Reputation is the main asset of a businessman who aspires to succeed in his field. And as the social media conquer more and more minds, it is your reputation online that determines your success or failure.
Building one's reputation takes both time and effort. However, no effort will help you if you lack he essential knowledge about the methods that can help a businessman to create a desired reputation and maintain it.
Here are nine tips that will help you support your business and get on the good graces of your customers and partners.
1. Establish a strong social media presence
In order to connect with your customers and potential partners you need to do a first thing first - that is, start with setting up your brand's accounts on all social media platforms that matter. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn go without saying, but you also shouldn't ignore Instagram, Pinterest and even Foursquare (if we're talking local brands).
Google+ and YouTube are no less important for your online presence.
Establishing such a presence is essential for creating a contact with your target audience, but it is also important as a means of reserving an account with your brand's name on it - even if you plan to start posting much later.
If you take the account's name in advance, it will save you tons of trouble connected with reclaiming the account name from someone else (perhaps even from your competitors).
Don't simply create blank pages - equip them with all the necessary information about your brand. Make sure you mention the company's product, brand's purpose and lifestyle. Remember to fill in the contact info and give working hyperlinks to your company's main website and your brand's pages on other social media platforms.
If you establish a strong social media presence, it will guarantee you better place in the search results.
2. Stay active
If you want to create a strong and positive reputation for your brand, it is extremely important to start as soon as possible. The more you wait, the more damage your reputation takes - and both negative reviews and the absence of reviews can hurt your company a lot. So don't wait for a crisis to start doing something about your online reputation. Take a proactive approach and start building your brand's reputation immediately.
A good sign of a reputation building done well is Google search, where the first two pages are filled with positive reviews or articles about your brand. Achieving that goal isn't easy, so you need to devote enough time and effort to it.
Provided you take this advice into account and conquer first two pages of the Google search, it will be very hard for a negative review to appear there unexpectedly, so you won't have to deal with customers leaving you over often unfounded critique.
3. Do the SEO-optimization of your content
Writing interesting and useful articles isn't enough to dominate the web. If you want to make sure your content reaches its targeted audience, you need to optimize it for the search engines.
SEO-optimization is essential element of every promotion and reputation building strategy. It will ensure that people searching for the product or service your company can provide, will get a link to your website among the first 20 links search engine provides them with.
Make your content both useful for potential customers and optimized for Google, and you'll get the results you desire.
Always remember about the importance of keywords, but don't overdo it - otherwise you risk getting punished by Google and may even be excluded from the search results.
4. Remember to update
Keeping your content fresh and relevant is another tip essential for ensuring your success in the not-so-easy task of reputation-building. No one is going to trust a businessman whose website was last updated before the dinosaurs went extinct.
A website that isn't updated regularly also ranks poorer in Google, and you can lose all the progress you've been able to achieve.
Add some life to your Facebook page by posting live, publishing several photos from your event. Write a blog about the topic you are an expert in.
It will keep your customers and potential partners interested and won't let them forget about your company.
5. Sync your posts
Creating original content for each and every one of your social media account is heroic work, but sometimes it's not necessary.
In order to keep some of your less active accounts alive, you can synch your accounts on social media and ensure that everything you post on Instagram also appears on your Facebook page or in your Twitter.
There are plenty of online tools allowing to do that, some of them even free.
However, make sure your accounts don't look like clones - it is also important to create original content for each platform once in a while.
6. Expand your presence online
Social media are not the only way to let your potential customers about your company. There are plenty of websites in the Internet where you can feature your company's profile. It can be quite useful for connecting with new clients.
Make sure these websites are respectable and help you create a right image.
7. Talk about your successes
Press releases are another way to mention your company and its successes - of course, provided you have some news to deliver.
Make sure that press releases you send to the media are truly informative and contain data that will be useful for your potential clients and interesting for the journalists, otherwise you'll just spend your time and efforts in vain.
8. Get more domains
It would also be a good idea not to stop on buying the domain name for your brand, but also purchase all the main domain extensions to avoid any possible problems or even some tricks from your competitors.
While buying the domain names, remember to tie them up to the search queries your targeted audience uses the most - it will help you raise your company's visibility and obtain new loyal clients.
9. Pay attention to the feedback
Reviews that your customers write about their experience with your brand are the main source of your future reputation. That is why it is extremely important to pay attention to each and every one of them.
Even if the review is not positive, you cannot leave it unattended. You can still fix the situation and keep your image intact if you give quick and adequate response to the critique.
It would also be wise to encourage your satisfied customers to leave reviews about your company. You can send them a short reminder once in a while - as soon as it's not irritating, some of them may react and tell about their positive experience.
Make sure you remember about all these essential elements of building a brand's reputation, and you'll become truly unstoppable.