Protecting Your Brand: How To Manage Your Online Reputation

Building a business is tough. Building a legitimate brand is tougher.

It's important that every company -- no matter how big or small -- creates a strong online presence.

The internet is where your customers, new and returning, can learn more about your product and services. While there are many benefits of marketing online, of course, there are some downsides. No matter what you do or how hard you try, every business is bound to get some negative feedback.

Instead of trying to hide and tighten up privacy, it's important to tackle customer flak head-on.

While the internet has a ton of great tools for business, it's also created a culture where people can spread negativity and share complaints (valid or not) with very little repercussion.

See three BIG ways you can shape your online image below:

1. Come up with a strategy to deal with negative feedback.

First, Google your company to get a good idea of what's being said/written about your business. If there's outdated content, delete it. If there's misleading marketing, change it.

Next, "spring clean" your social media. What you were doing even one year ago may be different from what you are doing today. Make sure all of your social channels are in line with your brand's current identity.

2. If you don't already have a website, create one.

The best way to take control of what's being written about your company is to be the place where people turn for information about your business. Make sure your company has a registered domain and create a website. From there, you can start a blog where YOU directly communicate with your audience. You can also add a page that shows off any accolades or positive press materials that your business has received over the years.

3. Get your company on social media.

As noted before, social media is an excellent way to market your company. Your social media accounts should be used as a platform to promote your business with customers, competitors and the general public. Creating social channels with your company's name will also help populate search results when people Google your business. Not to mention, posting content that sends people to your website will increase your traffic, eventually translating into sales.

4. Create strong content.

If you want control of your online identity, then YOU should be writing about your business. By creating content regularly, and publishing these blogs or articles on your website, you'll see your SEO rankings improve. The goal is to get your company to the top of Google's results when people search key terms about the business.

5. Get customers to leave reviews.

Customer reviews are king when it comes to why and how people will choose your business over another one. Once you have your website and social media channels in place, you can add a call to action encouraging people to share a review about their experience with your company.

The best way to manage your company's online identity is to take control of it -- make sure your utilizing all the marketing tools that the internet has to offer!

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