When you read something negative online about your professional reputation, you have a number of natural reactions, all emotional. People write whatever they want to write. To counteract, you need to have a plan to boost your online reputation.
As a business owner, you are bound to encounter negative feedback on certain occasions. With technology being what it is and the ease with which people can share their opinions, it is easier than ever to speak about a company’s brands and products without holding back. The people who are expressing their opinions online have no fear of consequences. The Internet has provided so many possible avenues for people to express their opinions about a business’s brand and products and/or services. It is to be expected that there will be some negative feedback along with all of the positive feedback that is received.
When thinking about how to boost your online reputation, there are a few things that you should consider before doing anything else:
- First of all, are you aware of what your clients, critics and competition are saying online about your brand and/or products and services?
- Have you created a strategy to respond by which to respond to negative feedback that you receive from people online?
If no is the answer to either one of the questions above, there are other things that you should consider in order to become successful.
Managing your online reputation properly
If you are going to successfully manage your online reputation, you need to have more than just a website. You need to use your entire web presence (which means the social media channels with which you are connected as well as other online tools with which you interact with other people). You should leverage your social media channels so that you are able to get the attention of your online connections, engage them and allow them to get to know you so that they eventually want to send you positive feedback about your products and/or services.
Have a balance between being in control and allowing others to have control also
Of course, you have control over what you post and syndicate online, as well as how you respond to other people’s comments and questions. It is very important to synergize your approach for each social media platform with which you are connected. Your responses (across all social media channels) should be consistent and appropriate, no matter how negative the feedback is.
Your level of engagement
It is always an excellent idea to have influencers who support what you are doing. If you work meticulously and consistently at building your sphere of influence, you will have such a strong foundation that you will find it easy to deal with feedback, no matter how negative it is.
Be transparent about the existence of negative feedback
Sweeping the existence of negative feedback under the rug is the worst thing that you can do. In fact, negative feedback actually serves a very valuable purpose. It allows you to learn what people don’t like so that you can make positive changes to your offerings and improve your products and/or services and ultimately become more successful. Make sure to really listen to what people are saying so that you can use the information to make improvements.
Stay as positive as possible
Make sure that you react as positively as possible when dealing with negative feedback. If you react negatively, it will create more negativity from the other person and nothing will be gained on either side. The more positive (yet sincere) you can be, the better the outcome of the situation will be.
If seeming errors occur, you should regard them as learning experiences, not as errors. If you don’t have negative experiences, you won’t have a chance to learn anything. Of course, it goes without saying that you should not only learn from your mistakes but also try very hard never to make the same mistakes twice.
Monitoring your brand always
You should never get so comfortable that you think that you can sit back and don’t have to continue to make the effort to monitor what people are saying about your brand and your products and/or services. You owe it to your business and to yourself to keep up the same pace and the same effort to make sure that you boost your reputation as much as you possibly can. Make sure that you are constantly being dedicated and active. Consistency and unrelenting regularity are very important.
There are many ways in which you can enrich your online reputation strategy so that it works effectively. It takes some effort and a great deal of thinking to make it exactly what it means to be for your business. Your plan should be strategic and well thought out. It is always very important to have a plan that will guide you on your road to ultimate success.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).