It’s completely normal to feel some confusion about online reputation management. Obviously, the state of a company’s image is an extremely important factor – unless you don’t care about turning a profit – but is it so important that time and money needs to be investing in reputation management and repair?
To answer that question simply, YES. It is extremely important to keep some semblance of a positive image for your brand. The best way to ensure that this happens is to make the investment into reputation management.
Whether you try it out on your own or hire a professional to help you out is your call, but just keep in mind that it is extremely time consuming. This is especially true if your rep is currently in the gutter and is in need of some serious attention.
Convinced that it’s time to focus on reputation management to boost your sales? Get started by reading these frequently asked questions regarding online reputation management.
FAQ #1: How do I even know what the current brand’s reputation is?
There are a few ways of finding this out, but the best method is simply to Google yourself. Switch your browser to incognito mode and type your company’s full name into the search bar. Your website is most likely the thing that will show up first, but you should be able to scroll down and see what is being said about your brand.
The next step is to simply search for keywords relating to the product or service provided by your company to see if Google ranks you high in relevance. If your website isn’t showing up until page 3 or 4 of the search results, this is not a good sign. Sure, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a bad rep, but it means that you have no reputation at all, which is pretty much just as bad.
FAQ #2: How do I develop the right strategic plan for reputation management?
This is where hiring a professional reputation management will do you some good. The pros will know exactly which strategies need to be utilized in order to boost your rep or put you on the map. If you insist on doing it on your own, though, here are a few pointers:
- If you rank low on Google searches, invest time into search engine optimization
- If you are experiencing negative reviews on your selling platforms, come up with a plan for review monitoring and maintenance
- If you have no social media following (or a negative social media presence), focus on social media marketing and management
FAQ #3: Will results happen instantly? And is it necessary to continue with reputation management once the job is done?
Try to be patient with this process – chances are you won’t see instant results since there is no quick fix. You can expect to wait 3 months or more before the benefits of reputation management truly start showing.
To answer the second question, yes, you should continue to put some focus on reputation management even after your specific goals have been accomplished. It is called “management” for a reason. You don’t necessarily need to continue paying for a service, but at least put some time towards maintaining the brand’s image each week.