Just as a job seeker should remain aware of their online reputation in order to increase their chances of getting hired, a company and its management team must constantly be vigilant about how that business is perceived online. Whether the comments are good, bad, or mixed, understanding that dialogue is a necessary part of successfully managing a growing business. An entrepreneur who is interested in learning about the basics of online reputation management should review the following:
Learning about the online dialogue
The first step to successfully managing a company’s online reputation starts with a simple search. A quick Google, Yahoo!, or Bing search for that business’s name will make what’s being said about that business online pretty apparent. To do the search properly, it’s important to type in the exact name of the company, as well as any potential misspellings. After that, the entrepreneur should do an image search of the company’s name.
Ideally, the results will display a link to the company’s website, along with some positive reviews and interesting news about that business. When the online reputation for a business is healthy, that particular company will dominate the first page of search engine results with positive reviews and helpful information about the brand.
Keeping track of online mentions
A busy entrepreneur may not have time to scan Google each and every day for results about their business. To make it easier, you can set up a Google alert for your business. This means that you’ll get free, real-time e-mail updates when a mention about your company occurs online. It’s also possible to include keyword-based alerts that notify you when items are published that pertain to your business, your product line, or your client base. All of this information proves extraordinarily useful for someone who is pressed for time but still interested in managing their company’s online reputation.
Keeping tabs on the competition
While you want to manage your own company’s online reputation, it’s also important to stay on top of what the competition is up to. Taking some time to search how the other businesses in your field match up online can allow you to fill in any gaps in service that competitors may be experiencing, thus enabling you to alter your own services accordingly. If clients are complaining about the competition’s prices or poor service, you can put a special focus on customer care and highlight your prices in order to gain new clients who may be fed up with their current service provider.
Relying on social media
While checking out what’s being said online is important, an entrepreneur shouldn’t neglect social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook when it comes to finding out how customers really feel about that business. A business owner should check Twitter and Facebook several times per day, thus allowing them to hear important feedback and read about any potential complaints or questions that need to be dealt with. A large portion of consumers rely on these platforms to communicate with the brands they rely on, so giving them plenty of attention is an important part of successful management.
Do you use any special tools or techniques to stay on top of your company’s online reputation? Let us know in the comments.
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Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.