Protecting Your Online Reputation
The Internet has become as essential to modern life and business as electricity. As such, folks looking to get their small businesses off the ground – or even folks working in larger industries – have to consider their online reputations alongside other operating necessities. If you’re looking to protect your online reputation, consider the following tips. Reputation, after all, is the image you choose to share with the world; make sure you have a hand in cultivating yours, and don’t let the Internet do the work for you.
Privacy on Social Media
In the era of social media, communicating directly with an audience is an essential part of doing business. If you and your business lack a presence on social media, then you’re less likely to draw in a larger consumer audience. As such, if you’re looking to protect your online reputation, you must manage your social media engagement carefully.
First and foremost, take care to separate your personal and business social media accounts. It’s even advisable that you make your personal social media account private, and different social media platforms have varying avenues through which you can do so. If you’re not interested in limiting your personal social interactions online, though, you’ll want to take a look at some of the content you’ve shared on any of your feeds. If you’ve posted something you’d prefer potential consumers not see, delete it before affiliating your personal account with your business’s.
Claim – and Monitor – Your Name
You’ll also want to ensure that your or your business’s name isn’t being misrepresented by someone else online. Whether or not you intend to capitalize on social media in order to connect with your audience, your online reputation can and will be damaged if you let your calling card go unclaimed. As such, make accounts on social media websites that take your personal and business name off the market, better enabling you to deter parody accounts that may try to give a consumer audience the wrong impression of you.
Managing Your Content
The Internet is nothing without its content. You, then, in protecting and cultivating an online reputation, will want to contribute to that content with specialized work that sets you apart from your business competitors. Whether this content takes the form of a blog, a fully-realized website, or any of your social media feeds, you’ll want to carefully consider the kind of work you’re sharing. Consider bringing on an employee not only to monitor your business’s online interactions with a consumer base but the kind of content that your name is affiliated with. Under most circumstances, you’ll want to avoid having your business make pointed political claims or definitive statements about your competitors’ projects unless you are feeling entirely confident in your consumer base’s brand loyalty or in the facts you are presenting.
Finding and Cultivating Reviews
Beyond the trials and tribulations of social media, you will have to address review sites. When your business doesn’t have any reviews, not only do you seem suspicious ethically, but if one – and only one – unsatisfied consumer decides to share a negative review of your business, your online reputation may tank. Once you get your business on your feet, then, start encouraging consumers with whom you’ve had a positive experience to leave reviews of their own, thus establishing a strong and positive foundation on which the rare negative review will have minimal impact.