Establishing your brand takes time and resources, and in the linked digital world today, the reputation you have worked so hard to build can be tarnished with a few simple keystrokes. Your business information can quickly go viral, which is great if it’s a positive report that draws in customers but harmful content can go viral very fast. What is said about your company online can make or break your success. Thankfully, using social media and content can improve your digital reputation.
Marketers of the past understood the value of networking at social events. Going to events and networking or attending power-lunches are not a thing of the past, but if you aren’t networking online, it’s likely that you will not get the positive attention that you need to hook up with your customer base. There are several ways that your presence on social media can enhance your digital reputation.
It’s a good idea to get control and the ownership of your brand’s social profiles and monitor them carefully. Having someone hijack your brand on a social media platform can do significant damage to your online reputation. Search for your company and product brand names on the major social media sites to ensure that nobody is stealing your brand identification.
Claim your names on various platforms even if you do not intend to keep the platforms active. After getting control of your sociable media profiles, the next step is to choose the platforms in which to invest the most time. Some sites will be more beneficial to you than others, depending on your industry and your audience. As popular as Facebook is, it may not be the single system you need to emphasize. To take care of your reputation and keep it in check, make sure your company has a presence on some or all of these platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, SlideShare, and Reddit. Then link each of these social media profiles together.
If you want to maintain a strong digital reputation, you must frequently post, comment when appropriate and reply to other people’s comments. By responding quickly and professionally to feedback and requests on social media sites, you demonstrate your concern for the views and inputs of your customers. Just because a review is negative, doesn’t imply it ought to be deleted. Responding well to criticism and showing your action plan for improvement can, in fact, help to improve your digital reputation, if done with the right attitude. Saying thank you and offering a heartfelt apology when something unfortunate happens is as essential in the digital world as it is in person.
Another way to improve your digital reputation is through the tactical use of online content. As you publish more content, it becomes more likely that anyone who is searching for your products and services will find you. Also, if your company publishes content searchers are more likely to locate the information you want them to find, instead of any reputation-damaging material, like negative reviews. However, this isn’t to say that you should post just any content. When you continually publish thoughtful, professional and, most importantly, relevant, information, you have the possibility to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Basically, by getting the right content out there, you maintain a positive digital reputation while becoming the go to business when a consumer or prospect is searching for something. A well-rounded digital content strategy will include systems for regularly getting blog posts, press announcements, videos, and infographics.
Your blog brings in attention, as long as you are following a content marketing golden guidelines. First, keep it relevant. Next, publish frequent posts to a company blog to give a regular flow of information about your brand distributed to the general public by a forum that attracts more attention than a Website. A blog is a great reputation builder, because it reflects the thoughts and values of your company, and allows the world know what you have to offer. A blog can even be used to optimize your ratings in the search engines so that your company gets tied to the buzz-words that attract consumers.
Blogging would be much easier if you could just post content and move on. If you want to boost your digital reputation, you’ll have to follow up. The comment areas of a blog offer an opportunity for consumers to engage in the conversation. However, these areas can also get filled with useless, harmful or spammy comments if not closely checked. The fact that the digital environment encourages some to respond to even the smallest dissatisfaction in a very public way. The more established and popular your blog becomes, the more vulnerable you will be to negative feedback. Just as with negative social media remarks less than favorable responses on a blog give you the opportunity to respond in a manner that will reflect positively on your company.
Specifically, as you are building your digital reputation, getting content published outside of your blog is helpful. Once you feel comfortable, post content and guests posts to larger, more reliable sources and industry publications. The wider your reach, the more your content will be read and distributed to others, which will impact your digital reputation. Videos usually rank well on Yahoo, and so including this medium in your site strategy can assist with increasing your online reputation.
It’s not enough for content to be well-written. If it doesn’t talk about the market you are trying to reach; it will do little to boost your online reputation. Content should be original as well as informative. The short-attention-span of today’s consumers means content must connect with a reader quickly. Combining attention-grabbing tools like images and video and contain information that is up to date. As you get a better understanding of the preferences of your target audience, you’ll get more positive feedback and are less likely to get negative feedback that can damage your web reputation.
Becoming a thought leader and developing a strong digital reputation is not something that happens overnight, even when content and social media marketing is a top priority. Consistency, diversity, and a strategic approach are all necessary components to the online strategy that will improve your digital reputation and keep it reliable.