Maintain a positive online reputation

If you run your own business, you more than likely take great pride in offering a service to your customers in a manner that exceeds their expectations. We all know that a good reputation in the community goes a long way towards earning repeat business and lifetime customers.

What is an online reputation?
Did you know that your company also has an online reputation? Believe it or not, if you've been in business for any length of time, it’s very likely that your business has been evaluated by someone on one of the many user-driven content sites. While these sites can be a great resource, there is little to no moderation. This means that reviews go unchecked, potentially leaving your business with inaccurate information for all to see.

Fighting back against unfair reviews
Your first instinct may be to contact the site and ask that a review be taken down. While this may work sometimes, the amount of work required is not worth the mixed results this method produces. Instead, you should focus on publishing positive content relating to your business on your company’s website or social networking page. You can also try to offer savings on services and encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews online.

The content you publish should focus on the things your company does well and the services you provide. You also want to encourage social media interaction between your customers by offering frequent updates and specials. Clients can then share this information with their friends and become advertisers for you without even knowing it.

The perils of negative reviews
To fully understand the impact of a negative review, you must put yourself in the shoes of your customers. How would you react if you saw many negative reviews and details of those experiences online? Obviously, many people do not take the time to verify claims made in those reviews before making their decisions. This is why it's important to make sure your customers see what your business is really about.

In case of emergency...
While these steps help create a great picture for your business, there are situations where you may need immediate online reputation help. If you search for your business and find that the vast majority of information is misleading or negative, it’s probably damaging your bottom line. In this case, it may be best to hire an expert who can customize a plan to improve your image as soon as possible.

About the Author
Becky W. is a freelance writer that loves to write on a number of topics such as technology, health, and food. In her spare time she loves to try new dishes in the kitchen and update her blog thetechupdate.com.

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