When I was growing up, there was a lot of emphasis put building a good reputation by keeping my word, dealing fairly with others, etc. I absorbed the lessons and apply the things that I’ve learned to my business dealings with clients. But into today’s world of the internet, having a good reputation is so much more than the ability to get a referral from a happy client.
There is a lot of talk about oīnline reputation management in board meetings these days. It seems that as soon as businesses jumped on the web and social media marketing wave, the Internet evolved into an even more complex organism, now requiring a deeper look into marketing in this ever-transforming world. Let’s take a moment to peek into the world of online reputation management.
The first thing you need to know is that it is no longer enough to establish your Internet presence. Your beautiful website, slick graphics and other eye-candy isn’t going to cut it anymore. Now you have to manage it: you MUST protect your reputation. Why is online reputation management so important to your business? Here are the things you should know:
Studies show that 90% of all consumers use the Internet research businesses when searching for services or products they are interested in. Regardless of the size and scope of your business, you simply cannot ignore that sector if you want your business to stay afloat. Even more, over 99% of Internet users never get past the first page of search engine results. They pay most attention to what they see at the top . . . and if you are not at the top, or if the top search results are not complimentary to your business reputation, you are missing out – big time.
The Web User Experience
- Do you like what you see?
- Is your web presence positive?
- Do you stand out in the crowd?
- Most importantly, would you choose your business over the competition, based on what you see?
If the answer to any of those questions is no, then you need to pay some serious attention to managing your online reputation.
The Development of Your Online Reputation
Your business WILL have an online reputation, whether or not you choose to manage it – plain and simple. The fact of the matter is this: if you do not choose to manage your online reputation, you can be sure that the public will. Some of that may be good, and some of it may be bad. Do you really want to leave such a major determinant of your business success (or lack thereof) in other peoples’ hands?