The digital world has brought many benefits and advantages to businesses that operate online. Nowadays, if your business isn’t online, it might as well not exist at all. However, the Internet is a double-edged sword and all the transparency and flexibility it offers to businesses can also become the reason of their demise. That’s why building and maintaining your online reputation from the very beginning is of the utmost importance.
After all, without a good reputation, there’s no way to protect your business from criticism or a way to ensure your brand’s survival. Operating online means that your business is open to both positive and negative feedback, but if your overall reputation isn’t good then all negative feedback will have much more impact than it normally would. Therefore, you should take time to build a good reputation and make sure you manage it well. Here are a few tips for managing your startup’s reputation online.
Socialize on social media
Almost every business today revolves around social media. Social networks became the hub for open communications between companies and customers, as well as a place for personalized marketing campaigns. However, your online reputation very much depends on your social media presence and your relations with your target audience. If you interact with your audience regularly on social media platforms, you’ll build long-lasting relationships with them.
The benefits of maintaining social media presence are that your potential customers have the chance to get to know you better. On the other hand, those relationships will make your business more trustworthy, which will make people less susceptible to any negative reviews posted about you.
Implement a good SEO strategy
SEO (search engine optimization) is something that startup owners usually disregard, as they believe that it isn’t quite as important as developing a product. This is a mistake you should avoid making, because SEO doesn’t just place you on top of the search results, which increases your startup’s legitimacy and credibility, but it also improves your startup’s online visibility, making it easily findable for your audience. That’s why SEO is vital for your startup’s success and you should strive towards ranking highest in search engines.
SEO strategies such as link building, guest blogging and posting high-quality content can vastly improve your ranking, but even activities such as choosing the right domain name for your website can affect your rank. However, domain ranking factors aren’t something many business owners pay special attention to; still, it’s always advisable to think in advance, especially if you want to manage your startup’s reputation from the very beginning.
Address negative reviews accordingly
If you fail to address negative feedback or if you chose to ignore it, your reputation can get ruined in an instant. That’s why it’s crucial to respond to comments the right way and on time. If someone is writing negative comments about you, you’ll need to approach the situation carefully and ask yourself: Is this person an unsatisfied customer that’s telling the truth? If so, you should apologize and tell them you’ll address the issue. Is the person possibly an angry competitor who’s looking to ruin your reputation by writing nonsense? If that’s the case, then supply your audience with evidence that the claims against you are incorrect. That way, your followers are less likely to join the bandwagon and might even defend you. Regardless of the origin of a bad review, make sure you keep your composure and use an appropriate tone of voice when responding to it.
Use content to your advantage
Content is king in the digital world and there is a good reason behind those claims. As a matter of fact, content is the most widely accepted form of marketing online. Content allows you to position yourself as someone who offers a way for your audience to educate, inform and entertain themselves. It also allows you to position yourself as someone who can answer important questions or offer solutions to certain problems your audience might have.
However, content is not only meant to help you engage with your audience but manage your reputation as well. With good content, you’re not just offering something of value and showing your customers that you’re not just pushing sales, but you’re also offering transparency into your company, yourself, your products and services. That way, people can familiarize themselves with who you are and what you do, leaving little room for negative reviews to truly impact your reputation.
Managing your startup’s reputation online is no easy task. However, with so much on the line, you simply must do your best to build a strong reputation and ensure that your business reaches success.