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How to Keep Your Positive Reputation Online

| December 1, 2010 More



In the modern world of business, reputations are fragile things. Whereas one upon a time, a business’s reputation would be built slowly through advertising and word of mouth; the twenty-first century reality is that reputation can be much more easily influenced both positively and unfortunately negatively.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of a business’s reputation online. Because of the possibilities for near-instant feedback that can be seen by other potential customers, the ability to control reputation has been lost.

The good news is that this does not have to be the case. In fact, it is possible to influence reputation in a whole new dynamic way.

To do this it is important to understand just how online reputation if formed and can be so easily changed.

How Online Reputations Are Formed

People have always talked. In the past, if someone received really good (or very poor) service they would tell their friends. The next time one of these people decided to buy a similar product or service, they would almost certainly (consciously or subconsciously) use this information to help formulate their choice. The same happens today, but with a highly significant difference. Whereas previously this discussion would have been within a very small group, the ability to post comments online means that anything up to millions of customers can read these comments.

This is why the control of online reputation is now being recognized as a vital tool in a business’s armoury to be used alongside social media, branding and targeted advertising.

So How Do You Manage Online Reputation?

  • The golden rule when it comes to online reputation is that all businesses must form a dialogue with their customers/clients. Choosing to retain a distance with those who buy services/products is the quickest way to lose control of your reputation. Instead, make a point of responding to both positive and negative comments and don’t leave too great a time period between the original post and your response. By keeping on top of the situation, you are demonstrating that feedback is important and in doing so, you will avoid looking complacent and arrogant.
  • Take part in online conversations. Never forget this fact: market leaders are in the thick of things. If there is a debate about a subject central to your industry, your customers will expect to see you contributing. It helps place you as a key player in the sector and also demonstrates that you have your finger on the pulse by showing your proactive approach. This will not only impress current customers, but will also be a great indicator for prospective customers who are wanting to discover the most dynamic business within a certain sector.
  • Don’t leave monitoring your own online reputation to others. A successful business should always know how they are faring in the online environment and to this end should continuously monitor their performance. For very small businesses this may just be a case of keeping an eye on their forum/feedback. But for the majority, tools will be needed to keep on top of the task. Google Alerts and TweetBeep are two excellent resources that can help keep an eye on what is happening as well as helping to prompt interventions quickly if required.
  • Remember that negative comments can standout even among a sea of positive feedback. If appropriate, respond immediately. This can help diffuse the situation and perhaps more importantly in the wider context, show that as a company you respond to concerns, as customers’ opinions are important.
  • Finally, remember to use other blogs, forums and social media outlets to raise your company’s positive reputation. If something good has happened (positive feedback, new product) then post about it. This will help spread the word, especially as search engines will help increase your traffic.

Summary

Always keep in mind that online reputation can be easily influenced and can change rapidly. Keeping up-to-date will mean that you will ensure that you keep your positive reputation online.


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Comments (27)

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  1. Katie says:

    It is not an easy job to keep an online reputation always positive, as there is no person on business which can be perfect. This tips are useful and if are followed properly, I am sure that it will succeed.

  2. Attaining positive reputation is a tough task and achieving it requires months if not years of hard work. Keeping that reputation can even prove more challenging though. Interacting with customers is an absolute must – without it people will eventually lose grip on your service and your reputation will go down the drain. Promoting your service to keep your reputation is another aspect that should not get neglected. Twitter, Facebook and social media as a whole are all great means.
    Daniel Sharkov recently posted..The Power of Backlinking as an Off-Page SEO TechniqueMy Profile

  3. Establishing reputation w/o spamming is a delicate balance. If all your audience hears are ads, you will eventually be ignored. An additional tip to maintaining a positive reputation is to not be afraid to lose a sale in order to help someone w/ a problem. For example, if someone comes to me to buy a computer because theirs “crashed,” I will usually ask them a few questions first to see if there is a less expensive fix. This may sound crazy, but customers remember this. When, eventually, they DO need a computer, they are MUCH more likely to come and get it from me. . . and are likely to do ALL their shopping (printer, etc) @ my store!!! :)

  4. Bob says:

    Very good article with good points that any SME can use.
    Bob recently posted..Mobile Network CoverageMy Profile

  5. Bilal Ahmad says:

    I agree with you carla. In business reputation plays vital role in selling and long term growth.
    Bilal Ahmad recently posted..1000 Blogging Contest- Thesis Theme- Keyword Winner Plugin- WordPress SEO- OIOPublisher Plugin- Thesis Customization and Blogengage 1 Year Platinum MembershipMy Profile

  6. Anna says:

    The word of mouth has been the most powerful means of building ones reputation. I prefer refusing some clients if they offer something unfair. Fair play is out aim.
    By the way, the blog is great. thanks.

