Whether you’re a newer business that hasn’t established itself yet or an older company trying to bounce back from a negative reputation, the best way to do so is through online reputation management. This process involves both proactive and reactive tactics.

It starts with choosing employees to consistently monitor conversations online and respond quickly to negative comments, reviews or mentions.

1. Monitor Your Social Footprint

A strong online reputation can increase the likelihood of a prospective customer choosing your business over a competitor. It can also help you command higher prices for your goods and services as customers will be willing to pay more for a company they trust.

The first step in monitoring your footprint is to perform regular searches on yourself, your product and company. This will help you stay aware of new information and ensure that negative content is pushed down the search results.

You can also use tools such as Reputology, which monitors your reviews on sites like Google Maps and Yelp. This tool is especially helpful for small businesses with multiple locations. You can also assign a member of your team to monitor social media and review sites on behalf of your company, especially if they have experience with customer service.

2. Encourage Positive Reviews

Online reviews play a major role in how your business is perceived. While you can’t control what others post about your company, you can take steps to increase positive reviews and push negative information down.

Whether or not you agree with a review, a thoughtful response can show consumers that your business is interested in feedback and cares about customers’ experiences. Keep in mind that your responses are public, so be polite and professional – even in the face of negativity.

Make it easy for your happy customers to leave reviews by providing direct links through your website, emails, and social media profiles. It’s also helpful to give them a short, concise review form that includes a rating and optional comment. This helps to reduce the likelihood that they will abandon the process halfway through.

3. Respond to Negative Reviews

Online reviews can sway new customers to try your business or scare them away. In fact, 88% of prospects consider negative reviews when making purchasing decisions.

When it comes to responding to negative reviews, it’s important to stay calm and professional. While it may be tempting to lash out or get defensive, this will only make things worse.

Instead, respond to the review in a way that shows you care about your customer’s experience and want to rectify the problem. Taking the high road will also help you build trust with potential customers.

If you’re unsure of how to respond to a negative review, ask your customer for their direct contact information and suggest that you talk offline about the issue. This will prevent the conversation from becoming public and protect your reputation.

4. Monitor Your Website

Online reputation management is the process of monitoring and managing a business’s online presence. This includes everything from reviews to social media. It also involves proactively responding to any negative reviews.

One way to monitor your website is to use a tool like Mention. This tool tracks what people are saying about your business on websites, blogs, and forums. It is important to know what people are saying about your business because it can influence their decision-making process.

Positive reviews can help you build trust with potential customers. You can also use them to promote your brand and products. For example, Finli displays their positive reviews on their homepage. This helps customers decide if they should work with them. It also shows that they are genuine and honest.

5. Create a Blog

A blog is a great way to drive traffic and establish yourself as an expert in your field. You can use your blog to promote new products or services, interact with customers and share updates about your company.

Choose your topic wisely and research keywords to optimize your content for search engines. This will help your content rank higher in search results pages and attract more readers.

Include images in your posts: Studies show that blogs with images get 94% more views and 150% more shares on social media than those without.

Set up Google Analytics on your website, which will allow you to track the progress of your blog and provide valuable insights into your audience. This data is also helpful when negotiating with brands for sponsorship opportunities or to sell e-books and merchandise on your site.