Taking your reputation online can help you win customers and influence website visitors, but how?
No matter how experienced and how good your reputation is offline, if this reputation doesn’t transfer to the Internet then you will not be able to benefit from the time and effort that has gone in to building your business brand. An effective online reputation management campaign can be used to help ensure that you do benefit.
Online reputation management is sometimes viewed as being used only in emergencies but the reality is that reputation is important to all businesses, websites, and professionals and at all times. Repairing a reputation is certainly important but so too is developing one and if you already have a good offline reputation then it should be easier to take this online than to start completely afresh.
Use Existing Testimonials
If you have an excellent reputation already then you can use this to your advantage. Collect testimonials from your customers and add them to your website. Not everybody believes testimonials because it is very easy to simply write a few lines and pretend that they came from a happy customer but some still rely heavily on them as a means of determining the benefits of particular services and companies.
Seek Permission And Offer Contact Details
One way to get around the trust issue is to offer a more advanced form of testimonial. Invite your potential clients to ring or email a former client and they will be able to verify the details of a testimonial and will even be able to ask specific questions regarding the service and the level of service that you provided.
Don’t be tempted to lie in your testimonials because you will typically be found out, especially if you offer these advanced testimonials. Once you have been found out you will have a whole new level of reputation management to deal with as you attempt to repair the damage that you have done.
Encourage User Reviews From Loyal Customers
You can consider incentivising reviews but make sure that your customers know that you will accept any honest review. Companies have landed in a lot of trouble in the past because they have effectively bribed their customers to ensure that they offer a glowing reference.
Conduct your business well and you shouldn’t need to be dishonest in any way. Some of your potential clients may want to see a human side anyway, and if you can show that problems have arisen in the past but you have overcome them to the satisfaction of the client then you could win further praise from potential leads this way too.
You may have noticed a theme in the last couple of points and that is that you shouldn’t lie or be dishonest. This not only includes in your testimonials but in everything you do. Lying is something that will rile even the most patient and forgiving of clients. Even a small fib can come back to haunt you later so this is something that should absolutely be avoided from the outset.
Remember That Arguing Is Pointless Online
If you see an opinion you disagree with or a point of view that you believe to be completely wrong then your best option may simply be to ignore it. You cannot win an online argument and, even with the best structured argument and a host of facts backed up by accurate data and statistics you will only ever look like a fool when you argue back.
There are many people that go out of their way to start arguments on the Internet and trolling in this way can be a problem for some organisations. Look for more constructive methods of dealing with trolls than arguing back though because you will ultimately lose face even if you think you have won the argument.
Continue Building Your Reputation
Once you take your excellent reputation online you shouldn’t sit back and consider your reputation management work complete. Look for new testimonial opportunities and ways to incentivise reviews on directories and websites.
Many potential customers will search the Internet, including on search engines and social media websites to find information about particular companies. If they are looking for you and you are able to ensure that they see only positive and genuine results then you can expect to enjoy good conversion rates and an increasingly large number of loyal brand ambassadors. An effective online reputation management campaign will ultimately determine how good your reputation is on the Internet and should be considered important.