We’ve all heard the expression, “What other people think about me is none of my business.” Charming prose, right? However, in today’s ever-connected, digital world, this old adage could not be further from the truth. What people think (and more importantly, say) about you online not only is your business, it can ultimately impact your business and/or personal currency with the virtual masses. Case in point: a recent study by BIA/Kelsey indicates that 97% of prospective consumers go online to gather information about local products and services.
What does this significant percentage mean for you and your business? As an entrepreneur trying to elevate your brand image, forget the sticks and stones…words really can hurt you. It’s critical for you to vigilantly and consistently monitor your online reputations.
As you begin the process of monitoring what people are saying, ask yourself these questions to help set yourself up for success:
Online reputation monitoring starts with some simple browser searches. Go to your search engine of choice (Google, Yahoo, Bing), type in your business name, hit return, and brace yourself for the results. Check out the links listed to get a general idea of what people are saying. Also, be sure to run different searches with informal titles, names, and even misspellings to build a thorough understanding of your current online status. Once you’ve seen what’s listed about your company, open up a new search engine and begin the process again. Why? Because each search engine will provide different results, making it critical to compare all three browsers for a full-picture glimpse at where your company currently stands. Bonus Tip: Be sure to clear your browsing history before each search so your cookies are not saved – it will give you a fresh look at your business’s image.
Can I Erase Bad Reviews And Posts?
Once posted for the world to see, erasing bad reviews is not an option.
Is There Anything I Can Do About Harsh Comments?
Yes. The good news is you do have options to minimize the impact of bad reviews and posts. Research shows that less than 10% of people ever advance to page 2 on Google search results. Stop worrying about existing negative commentary. Instead, focus on creating positive web content (blogs, social media pages, and a YouTube channel to start) that will successfully suppress the harsh and critiques elevate the more uplifting data to pages one and two of search results.
How Are My Competitors Doing?
For business owners, monitoring the online reputations of other industry players helps identify the comps’ strengths and vulnerabilities in the marketplace. You should always run browser searches on the competition to compare their brand image with yours.
Can I Receive Updates Whenever My Name Or Brand Is Mentioned Online?
Absolutely – and you should set up that process, stat. Google Alert offers free notifications that get sent to your email address as soon as your search words are mentioned online. You can arrange alerts based on individual names, products, and services for thorough online canvassing. Also, log into your social media pages at least daily to see the buzz surrounding you and your brand. Bonus Tip: You can (and should) also set up search alerts on your competitors.
I Like What I See Right Now – Am I Done?
Many business owners assume that if their current brand identity is relatively positive, their work is essentially done. However,
this is simply not the case. Continuously fortifying your online reputation provides a digital shield, helping you safeguard your brand image from any future negative comments and posts. Once you’ve got an idea of where both your professional and personal brand stands, it’s critical to develop a proactive plan to build, repair, and protect your online reputation for long-term, sustainable results.
Chances are, you still have questions about your online reputation. We have answers. Contact the team at Repair Bad Reputation for a no-risk consultation.