How to Begin Putting Together a Reputation Management Plan for Business

By Jason McClain | September 18, 2016 | 0 Comment

How to Begin Putting Together a Reputation Management Plan for Business

You may be asking yourself if your business really needs a reputation management plan since you don’t have any reputation problems. The short answer is yes! You never know when something negative could pop up online in relation to your business. You want to be proactive in this area before a negative review has time to do any damage.

85% of consumers are looking you up online before deciding to buy your products or services. If your digital reputation is less than stellar, that means the majority of your potential customers may be seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are some odds in your favor though. 90% of searchers never make it past the first page of Google. What that means for your reputation management plan is you only have that first page to dominate with the positive aspects of your online reputation.

Getting Started With Your Reputation Management Plan

Have you Googled your business lately? Go ahead, see what pops up. Now, let’s develop a rep management plan:

  1. Claim your brand. Create pages and profiles on social media networks that will work well for your business. If you’re not sure where to start, Facebook and Twitter are pretty much standard.
  2. Claim and update any listings on sites like Yelp and Foursquare.
  3. Use Google Alerts to monitor the web for mentions of your business.
  4. Respond to comments, messages, and questions on all networks.

You’ve now established a digital reputation that will be the basis for your reputation management plan. Since most popular social media sites have a lot of domain authority, they will outrank other sites in search engines.

Checking Your True Digital Reputation

Did you Google your business at the beginning of the last section? When you are logged into Google, it doesn’t show you what your customers see. It returns results relevant to you based on data it has collected from your online habits. Let’s conduct a more thorough search that shows us exactly what potential customers see.

  1. Log out of your browser or open one that you don’t use on a regular basis.
  2. Clear your cache and cookies to ensure you are logged out of all of your accounts
  3. Google your business.
  4. Search for your business in Yahoo and Bing too.
  5. Make note of any profiles you don’t control and claim them.

Now you’re ready to begin putting together you reputation management plan.

Developing a Business Reputation Management Plan

If you have any areas of negative reputation, you need to address these first. You want to get any negative mentions off the first page of all search engines. The best way to overcome these negative mentions is to create content. Here are a few ideas to help you out:

  • Website – Create an attractive and informative website that provides information to your potential customers.
  • Social media – Post regularly.
  • Photos and videos – Post your optimized visual content to the appropriate online channels.
  • Forums – Participate in discussion forums relevant to your industry and establish yourself as an expert.
  • Business Listings – Make sure your business appears everywhere it should and that you control those listings.

Wrap Up

As you may have figured out by now, a reputation management plan replaces negative search results with positive ones. Unfortunately, once your reputation is damaged, it’s impossible to remove all negative traces completely, but you can certainly replace them and begin to improve your digital reputation with better content. Likewise, continuing to create good content will also help your maintain your business reputation management plan.

Have you had trouble with your online reputation? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. While a mark against your reputation can be a challenge, it certainly isn’t a deal-breaker. Let’s talk.


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