In the business world, reputation is everything. The way your customers and colleagues view you affects the way they treat you. Through media campaigns, community outreach, and daily concentration on good customer service, businesses can create a strong and positive impression that makes clients and vendors more likely to choose them.
While in-person interactions are essential, they aren’t the only important ingredient to building a good business reputation. As more commercial activity moves to the internet, online reputation management gains urgency. This is especially true for executive-level professionals. Executives who often act as the public face for their companies need to control their online reputation to protect the profitability of their organization.
Defining Online Reputation
Your online reputation is more than just the public persona you want to project to the world. It is an amalgamation of all the pictures, posts, videos, blogs, and blurbs that relate directly to you. While your own sites figure prominently in the way you’re perceived, there are other factors that are just as important to the formation of public opinion.
Review sites. These third-party websites serve as a repository of public opinion. Anyone with an account can leave comments about their personal experiences with you and your company.
Professional networking sites. Pages like LinkedIn and other professional networking sites often list contact information and other details about your work for colleagues and potential clients.
Social media. Anyone with a social media page can leave a post or comment about your company. These are often more difficult to find, since accounts may be private or blocked from search engine activity.
Paid advertisements. Your paid advertisements are an important influence on public perception. The pictures, text, and messages you choose directly influence the way potential customers see you.
Online reputation is an intricate web of digital data spread across the internet. Controlling your public persona takes dedication and attention.
The Importance of Online Reputation Management
There are a number of reasons why managing your online reputation is worth the time and effort.
Modern consumers do more research on the internet than ever before. With the help of third-party review sites, browsers can gather a lot of information about a company before they decide to do business with them. One bad online review could cost you a great deal of potential business.
For some executives, safety is a concern. Whether your company is engaged in activities that some people find questionable or a reorganization of company policy has left some members of the public up in arms, it is imperative to manage the amount of personal information available about yourself.
When executives decide to make career moves, hiring managers peruse their online presence to evaluate their personality. Keeping your online presence pristine ensures that you won’t miss out on career opportunities.
Online reputation management strategies aren’t just for executives. Customer service representatives who share their names and location with clients need to keep their public appearance as professional as possible as well. This ensures the company is always seen in the most positive light.
Methods for Managing Your Online Reputation
Managing your online presence can seem like an impossible task. However, there are some simple yet effective ways to control what people see attached to your name on the internet.
Take control of your social media presence. Even if you don’t use social media, it’s likely your clients and coworkers do. Use your pages to put your best professional face in front of web browsers. In your bio, include statements that express your job satisfaction and dedication to your company’s ethics and goals.
Input your name into a search engine. Look at the results. If you find anything that is unflattering, find out who controls the content. A simple and politely worded email should convince the web master to remove or correct the offensive content.
Buy a domain name. The content of this site doesn’t have to be comprehensive. However, it should include enough information to make potential clients and colleagues feel as though they have a good sense of your personality and business potential. Include links to your social media pages and any other sites that are professionally relevant.
Separate your private and public lives. Carefully consider posting about your activities outside of the workplace. Even the most innocuous information could be seen as disreputable in some way. Save pictures of family, vacations, and funny memes for your personal pages.
The key to a superior online reputation management strategy is making the right information easy to find. Include these tips in your plan to ensure those who are looking you up only find what you want them to see.
Tips for Improving Your Online Reputation Management Strategies
Online reputation management is an ongoing process. Incorporate these tips into your routine to increase the effectiveness of your efforts.
Schedule regular reputation check-ups. At least once a year, spend some time looking into your internet presence. For high-profile executives, more frequent checks are necessary.
Participate in professional websites that are relevant to your position and industry. Update your information on trade and association websites frequently.
Respond to any comments you receive on your pages. Strive to be friendly and polite, regardless of the content of the conversation. If you receive a complaint or negative comment, reach out to the poster and ask if there is anything you can do to resolve their issue.
Working with an online reputation management firm is another way to ensure your internet persona stays true to your vision. Professionals monitor your pages, review sites, and other internet sources regularly and respond appropriately to any threats to your image.
Your online reputation is an important part of your professional success. Incorporate these tips into your public relations routine to maintain your desired image.