What Is Your Business’s Digital Reputation?

business digital reputation

When was the last time you Googled your small business?

If it has been a while, go do it now. We’ll wait.

How did it go? Did you like what you saw? Was it an accurate representation of your brand?

Whatever you saw when you Googled your small business is the exact same thing your potential customers will see when they Google it — and Google it, they will.

Your digital reputation is the difference between someone doing business with you or heading straight to the nearest competitor. So it’s something that must be protected at all costs. But … how?

What Is a Digital Reputation?

First, it’s helpful to understand what a digital reputation is. Fortunately, that’s pretty easy.

Your digital reputation is made up of any and all mentions of it online. That means anything created by your business — your website, your social media presence, your blog, any digital marketing materials that are out there. But that also means anything created by others that mentions your business — online reviews, blog comments, even social likes and dislikes.

For many businesses, online reviews will be the most important part of their digital footprint.

Manage Negative Online Reviews

Everyone gets a bad review once in a while. Maybe one of your employees had an off day and didn’t handle a customer like they should. Maybe a customer had an off day and decided to take it out on your business.

No matter what the reason, bad reviews can be a pain. But there are right ways and wrong ways to manage those reviews.

The No. 1 thing that business owners get wrong is getting angry at online reviews — and then reacting to them immediately while they’re still upset. An angry response will only make you look even less professional, likely reinforcing the original poster’s point.

So, what should you do?

First, determine what kind of negative review it is. For instance, if the review is irrational or unrealistic, it’s often best to just ignore it. It’s unlikely most people will take it seriously in the first place, and the people who post these kinds of returns are likely to escalate further if you engage. Or, if you believe the post is straight-up false or otherwise suspicious, you might want to ask the administrator to remove the post.

But some negative reviews are legitimate and need to be addressed. Start out by researching the incident, both by communicating privately with the poster if possible, as well as by discussing it internally with anyone who might have been involved. If you determine that your business really was in the wrong, be gracious — apologize for what went wrong, thank them for voicing their concerns, and explain to them how you will prevent the incident from occurring again.

Manage Positive Online Reviews

While the internet can be a negative place, some customers do take the time to praise businesses when they’ve done something right.

Embrace it — but again, do it the right way!

Do respond. Identify who you are and your position with the business, then offer up a simple “thank you” or a more effusive expression of thanks.

Don’t go much farther than that. While you might be tempted to offer up some sort of coupon or discount, a.) this might be viewed as a bribe of sorts for good reviews, and b.) that kind of behavior might be untenable over the long term – if you give every reviewer a discount, you could end up hacking into your margins.

Digital Reputation Management Tools

If you’re very concerned about your online reputation and want to go a step further than randomly browsing Twitter and Facebook for social mentions or Google and Yelp for reviews, you might consider reputation management tools.

For instance, reputation management tools such as YouScan and BrandMentions can help you …

  • Discover positive and negative feedback about your company on social media, blogs and even news sites
  • Track keywords of importance
  • Conduct rapid market research
  • Understand how people view your brand

Of course, reputation management tools don’t just help you understand how you’re viewed – they help you maintain and even improve your reputation. These tools deliver services such as working to remove negative Google search results to providing crisis management.

The Best Way to Improve Your Digital Reputation: Deliver

The most beloved businesses out there get things right from start to finish. That is, they deliver a precise marketing message that lets people know what they’re about — and then they follow through by providing exactly what they’ve promised.

That’s where seasoned marketing experts come in. The Mischa Communications team will work with you to create a perfect messaging strategy for your firm, then make sure that message is consistently communicated on your website, in search, on social media and through other channels.

Get in touch with us and start building a positive digital reputation today.