  7. Madav
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the article.I think I should take more care to make a good reputation in the industry.
    Madav recently posted..Flock browser now powered with chromium projectMy Profile

  8. Nice Article, Thanks For Sharing With US.
    Indian T.v Serials recently posted..Watch Armanon Ka Balidaan – 1st December 2010My Profile

  9. Asha says:

    Great pieces of advice there. With increasing number of online pretense it is increasingly becoming more imperative to make sure you are not doing/talking/commenting anything online that may hurt your cyber reputation.
    Asha recently posted..Top 5 Laptop Notebook Maintenance and Repair TipsMy Profile

  10. bligbook
    Twitter:
    says:

    always a must tips….

    required for me too….
    bligbook recently posted..Infographic – Search Engine HistoryMy Profile

  11. I specifically like number three. I believe it is becoming more and more important to be a part of social media in today’s business climate. We are telling our clients this every day and more and more of them are starting to understand why it’s so important.

  12. Really Nice Post.. If you want to be successful online you should have a good and positive reputation..that’s not easy but it’s not too difficult to achieve also..
    Rohit | Ipod Touch 4G recently posted..Free App Tracker for iPod Touch 4GMy Profile

  13. Keeping or maintaining a positive reputation is a daunting task whether online or offline. Mutual communication is truly a key ingredient in any relationship – personal or business.

  14. esoftload
    Twitter:
    says:

    it not easily to get positive reputation…. a single mistake can change the postive word to negative…..
    esoftload recently posted..Are you penalized by GoogleMy Profile

  15. Symfony says:

    I’d like to comment on the last point – that’s very important to talk not only about yourself but about other companies from the same sphere of business. It will definitely support your reputation.

  16. Ondrej Dyrka says:

    I believe that while keeping positive reputation requires nothing less than exactly 0 faults or rude approaches, the good thing about Internet communication is that (unless you’re using Skype or something) you can always rethink twice what you’re writing before you post.

    It’s very easy to write whatever is in your mind, release the steam and then politely rephrase your feedback, no matter what you originally thought…
    Ondrej Dyrka recently posted..Get Traffic To Dominate Your Niche – Top 6 Techniques You Should MasterMy Profile

  17. It is true that reputation is a fragile thing that once you break something, everything is gone. Just like in online business, in order to maintain your online reputation, you need to give or reach the expectations of your clients especially those who just visit your site because there are tendencies that once they have already experience a bad service at your site, they will surely never return to your again but then if you give them the service they wanted, they will surely come back to your site again and again. Thanks for the post and have a great day!

  18. Nice article friend. And I agree with Ondrej that internet communication really simplifies your efforts in building a positive reputation.
    Rajesh Chaukwale recently posted..Hack-Bypass Rapidshare- Get Free Rapidshare Premium account benefitsMy Profile

  19. I do agree on your post that online reputation is a fragile.. That is why we need to make sure that we must do everything in order to satisfy our clients online so that, their trust to us will not be lose. Thanks for your post and have a great day!

  20. Nice article. It is really difficult to keep a good reputation. Nowadays, social media and blogs are the majority source to companies.

  21. latest world says:

    A great informations about good reputation for online business. Also your last conclusion…….Keeping up-to-date will mean that you will ensure that you keep your positive reputation online,…………..is the juice of your article………!
    latest world recently posted..An Intelligent CrowMy Profile

  22. Robert from Webhosting Reviews says:

    Establishing reputation w/o spamming is a delicate balance. If all your audience hears are ads, you will eventually be ignored. An additional tip to maintaining a positive reputation is to not be afraid to lose a sale in order to help someone w/ a problem. For example, if someone comes to me to buy a computer because theirs “crashed,” I will usually ask them a few questions first to see if there is a less expensive fix.
    I believe that while keeping positive reputation requires nothing less than exactly 0 faults or rude approaches, the good thing about Internet communication is that (unless you’re using Skype or something) you can always rethink twice what you’re writing before you post.

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