customers Google your business, what will they find? Good or bad reviews? An inactive Facebook page? Or just not much at all? If your business has no online reputation, it’s time to build one. If you find negative reviews, it’s time to address them.
Here are a few ways to manage your online presence to ensure your customers are left with a positive brand impression.
Interact On Social Media
Start conversations on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Encourage customers to ask questions, and then answer them quickly. Sponsor contests. Post polls and surveys. Learn about your customers, make friends with them. If they need your services, they’ll think of you first.
Ask For Reviews
You need reviews, and it’s OK to ask for them…if you do it right. Make it easy by reminding customers to post a review in the spur of the moment on their mobile device. Offer coupons for those who rate their experience (no matter how they rate it).
But, whatever you do, do not pay for reviews; it’s an unsavory practice that could ruin your reputation.
Respond To Negative Comments
When you read a negative review about your business, you should respond, rationally and with great care.
Consider the complaint and determine if it is something that can be fixed or explained. Don’t hesitate to apologize and ask for the chance to make it right. Offer a coupon or free meal and ensure them you are doing everything you can to repair the situation. If it was something beyond your control, acknowledge their concerns, calmly explain the situation and leave it at that.
Google Your Business Regularly
Check in routinely to find out what people are saying about your business. Many businesses invest in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that tracks conversations about your business online. You can also use Google Alerts to get notices whenever you’re mentioned.
Post Your Social Media Pages
Ever look at a menu and wish there were pictures of the food? Same concept applies here. No matter what your business, pictures are meaningful, especially on social media. Post pictures of your product or venue and show your customers what you’re all about. Encourage customers to do the same.
Once you get started, don’t stop. It’s important to be consistent and constant in your online interactions.
Need more tips on how to continually improve your online presence? Northern Initiatives customers can log in to Initiate for additional resources to guide you toward building a website that will generate sales. Also, be sure to watch this short video.