When it comes to business challenges, 88 percent of executives consider reputation risk one of the biggest. And if you’re looking for a job, know that most recruiters take a look at your online presence when considering you for hire.
Your online reputation can make or break your company or your professional career. But, how can you know what’s out there on the internet about you or your business?
Check out these eight tips to monitor your online reputation:
1. Google Yourself
One of the most common ways to find what others think about you on the Internet is to do a Google search of your name or your business name. This pulls up a list of where you appear on the web.
These pages can include sites like WhitePages, your Facebook profile (or profiles – we’ll cover that later), and reviews about you or your business products and services.
There might not be anything you can fix about what is already on the Internet. But there are tools and best practices you can put in place to increase a positive online reputation going forward.
Setting up a Google Alert is a great way to help monitor posts or mentions using your name or business name going forward.
2. Search for Complaints
Even if you don’t want to know the negative things out there, it’s helpful to research any online complaints about your business or about you personally. But, how can you know all of the sites where you should look?
A tool called Complaint Search Box does that for you. Enter your name in the search criteria in the box on the screen. Complaint Search Box generates a list of 40 (or more) sites specifically set up to receive complaints.
These can include sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Yelp, and more.
But while this works great for websites, how do you check social media for negative reviews or comments? There’s a service for that too.
3. Check Social Media
When we say check social media, we mean all of it – not just your own posts or pages.
Using a tool like Social Mention will tell you what others are posting about you on social media platforms. This app generates a list of posts, images, or blogs that include your name or your business name.
The tool also rates comments and provides analytics for what people post about you. You’ll see the most recent posts about you and the top sites that reference you.
If you want to know how people on social media really feel about you, this is a great tool to see the good and the bad.
4. Target Your Profiles
There is wisdom in keeping business relationships separate from personal relationships. And that applies to life and relationships online as well as offline.
Do you want everyone you work with to see everything in your personal life? Do you want to spam your Facebook newsfeed with too many posts about your business?
The answer to both of those questions is “no”. A work profile should be separate from your personal profile.
Even after separating the two profiles, it’s possible that someone from your professional circle will be able to find your personal social media sites. However, it is wise to try keeping the business “you” and personal “you” contained to different audiences.
Directing your customers and prospects to your business Facebook page will help drive traffic to your site and increase your reach.
Likewise, personal photos and posts are best shared on a separate personal Facebook page.
5. Customer Service: Online
As many big corporations know all too well, excellent customer service is critical to a good reputation.
Bad customer service can lead to some of the most brutal reviews online. Often, a customer’s first experience with a company is online.
Customers may be looking for information or troubleshooting. They might chat online with a customer service rep, or use a form or an email address to send in a concern.
When it comes to your online customer service, you need to make sure email addresses are posted correctly on your website. Also, your contact information should be easy to find.
But online customer service isn’t everything.
6. Customer Service: Offline
Building and maintaining good relationships with customers can spill over into the real world, even if most of your business or communication is handled online.
The interactions we have offline can come back to affect our reputation online. Hiring the best staff to serve customers, ship products, or handle phone calls is important to building your brand and reputation.
If your budget is small or your office space changes, a great option is to outsource key roles to a company specializes in providing these resources. alldayPA, for instance, offers services that include a virtual receptionist or an outsourced call center.
7. Poll Your Audience
Customers need to feel like they have a voice and are heard.
Listening and making adjustments can improve your reputation and help develop positive feedback. Using customer feedback and success stories can help your brand – and your business.
Sending a short survey, posting a poll, or asking for testimonials gives you a way to shape your online message. Posting positive experiences to a testimonials page on your website will help generate positive buzz.
8. Online Reputation Management
With all of these areas that influence your online reputation, it can be scary to know where to start first.
Thankfully, there are services that can provide information, an audit, and ongoing coaching to help you get started. Your business is worth getting professional help in this area.
Start Building Your Online Reputation Today
Whether there is damage to control or you’re starting a new business with a reputation to build, take charge today.
Request a Free Reputation Audit to get started! We are here to help.