How to Build Your Online Image as a Business — Large or Small
Nowadays, managing your brand’s reputation online is a key part of digital marketing for any business whether it’s large or small.
Building an image used to mostly depend on word of mouth or acquaintances. Prior to the digital world we know today and its many advantages, only larger companies with access to substantial advertising budgets had the ability to become household names by promoting themselves through the help of traditional media, such as television and newspapers.
Today, digital media has revolutionized exposure and improved access to an individual’s or a company’s profile. As social media platforms have disrupted commerce and the global economy by providing instant access to unfiltered information, online reputation management has become a crucial tool for any individual or business, who wishes to succeed.
Online Reputation Management, often used as ORM, refers to managing a brand’s reputation on the internet. In other words, it aims to shape public perception of your brand by influencing online information and increasing the visibility of positive opinions. What people think of a brand affects everything about the brand. People won’t engage with your company if they don’t trust or believe in your brand’s message.
Why is Reputation Management Important?
First, ask yourself these questions. How does your business maintain relationships with your customers? How to you get repeat business? How do you make sure your customers are happy after the sale? How do you handle unhappy customers without it damaging the impression that other potential new customers might have?
Nowadays, the first thing people do before deciding to purchase an item or work with a brand, is search what other people think about the brand, and what experiences they have had whilst dealing with the said business. Accurate business information, customer reviews, blog posts and social media activity all impact your business reputation. Your online presence influences consumer attitudes towards your brand and their purchasing decisions.
77% of consumers say they research a brand or company online before engaging with them. This is where ORM comes into play and makes sure what information your potential customers get about your brand brings them to your door.
The only truly effective way to build a positive online reputation is through constant and authentic engagement with your audience, great customer service, fresh and engaging user-generated content, as well as timely responses to brand mentions. Good customer experience management processes allow your happy customers to share those experiences with the world. Which in turn will drive even more traffic to your website, profile or blog.
Maintaining a positive image online as well as being active and socially engaged, will eventually lead to increased sales, and attract potential customers. Another thing to keep in mind is that transparency about your brand will strengthen trust and credibility. This also increases the confidence in them to make repetitive purchases, and will eventually lead to a loyal customer pool.
As an operating business, it is not easy to have a good online presence nowadays. But, with the right practices and tools, you can manage your online presence and increase your business’s performance and standing in this fiercely competitive market.