If you’re running a small business or just starting one from the ground up, you might not think it’s necessary to invest time and/or money into reputation management. What you’re failing to see is that reputation management is even more crucial for small businesses and brand new startups.
Maybe you’re wondering, “But how is this possible if we have yet to establish our reputation?” That’s just it… you have no reputation, which is just as harmful as having a bad reputation. You need to put some serious effort into building your reputation so that your target audience actually knows you exist on planet Earth.
Hiring a service to help out with this task is never a bad idea, but not many small business owners have room for this in the company budget. If this is the case, there are plenty of ways to start working on building your brand reputation from scratch.
Before Anything Else, Google Yourself
In order to get a better idea of what your reputation actually is, there’s a simple way to find out: Google yourself. Just type your full company name into the search engine and let it rip. Check out the first 2 pages of results to see what comes up – anything after that is not extremely relevant since studies show that internet users stop after the first 2 pages.
This is a great way to get insight on how people perceive you, and if they do at all. If you don’t even show up on these results, you have an even bigger problem than if you have negative feedback. At least with negative feedback, people know you exist. With no results whatsoever, you won’t be getting much business from Google searches (which is the number resource for consumers).
Start Monitoring by Setting Alerts
There’s an easy way to keep tabs on your company – just set alerts to that you’ll be notified when anything is said about you and your company. Literally anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s something as big as a New York Times article mentioning your name or something as small as a customer review, you’ll be notified. Most alerts will be in regards to reviews on platforms like Google and Yelp, so if you get any negative feedback you’ll be able to act on it ASAP.
Positivity is Key
If there’s not a negative word said about you, that’s great and all, but it means nothing if there is also no positivity pointing in your direction. It is up to you to create positive content relating to your brand. This won’t just paint a picture of positivity for your potential customers, it will also help you to rank higher on search engines. The more that is said about you (hopefully positive things) the better Google will like you, ultimately resulting in better search results.
If You Can’t Remove the Negative, Make it Irrelevant
Some things just can’t be removed from the internet. This doesn’t mean you’re s*** outta luck, though. You can still do your best to get those negative articles, reviews, and feedback pushed further down on Google, which essentially deems them nonexistent.