For all the effort and attention that we give to character, it’s reputation that really matters.
This is especially true in the business world. But today's business reputation management is focused and distorted through the lens of artificial intelligence systems.
That's why business reputation management services exist - to provide balance and a degree of control.
Reputation management services for small businesses have two main goals: to repair poor reputations and maintain positive ones.
There are various strategies reputation management teams working on these campaigns use to accomplish these goals.
The first step most online reputation agencies perform is an analysis of the current state of your business's online image. They scrape the web for mentions of your brand.
They look at your website, blog postings and consumer reviews. They research the sentiment around your company.
They also take a close look at what comes up when searching for your brand. The goal is to have all positive content on the first pages of search results.
The more negative results found at the top of the search results, the more work needs to be done.
After the analysis is complete, online reputation management companies put together a proposal outlining the strategies they think need to be done to meet your business reputation goals.
A common tactics is to flood the internet with positive content about your brand.
The trick is to get as much content that promotes your business reputation that you can control on that search engine's front page as possible.
This is particularly important because creating content allows you to build an arsenal of positive content that can outrank negative content about your brand.
The new, more relevant search results will display proudly giving your potential customer a more relevant insight into how you or your company conduct business.
Optimizing your content by following SEO best practices sets you up to rank in search results, however it is not enough alone to ensure a spot on the first page of Google search results.
Business reputation management services make sure all of the content has the proper SEO, which includes making sure the proper keywords are mixed in with the content, the headline is correct and the metadata is optimized.
Business reputation management services also work with the content to build links to any articles mentioning you.
Consider backlinks like a co-signer for a bank loan. They tell Google that the information is trust worthy to readers.
Small business reputation management services can handle all of your social media.
This work includes creating profiles for your brand on all of the most important social networks and keeping those profiles up to date with engaging content.
They can also monitor these social networks to see what others are saying about your brand. Social media management can give your business a chance to connect with your audience, join in on related industry discussions, and help show off your knowledge and expertise.
Social media management gives your business reputation a much needed human interaction. Showing your customer's that your business is human and letting them know behind the scenes news.
Such as a company bio, team member bio, and a timeline of how your business progressed over the years.
Managing online reviews is another key component of business reputation management.
For negative reviews, you want to find ways to correct the issues that caused the customer to leave a negative review.
For positive reviews, you want to thank the customer for their kind words.
Responding to your reviews shows others that you care about what your customers think of you.
When a public relations crisis hits your business reputation, a fast, strategic plan is needed to contain negative online posts, suppress negative articles and reviews, and promote positive and trust worthy content to reiterate your positive brand value.
These plans include:
All of these PR plans are designed to help stop the spreading of the negative content about your brand and start rehabilitating your image.
For a reputation management service to be effective, it has to monitor opinions expressed online.
Some companies do manual searches of the common complaint websites to find out what is being said about you, with the top small business reputation services going a step further to read the complaints and identify common issues.
Most services employ monitoring software that they develop in-house or buy commercially.
Others have computer labs for automatic searching and clicking in order to influence the ranking of websites.
Reputations are important especially online. Where anyone can make a judgment based on whatever information shows up on a web search or social media site.
Reputation management services have the knowledge to help repair a damaged image, build a positive one, and give you the training to continue to monitor and build your reputation.
While brand sentiment can be influenced by a single strategy, that alone may not be enough.
A business reputation company may do a brilliant job of promoting your good reviews, but if your business doesn't fix its customer service problems, the problems will continue to surface.
Reputation repair is more than just suppressing the negatives. While negative suppression is a part of reputation repair, it alone will not be a long term fix.
Your business will need to employ consistent content creation, as well as an SEO strategy.
Therefore, it's prudent to go into online reputation management understanding that it should be a combination of tools and strategies for improving your company.
To help you get found online, create positive search results, and get found by your customers.