Reopening Or Soldiering On: You Need Online Reputation Management More Than Ever
Whether your business has continued operating throughout the pandemic or it is reopening after being required to shut down for a while, tending to your online reputation is more important than ever – it’s the puzzle piece you need to ensure you’re not missing. With social distancing continuing to be important, more people search for and consume information online.
With over 90 percent of people (in the world!) only looking at the first page of search engine results to make their impression, do you know what they’ll learn about your business?
While you still need to be on top of what your customers are saying on social media and review sites with respect to issues like customer service or product/service quality, a new issue is top-of-mind for many consumers: health and safety.
According to an article in REQ, “the individuals, companies, and organizations that act with the utmost transparency and compassion now while we are in the midst of this challenging phase will be the ones that’ll be best positioned to thrive in the aftermath.”
Here are 4 things you can do to boost to your online reputation:
- Showcase relevant donations and contributions. Has your company gone above and beyond to provide aid to those in need and help combat COVID-19? Share what you’ve done in a blog on your website and/or in the messaging on your social profiles. Maybe even encourage others to get involved.
- Follow all local/state/federal operating guidelines. The last thing you want right now is to see comments from customers who’ve been disappointed, or even angry, to see behavior at your business they consider risky, i.e., not wearing masks or social distancing. You also don’t want your employees to feel unsafe and comment publicly about it. Don’t provide your customers or employees with ammunition to complain by doing everything that’s mandated to help stem the spread of the virus.
- Make sure your online profiles remain accurate. Things may have changed since you completed your Google My Business page or other online profiles. Be sure your hours are accurate, and any changes to your business operations are noted, so customers don’t get frustrated because they don’t know the “new normal.” Google recommends making timely posts regarding the availability of specific products or services, whether or not anything has changed.
- Provide transparent and timely updates as necessary. At a time like this, people crave information. They’ll appreciate it when they see you’re updating your Google My Business listing, website and social media accounts on a regular basis. Don’t shy away from discussing the challenges at hand while focusing on how you’re working to overcome them and continue to serve your customers. Ignorance is never bliss, but especially not now.
Will you hold up a white flag or transform with the times?
At this time in history, you can choose to hold up a white flag as a business owner, or do whatever you can to operate as close to normal as possible while pivoting as required. With so much of your reputation living online, your current and prospective customers have a front-row seat to see how you respond to this unprecedented situation.
You can choose to let others control your destiny, or employ online reputation management to ensure the messages people see flatter your business. Managing your reputation can be a full-time job! If you don’t have the time or you’re not sure how or where to start, we are here to help.
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