In 2019, there’s no excuse for your business not to have an online presence. From a website to a LinkedIn page and profiles on the top social networks, most businesses can be found all over the web. However, part of having an online presence for your business involves ensuring it appears in a positive way in the search results; if people have a negative impression of your business online, it could be losing you money.
Here are a few steps to take if you’re new to running a business, or if your current business is not being portrayed in a favourable light.
1. Think Before You Post
The most important rule is to think before you post. If your social media posts contain text that could offend anyone, don’t post them, no matter how funny you may think they are. Likewise, if your content portrays someone in an unflattering light, don’t publish it. There are hundreds of stories online about businesses that have posted something offensive – such as when Adidas posted “Congrats! You have survived the Boston Marathon!” along with photos of the 2013 bombing – and have been roasted for it online. Don’t make these mistakes; you’ll struggle to move past them and will alienate a lot of customers in the process.
2. Proofread Everything
You want to establish a sense of trust between your business and your customers, so the last thing you want to do is publish tweets or Facebook posts that are full of spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. Either hire someone who can write well to create these for you, or ensure an editor looks over everything before publishing. If you consistently publish content containing poor spelling and grammar, customers will think you are unintelligent, careless, and pay little attention to detail. It’s not what you want.
3. Publish Regularly
If you only have a few pieces of content about your business online, these are what will appear on the first page of search results when someone searches for your business. While you may be okay with this when first starting out, imagine if a customer has a bad experience with your company and writes a blog post about it. Do you really want that to be the first thing someone sees when they search for you? Instead, make sure to publish valuable content on your website regularly so that this is what a customer sees first. If you already have a negative presence, consider hiring a company like ReputationDefender to do this for you and help clean up your image.
4. Reply to Negative Feedback
Finally, it’s common to receive negative feedback online, especially on social media, but it’s how you deal with this feedback that matters. Brands that argue back only end up painting themselves in a negative light. If the feedback is offensive, you can ignore it and report it. If, however, it is true and you know you could have done better, it’s a good idea to reach out to the customer publicly and try to come to a solution. Showing that you care and want to make things right will turn the negative into a positive and ensure others keep their trust in you.
Having a positive online presence has never been more vital; keep the above advice in mind before publishing anything.