4. Focus on creating value by giving.
How much of your expertise or products and services should you offer for free? That depends.
Although it is a controversial topic, most successful small businesses know the secret to early success — giving. When you give away your talents, be sure to build in back-end value to a) learn more about customers, b) grow brand awareness c) build your email subscription list, etc. Always tie your giving back to your marketing goals and consider it a worthy investment that has revenue potential and online reputation benefits.
5. Respond gracefully to negative comments.
What happens when you find a negative comment posted online about you or your business? For most entrepreneurs apprehension, anger or anxiety sets in — most people do not know how to respond to criticism without causing more harm than good.
First, track what is being said about you or your brand. If the comment is factual, apologize. Taking the time and say you are sorry can go a long way toward rebuilding trust and transparency. Also consider, taking the conversation offline — via phone, email, etc.
In contrast, if online comments are dishonest, share the facts and don’t retaliate. Many times, negative comments originate from false facts or confusion. Don’t be afraid to clear the air, present correct facts and facilitate a positive dialogue. Ultimately, this may not work if you are dealing with online trolls — someone who insists on posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages online. If that is the case, take the appropriate legal measures if someone is purposefully slandering you or your business.
Defamatory or disparaging comments made on the internet can come back to haunt the culprit. No one should be emboldened by thinking they are anonymous, according to Lawyers.com.
Ultimately, stay connected and listen to constructive feedback across online platforms that are relevant to you and your brand. The importance of social media is such that when you practice connecting online in your daily routine, you will find that not only your reputation improves, but indirectly your conversion rates may be given a boost as well.
How do you manage your online reputation? Let me know in the comments section below.
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Maulik Solanki is an SEO professional, tech lover and blogger who enjoys sharing his perspective on social media, technology, search engines. Maulik also writes on behalf of AG Infosoft a search engine optimization (SEO) company.