Eight reasons your online reputation matters
Your online reputation is the same thing as your offline reputation but, thankfully, you can discover what your online reputation is and work toward making it better. In contrast, it can be a lot more difficult to discover what your offline reputation is.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you have these days – it can be online or offline, large or small – there will still be information about you online. Therefore, you should be aware you’re your online reputation is and manage it. Here are eight reasons why.
Most people will ‘Google you’ before buying
You know you do it so, of course, most others do it too. If you want information on a business or product, you search on Google to see if you can find it. You don’t care if it’s a local business or not – you go to Google, type in the name, and then you read the reviews and other information about that business. When you do Google an individual the first listings you usually find about them are their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.
People buy from those they trust
Finding good information during the search process helps build a feeling of trust with your potential customer. If, instead, they find bad information, poor ratings, or other things about you or your business that is negative, they may choose a competitor.
Reputation builds brand awareness
By building an online reputation through the use of social media, websites, blogs, YouTube videos and more, you will build brand awareness. If you do it right, it will build positive brand awareness about yourself and your business. But, if you do it wrong you might inadvertently make yourself look bad. Focus on always being positive and not negative unless, of course, that is your personal brand.
Good reputation gives a competitive advantage
The aim is to build such a good reputation that when someone searches for your name, a search term, or your product or industry, you appear in the searches in a healthy way without controversy. In this way, you’ll have an advantage over your competitors who either don’t exist online or have a bad reputation.
Nothing is a secret anymore
One thing you have to accept about our new technological world is that nothing is secret any more. You cannot be anonymous online if you expect to make an impact with your business. Instead you need to be yourself, taking control of your reputation by making an appearance on discussion boards, blogs, podcasts or YouTube video. Even if you have one negative event, you can ensure that the positive outweighs the negative if you make the right effort.
Customers care about your values
In the old days, everyone cared more about the bottom line than their reputations as employers or corporations. Today, people want to know about the individuals they will deal with. If you support charities or local causes, you should talk about it as the publicity will benefit both the cause and yourself. Many consumers want to buy from people who care about the local area, the environment or causes they are interested in.
Competitors may try to trash You
By keeping an eye on and working to improve your online reputation, when and if a competitor tries to trash you, you’ll be ready. These days it is very easy for someone to quickly put a negative comment online rather than deal directly with you on whatever the issue might be. Unscrupulous competitors might even hire people to do poor product reviews, or do one themselves, and call you out on things that aren’t true just to make you look bad. How you respond makes all the difference and you should respond.
Every action you take for better or worse affects your reputation
One thing you have to accept about running a business now is that everything you has the potential to be analysed and scrutinised by everyone. It’s imperative that before you post anything you consider how it will impact your future. Before you spout off to a rude customer on social media, consider how you can turn it around in a way that is positive because, even if you’re ultimately right, how you respond matters.
Building and maintaining your online reputation is an important way to build your brand, improve your business, and make a difference. So, go on and Google yourself now and see what you can find – you might be surprised.
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