In this age of instant media coverage, once a news topic breaks, it spreads to every social media platform on the Internet. The same holds true for your business reputation. When good news breaks over social media sites and forums, it can mean potential new sales rolling into your business. Yet negative press can drastically impact sales, causing customers to steer clear of your business as no type of promotion or marketing technique can hope to bring them back. Supercharged by social media platforms, nothing travels as fast as the speed of a customer complaint in 2015.

Online reputation management is a part of daily operations

Running daily operations usually means providing services to customers, selling products, invoicing clients, managing workers and overseeing inventory. Yet it should also involve handling your online reputation. Never let negative comments go unaddressed, and always take advantage of positive comments to further your brand reputation. Here are 4 tips to handle your online brand that will empower you to handle reputation issues from both online and offline customers.

  1. Receive alerts when someone mentions your business. You simply won’t have the time every day to scour the Internet looking for comments about your company. But you can use online tools to receive alerts when someone mentions your business as you will receive an email notification. Then you can take the appropriate response. Check out Google Alerts and monitor what’s being said about your brand.
  2. Respond quickly to both positive and negative comments. A quick response shows that you are concerned about your company and want to strive to offer the best services. Even if you need more time to work out the issue, by thanking the person about their concerns and then telling them you will look into the matter further will show you are taking the initiative and their comments to heart. It’s a real tragedy when a business works really hard to build its reputation and by ignoring just one customer complaint can cause untold damage. Don’t ignore customer complaints.
  3. Control your search engine results. It can be difficult to wipe out negativity, especially for people who are out there throwing out false information just to be a social media troll. Yet keep in mind that you don’t want the negative feedback as the only thing found on the first page of your search engine results page (SERP). The interesting thing about the internet is that most people only pay attention to the first two pages. So continuing to post positive information about your company while providing relevant and shareable content will allow you to push the negativity off the first results page.
  4. Be active in social media: Claiming your business name on all social media sites and posting relevant updates can build your reputation and the website traffic. In addition, people can ask questions about your company as they can learn more about your causes, motives and industry news. You will be able to build your presence across all networks and encourage your loyal customers to leave positive reviews.

Online reputation management takes time, and can leave you frustrated when you find negative opinions about your business. Yet by remaining polite and professional at all times, you can take the right actions to build a positive image that will have customers seek out your business for products and services. Online reputation management can have a significant impact on your revenue when you take charge of it.

The above 4 tips to handle your online brand should be considered to be bread and butter activities – these are the times we live in and all businesses have to realign their thinking to take on board these must-do activities.