Maintaining a great reputation is extremely important – personally, professionally, in the business world, and in the online world. Despite the fact that you work very hard to maintain a respectable, clean reputation, it can be temporarily or permanently damaged with the drop of a hat, especially through social media. The importance of reputation management cannot be stressed enough, but managing it is not as hard as you think as long as you work on it. And at the same time, even if you are casted in a bad light, you can recover.
Power of Word-of-Mouth
When you need a new product or service, what are the first things you do? Ask friends and family? Search online? Watch commercials? Drive up and down the road and look for the prettiest building? All of the above? If you chose “all of the above,” depending on the circumstances, you’re exactly right. And all of these reflect the importance of reputation management – even the last one.
If you ask your friends and family for, say, a hairstylist, they will recommend one that they like, trust, or have heard great things about. According to our partners at HubSpot, 65 percent of new business comes from referrals. That’s reputation.
If you search online, the highest-ranking, most reputable hairstylists in your area will most likely appear at the top of your searches, and there, you will most likely read reviews and comments on social media. That’s reputation.
The power of advertising cannot be overlooked when it comes to the importance of reputation management – whether it’s through television commercials, radio advertisements, online advertisements, or traditional newspapers and circulars. That’s reputation.
If you are at a complete loss about where to go and decide to drive up and down the road and pick somewhere, you probably will not pick a place that has no other customers, unpleasant surroundings, a run-down building and trash in the parking lot. That’s laziness … and reputation – probably a bad one.
And that brings us to our next point regarding the importance of reputation management.
Cleaning Up your Act
It’s so overwhelming. Communication comes from all over the place these days: phones, computers, television, radio, word-of-mouth, conversation, the sky – no, really, from the sky.
People can dig up dirt from anywhere. Whether it’s true or just a rumor, you don’t want any of that to cloud other people’s judgment of you or your business.
You have to keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Respond to messages in emails, on your social media sites, and by phone promptly and professionally. It’s important to constantly watch your social media sites, specifically, because you don’t want people publicly posting inaccurate or unfair information about you or your business. If they do, respond calmly and professionally – always.
If you truly made a mistake, don’t try to cover it up or vehemently deny it; admitting mistakes gives you integrity and a human touch. However, don’t dwell on them. Admit them, correct them, and move on to bigger and better things while making sure the same mistakes do not happen again.
Further, your online reviews impact your search engine rankings.
Moz’s analysis of 2014 local search ranking factors shows that online business reviews are one of the top 20 ranking factors. The quantity and quality of your reviews are factors you can manage to improve your rankings.
Publish and promote positive content
If you don’t have social media accounts, set them up. Make yourself visible online, but, again, be sure to watch the comments that are posted and private messages that are sent.
On your company’s website, regularly post positive, helpful information. Make sure that information sets up the tone and reputation you want for your business.
It’s Important to Have a Reputation, Period
Finally, although you want to have a good reputation, it’s most important to have a reputation to begin with. Your business won’t succeed if no one knows about it or sees it – whether it’s online or up and down the road you are traveling. That’s why it’s important to have a presence online, in traditional advertising, and in one-on-one networking.
As we said, it’s coming from all over, and it’s a lot to think about and handle while at the same time actually completing the service you provide for your customers. That’s most important, after all.
But the importance of reputation management can’t be overlooked if you want your business to thrive. You most likely will need help to make sure your company is prominent and has a great online reputation by working with a company like 602 Creative Studio. Reach out to us online or by calling 888-602-0197 if you want us to help you make your business excel online – and with the respect it deserves!