Recent research has indicated that most consumers rely on reviews they read online to make purchasing decisions. Thus, you need to accumulate as many positive reviews as possible and know how to use negative reviews to your advantage. So I have provided five easy steps below to assure your business maintains a positive online presence.
Five Steps that Protect Your Business Reputation
Social Media Presence
Creating profiles, building pages and providing once-a-week updates on Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media sites is important to your online reputation. Be sure to answer all of your business questions daily.
Social Media Link Building
When guest posting on other sites, include as many of your social media profile links that are allowed. Link building is free, prevents negative reviews and gains hits to your profiles.
Building Positive Online Reviews
Recent studies have concluded that people who have a bad experience are more likely to leave a bad review more often than people who will leave a positive review following a pleasant experience. A positive virtual reputation can be established when positive reviews outnumber negative reviews, so encourage consumers to leave positive reviews and provide easy options for them to do so. Many businesses receive positive feedback simply by requesting it, while others may offer discounts in exchange for positive reviews.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a single platform from which you can manage all of your small business listings on Google, which helps you to easily monitor your online reputation. Posting business images, videos and virtual tours to your Google My Business account
allows potential customers to see what your business offer before they walk into your store.
Small business owners can also respond to reviews from the Google My Business platform. Thanking people for their positive reviews lets those customers know you appreciate them. Responding to a negative review requires careful thought so as to respond positively to show others that you care about improving customer relationships, which leads us to the final step in building and preserving a positive online reputation.
How to Handle Negative Reviews
An occasional negative remark is inevitable. The way you handle negative remarks can have a positive outcome.
- Strength in Negative Reviews: Keep in mind, that most consumers trust a mixture of positive and negative reviews rather than positive comments only. So, rather than deleting negative comments, use them to publicly express your concern and to strengthen weak areas in your business.
- Other Positive Actions: Consider calling or emailing those who leave bad reviews so they will know you are sincere about pleasing them. This also assures that those who may not go back to read your positive comments will be aware of your sincerity.
- Answer Negative Reviews Yourself: Employees will not care about the customer’s happiness as much as you do. Also, a reply from you makes the consumer realize they are important to your business.
- Provide Step by Step Documentation: While telling your side of the story in a professional tone is important to maintaining a positive online reputation, step by step documentation of the solution allows people reading these reviews to see how you productively handled a sensitive situation.
By increasing positive reviews, responding to negative reviews in a positive way and using them to strengthen weaknesses, your online business reputation will thrive. By using my five step process above, your online reputation will be safe.