Tips for Building & Maintaining Your Online Reputation
Your company’s reputation is one of your most valuable assets, if not THE most important. How you are viewed and perceived by customer’s is just as important as your actual product and sales. Arguably, what consumers say about your product is more impactful than your own marketing. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing, and even more so now, with the ease of sharing opinions and views on the internet.
Cultivating and maintaining a positive reputation, especially online, is vital to the success of your small business. Getting people talking about your brand and monitoring what is being said is worth the effort. There is a reason why big box companies spend thousands of dollars on consultants who are solely dedicated to such a task. The good news is that your small business doesn’t have to have a dedicated reputation management budget or analyst. Keep reading for some effective and easy tips for building and maintaining your company’s online image and credibility.
Know Your Audience
Chances are that you have a good knowledge of who your target audience is and what they are interested in. Post content that goes beyond a sales pitch. Share articles or posts that would be of value to your customers. Direct sales and self-promotion, when not balanced with content of value that your audience will benefit from, can come across as self-serving and reflect negatively on your business. No one likes to be spammed with constant sale pitches. Think about what you would want to read from your favorite brand. Be creative. For more ideas on what to post click here.
Stay true to your company’s values and culture both in the real world and online. Be sure that what you share, post, and promote aligns with your values and sends that message to your audience. Be human and relatable. Don’t be afraid to show your customer’s the human side of your business. Go behind the scenes and let your customers get to know you. Balance professionalism with being relatable. Avoid automated spam-like posts and talk in a language that your customers can understand. Don’t talk above your audience or try to outdo your competitors by using fancy business jargon. This comes across as false and fake. Honesty and transparency is invaluable.
Interaction is key. Don’t just be static and remember it goes both ways. Encourage and solicit participation from your audience, but don’t forget to do your part. Respond to comments and emails in a timely fashion. Ignoring comments or responding months later, can show a lack of interest and reflect badly on your company. Building a following takes time, so be patient. Put forth the effort to really communicate and connect with your audience. Never delete negative comments, but instead respond professionally. Come back later this month to learn how to best handle negativity.
Actively seeking feedback is a must. Encourage customers to review your services and products. Remember the value of word of mouth advertising and that other costumers are much more likely to consider using your business if you have a positive review. Encourage customers to share their experiences. Regularly seek their opinions on social media. Show them that you value their insight and viewpoints. Remember your business is dependent on meeting their needs with your product or service. Seeking their feedback, not only makes them feel valued, but also can help you develop and deliver better products.
The team at CGA can help you get started in building and managing your online reputation, as well as with creating a customized online marketing campaign for your business. Contact Corporate Graphics of America today at 773-481-2100, by email, or through the Contact Us Form.
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