On the internet, everyone has a voice. As frustrating as it can be, every single person with a keyboard has a voice. This is obviously a great tool. It has spurred revolutions and given a platform to numerous worthy causes.
On the other hand, the ease of accessibility to post an opinion can wreak havoc on small businesses—or, for that matter, large businesses. If you’re a business owner or are in charge of a business’s brand, it is imperative that you become an expert in online reputation management.
Staying on top of your business’s online presence isn’t just important for restaurant owners worried about what people are saying about them on Yelp, although some of the more ridiculous online reviews do seem to center around them.
Luckily, you aren’t stuck at the mercy of the vengeful side of the internet. With the right online reputation management strategy, you can make sure that you’re putting your best (online) foot forward. Below, you’ll find some of the main reasons you need to manage your online reputation, and a few ways you can go about making that happen.
1) You Need to Be ‘Locatable’
A Google Business Listing is one of the best steps you can take towards managing your online presence. This makes sure that your business’s webpage and information is the first thing people see when they look for your name or service.
Your Google Business Listing gives you credibility, makes you locatable, and puts you in control of the information people see about you online. Without it, you’ll fall behind your local competition and lack the ability to manage your image.
2) It’s Too Important to Disregard
Not all small business owners are experts in managing their online presence. If you fit into this category, that’s fine. Honestly, nobody should expect you to be—there’s a reason big businesses have marketing departments rather than just asking their CEOs and presidents to sit in their offices writing copy and responding to Yelp reviews.
Often, for companies of all sizes, extra help is needed. Fortunately, you can find online presence management services that won’t double your budget. For example, check out WebMetrix Group, founded by Immy Tariq and Huey Lee. They put together a business that will make sure your good press always outweighs the bad, plus they’ll stay on top of any false information out there.
3) Your Profile Is Important
Many executives and small business owners don’t spend too much time perusing social media. A blank online presence, however, is not a badge of honor. Part of online presence management is publishing high quality content under your name, which will establish you as a trusted source.
When your name carries weight, your business will follow. Your ability to become an authority in your area of specialty draws new eyes, and clients, to your business. Having a strong individual online presence is an important part of your overall online presence management.
4) Direction Is Key
Whether you’ve spent time publishing online without a strategy, or you’re a young entrepreneur who has yet to establish a presence of any kind, there’s a good chance you are in need of some direction.
This, again, is where looking into an online presence management service is a good idea. They’ll strategically release content for you that is tailored to maximize your name and brand to the exact audiences you need to see it.
5) Your Name Is On the Line
You may care about what’s on the internet or you may not, but the fact of the matter is that your name is out there. If you don’t take control of the way your name is used and how people are seeing it, you’re surrendering control of your reputation, and possibly your business, to whomever decides to take a swipe at it.
In today’s interconnected society, one guy having a bad day could trip outside of your store and decide to torch you on Yelp. Maybe you made a mistake years ago or were fired from a job. It’s not important now, but to an anonymous poster with a bone to pick, it could be ruinous.
Alternatively, you many just be absent from the web altogether, or just as bad, languishing on the third page of a Google search. No matter the situation, you need to be on top of your online reputation management. Often, this will require turning to experts. Regardless, it is worth it.