• n.noun

: The common opinion that people have about someone or something: the way in which people think of someone or something.

Reputation is something that can quickly turn negative but is a bit harder to improve to a positive status. The Internet plays a big role in when it comes to a reputation.  Many people believe that their online reputation can be kept separate from their professional reputation.  This is far from the truth.  Your online identity and offline identity are one in the same.  This is true for both businesses and individuals.  Below are a few ways to manage your companies’ reputation.

1.     Monitor customers’ online activity for discussion threads.

Be proactive and pay attention to the outlets people are using to discuss your business.  Twitter and Facebook are pretty simple to find feedback and talk on your company.  New blogs and discussions come up daily.  It is important to search for these and to address any consumer concerns through the site.  This is a great opportunity to take advantage of.  A simple response can make a big impact.

2.     Do not seek and destroy.

                         Stray away from finding and removing any negative comments that show up on your website or blog.  No one has 100% positive feedback and by removing negative content you lose the trust of your customers.       

3.     Get your complainers to complain to you.

If you can channel consumer complaints to your own website then you can control the conversation.  If you can provide a very visible area on your website where people can leave private feedback, then you may avoid highly public rants from other public blogs.  If consumers know they are being heard they will not make such a fuss.

4.     Promptly address online complaints.

Unaddressed complaints can hurt business with future clients.  By doing this you are letting the customer down twice.  First when they were disappointed with the product or service and second when you did not address or acknowledge the issue.

5.     Encourage a follow-up response once the problem is solved.

After you have taken the time to make things right with a customer, it is a great opportunity to ask them to post a response allowing others to know the issue was taken care of.  Vocal customers can be the best customers a company has, they are excited to vocalize a complaint and equally and excited to tell the world when you made it right.

Maybe you haven’t thought much about your online reputation.  At 214 Interactive we hope that these tips allow you to understand why it is important to care how you are perceived online.  Keeping up with all of these can be hard when running a company.  If you would like assistance in your companies’ reputation management, let us at 214 Interactive help.   Read more about our services for local businesses and give us a call today to determine what best meets the needs of your company.