Most local business owners today know that their reputation is everything when it comes to building a brand and getting new and repeat customers. A bad reputation within your industry or within your community can have devastating effects on your business.
Bad reputations are traveling by more than just word of mouth in today’s market. The internet has become a popular resource for sharing information, and unfortunately for those with a poor reputation, it has become a tool to spread negative information about businesses as well.
Whether it’s bad reviews, poor ratings on listing websites, or negative press, there are a number of ways that the internet can be used to spread negativity about a company.
The good news is the internet is also a great place for companies to create a strong reputation and fight off any negativity surrounding their brands.
With the right online reputation management campaign, you can ensure that consumers will let their guards down when it comes to doing business with you. It is important that your company is portrayed in a positive light in the eyes of all of your existing and potential future customers. Otherwise, they will continue their search and choose one of your competitors instead.
One of the most important factors of online reputation management is using reviews to your advantage. For many businesses, even a single bad review has done some serious damage to their ability to bring in more sales.
If you currently have one or more negative reviews, make it a top priority to encourage your happy customers to write positive reviews; this can soften the blow and outweigh the negative ones.
Also, if you have bad reviews, make sure you write a public response. Apologize, be kind and courteous, explain the situation without sounding like you are making excuses, and provide the upset customer with a solution if there is one.
If you have been dealing with negative press about your local company, try to start a positive PR campaign. Write and distribute press releases about newsworthy endeavors that your company is participating in. You can also get mentions in local media outlets by participating in area community events, fundraisers or outings.
This can get your name in the local online news outlets and start building positive mentions of your company. This means when people search for your company in the future, the first thing they see won’t be negative press or a negative review. Instead, they will be directed to articles or information about you that is positive. The internet can be a powerful tool for you to create a positive reputation; all you need to do is start a campaign that will help spread this positivity around the web.