Kerry London News

Managing your online reputation

Tuesday 25th October
Managing your online reputation

At a glance:

  • Online business searches are trending towards specific, localised searches
  • Having a business profile on social media lets existing and potential customers know that you have an online presence
  • Google Alerts can send online mentions of your business straight to your inbox
  • Companies like can use online expertise to manage your online reputation for you

Your business has more potential for exposure now than it ever has before. The relentless increase in online search solutions and search result quality means more and more people are finding out about businesses online before anything else. This can be a huge advantage for your business provided that you’re presenting yourself correctly ad effectively online. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you establish, analyse and improve your online reputation.

Be hyper-local

One side effect of the internet is that you can access information, businesses and services on an international scale. However, there has been a more recent trend geared towards local searches.

Instead of traditional methods, more and more people are taking to the internet to find businesses on their own doorstep. If you’re a one-location business, it’s worth making sure that you have control over all your geographically-relevant online presences. This includes using Google My Business to claim your business’ location on Google Maps. That way you can keep track of any reviews that customers may add on those locations.

If your business has multiple locations, it’s still important to keep on top of local conversations. Make sure that you’re managing the reputation of every location separately in case reviews, comments or conversations are focussing on one particular branch.

Monitor social sites, optimize your presence

It may sound obvious, but social media platforms are key to managing your online reputation.
At any given time there are countless conversations occurring on the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google Plus. Finding out what people are saying about you on these platforms can be as simple as typing your company name into a search bar.

However, it’s not all about what others are saying about your business on social media.

It also matters how the business is presenting itself. Having a business profile on social media lets existing and potential customers know that you have an online presence and you’re engaging with your audience.
When you set up your business profile, ensure that you have all the necessities, including logos, opening hours and contact information.

By optimising your social presence, you make it much easier for customers and other businesses to find you. That way if someone wants to comment on your business or have a conversation about their experience, they’re more likely to come to your page or profile and do it there, making it much easier to find and respond.

Know which sites suit your industry/sector

It’s important to remember that not every social media platform is suitable for every business or sector.

You’ll often hear about company success stories on Instagram or SnapChat, but that doesn’t always mean that your business will have the same success.

Equally, just because other businesses haven’t had luck on certain platforms doesn’t mean that you’ll have the same problem. Do some research into competitor companies and see which sites they’re focussing their time on.
Once you’ve determined which sites are safe bets for managing your online reputation, try looking further afield. Is there a particular success story or brand campaign that you admire and think your business could adopt?

Stay “alert”

Monitoring social sites can tell you a lot about your online reputation, but not everything.

A lot of conversations, posts and comments will be made on other sites that won’t be picked up on Facebook or Twitter.

Trawling through the internet regularly to manage your reputation is needlessly labour intensive, so it can be worth setting up alerts for your business. Alerts will let you know when your business has been mentioned anywhere online. These alerts can be customised through geography or keywords, along with other advanced filters.

Google Alerts is one option that can send updates straight to your inbox, as well as Talkwater Alerts and Social Mention.

Responding to comments

Wherever there are comments or conversations about your business online, it’s important to respond for two reasons.

1. You can start to resolve an issue or touch base with the customer there and then, which can greatly assist in changing negative opinions or promoting yourself, and;
2. It lets anyone else who sees the conversation know that your business is engaged online and that you care about your online reputation.

Responding to comments or conversations online speaks volumes about your customer service and your professional responsibility. If the arena is right, always consider responding.

Choosing the right tech support

We’ve already discussed how labour intensive online reputation management can be. Even though the work is worthwhile, it can also divert resources from other demands of the business.

With that in mind, it’s worth looking into tools and services that can take the workload of managing your reputation in a way that is cost-effective.

Categories: Small Business,

Managing your online reputation