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How to Improve Your Company's Reputation Online

How important is your online reputation to your company? Do you prioritize building your reputation through intentional strategy and best practices? Or are you putting this part of your business on the back burner, focusing instead on things like print marketing, great sales techniques, and excellent customer service?

Obviously, marketing, sales, and customer service are incredibly important to every successful business, along with providing a high quality product or service, increasing profits, and hiring great workers to join the team.

Recruiting in 2019 - Guide to Trends and Best Practices

The problem is that for a lot of companies, these important priorities cause them to ignore their online reputation management. It feels less important than the other day-to-day operations of the business.

There are a number of risks associated with ignoring your online reputation, including:

  1. Decreased sales because of poor reviews

  2. Low lead conversion due to being lesser known than your competitors

  3. Developing an online reputation that doesn’t match your company’s profile or goals

However, one of the biggest problems is that if you wait to build a strong online reputation, you open yourself up to public relations crises. Mistakes are inevitable; eventually, you could face  an issue that results in a public relations problem. Maybe an employee will make an embarrassing mistake or you will be involved in a lawsuit. Maybe a shipment of products will be delayed, or something you manufacture will be recalled, or you will be the victim of a cyber attack that leads to your clients’ personal information being compromised.

Regardless of the specifics, every company is susceptible to public relations crises. In that instance, you may need to bring in a PR consultant to get you through the fallout. However, there is something you can do now to make you less susceptible to this kind of problem. You can focus on developing a strong online reputation so that you have a good foundation to build on.

Think of it this way: if your company runs into a crisis and has a weak or non-existent reputation online, it is easier for people to assume the worst about who you are and what you stand for. However, if you have a strong reputation with lots of positive reviews, testimonials, and social media activity, people will weigh the bad against what they see is a lot of good. This can make it easier to weather a PR storm if one takes place.

There are three places where you need to focus on building your online reputation. Here is our advice for each of these three reputation builders.

Social Media

If your company has made it to the 21st century,  you’ve probably got a presence on at least one social media platform. Use this to your advantage.

  1. Your focus should be on creating content that is engaging. In other words, when people encounter your posts, they will want to like, comment, or share.

  2. Be active on multiple platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc), but keep in mind that each platform prioritizes different types of posts. The user profile of these platforms is also different, so you should research the demographics and social media habits of your potential customers on each site or app.

  3. Choose a persona for your social media and stick to it as much as possible. For example, you could choose to be informative and formal, funny or quirky, or excited and enthusiastic.

  4. When you get complaints on social media, respond quickly and in a friendly, informative way. Typically, the best thing to do is to ask the person to reach out via direct message so that you can solve their concerns.

  5. We recommend that you hire a social media coordinator for your company, or consider hiring professional consultants. They can help you get started with a social media plan or manage it all for you, depending on your needs.

Review-Based Websites Specific To Your Industry (Yelp, Angie’s List, Trip Advisor, Home Advisor, etc)

If you’re heading out to dinner with a group of friends, chances are good you take a peek at the restaurant’s rating online. Why wouldn’t you assume that your customers do the same? Keep an eye on the review-based sites that are appropriate to your industry to ensure that your customers are getting an accurate portrayal of your business.

  1. Follow up with your customers and ask them to post reviews on these sites. Consistently requesting feedback will improve your overall feedback sites. Remember to prioritize one key review site, rather than expecting them to post multiple reviews. Pointing them towards the industry-specific site of your choosing will help you, too, because you will be able to point customers to that one source in the future.

  2. Be familiar with the rules of the review sites you want people to use! Some sites, like Yelp, don’t allow you to solicit reviews because they feel this creates a biased representation of your customers. They worry that you are only going to solicit reviews from your most satisfied customers. So, if your industry site doesn’t allow you to solicit reviews, you’ll need to find a better way.

  3. Never pay for positive reviews on any sites. It’s never worth it. Trust us.

Sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Great Place to Work

Yes, you want your customers to be happy, but it’s also important that your employees believe that your company is a great place to work. (For one, it will make it significantly easier to hire new employees if they’ve heard good things about working for your organization.) Stay abreast of your reputation as an employer.

  1. Keeping in mind that reputation management isn’t just about potential clients, but also potential employees, it’s important that you stay up to date on these sites. Don’t ignore them. If you don’t pay attention, you may have a negativity problem building up without realizing it.

  2. The best way to be reviewed as a great workplace is to actually be a great workplace. Prioritize the fulfilment and satisfaction of your employees so that they enjoy their work and feel they are able to contribute in a meaningful way. Make your salary and benefits competitive, comply with all state and federal employment laws, and provide opportunities for advancement within your company.

  3. Send requests to your current employees for them to post their anonymous reviews. This way, you get the perspective of your current workers, not just people who have moved on and may have done so because of conflict or dissatisfaction.

  4. Don’t ask everyone to review at the same time or you will raise concerns about manipulating your feedback. The last thing you want is to leave customers with the impression that you’ve browbeat your employees into leaving reviews.

  5. Respond to both positive and negative reviews. Show appreciation for positive feedback, and engage respectfully with the people who leave negative feedback. Perhaps you’ll discover an issue that you weren’t aware of before and improve your employees’ overall experience.

Building a good Glassdoor rating is just one recruiting trend that is going to grow in importance for companies over the next year. To learn more about the recruitment trends that could make or break your ability to bring in highly qualified job candidates this year, check out our free offer!

And if you are ready to start recruiting top tier talent, contact us today to learn how Select One can help you find the best possible new employees.

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