There are a lot of misconceptions about online reputation management. Some people think it’s just social media monitoring, while others believe it has something to do with press relations, and others literally have no idea how it can impact business and sales. Let's explore the ways to build a positive online reputation with different platforms and strategies :
It all starts with checking where you're standing. Whether you are a small business, a new business, or a older website, just start with a google search about yourself. In a few minutes you will know where you are standing. You will then be able to see where your weaknesses stand, and fix them. Let's go through the list :
Optimizing your Official Website
Other than your website design, which I believe is also very important, you have to be ranked #1 for your brand name on google. If not, then it's time to invest a bit in Google Publicity and within a month/one campaign you should have your brand name on top of a google search. I also believe having a modern design is important for your reputation. Some may say people should care about your product rather than design, but a modern design shows commitment to quality
SOCIAL MEDIA - Building an Engaging Presence
Due to the authority social media websites carry, they have strong organic page one ranking potential – assuming that the profiles are well-maintained, regularly updated and feature good engagement rates with followers. I usually recommend focusing on 1-3 social media pages, rather than have 150 which you cannot manage. It is pretty useless to have empty social pages, so try to focus on the 2-3 platforms where you post 3-7 times per week and build an engaging audience.
There are a few key factors to take into account for your reputation :
- Total number of followers
Your total number of Followers is important indeed. A page with 100 followers usually shows a lack of effort from the page owner. I usually recommend getting your page up to 1000 followers to look more legit. This can be easily achieved within a few weeks via paid advertising and organic reach out to your audience, just ask your publicist and he/she should take care of that for you. A page with a high following shows you care, and people like what you have to offer.
- Engagement number
Getting followers is easy, some people even buy them. But having 100,000 followers and 1 like on each of your posts make you look like a fake. The second important part in your Social Media Reputation management is to keep your engagement number high. On Facebook, you can Pin your most important post/ best post on top of your page, where most engagement will be focused. This will show your page visitors your best and most engaged post first, giving a good impression of you page/company. On other platform, setting up a mix of paid advertising and organic interaction will keep your audience always aware and socially active with your account, increasing your engagement
- Number of Check-Ins on Facebook
For local businesses, a lot of them have the followers, some engagement, but ZERO check-ins. A check-in happens when someone mentions being at your store, it shows up as "152 people have been there" on your page (see below). Having a few check-ins show people are actually visiting your business and is an important part of building trust : if people visit you, then you are legit. Make sure to ask your publicist about increasing your facebook-check ins, it is a must !
- Number of posts
Having dead social media pages is a bit no-no, some Facebook pages have 1 post about a product and that's it. It is important to post at least 3 times per week, both to populate the social platform with you presence, get some online presence, and keep your audience engaged with you. You can either ask your publicist at Elise to schedule the posts, or if you wish to save more time we can also build your campaign for you.
Press and online presence
What is the first thing we do when we hear about a new business or website ? We check them out on google, not necessarily hoping to find their website but to find some information about them. Having a strong online presence is a must if you want to be taken seriously by the online community. Building your presence would be done by building the following :
- Social Signals and Shares
Social signals are the likes, shares, votes, pins, or views people place on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media sites. The importance of social signal need not be explained, and the fact they even help with your search engine ranking makes them the foundation of a strong online presence strategy.
- Press releases
Being in the online press is the number one reputation builder today, people googling you and finding your brand mentioned in the Huffington post or the Digital Journal makes you instantly an authority figure. Distributing monthly articles to online press outlets is a valuable investment, and I would highly recommend you discussing this with your publicist.
- Directory submissions
Having your business in local business directories is also an important part of your online presence, whether it be google business, the yellow pages, or other classified websites.
- Blog articles and reviews
Press is important, but still quite cold. We can make your online presence more warm and natural with blogger posts. Having blogs post reviews or articles about your brand makes you look more connected and appreciated in the online world.
These are the main steps to take while building your online reputation. Building trust is more and more important today, and being social and transparent helps your business a lot more than some expensive advertising campaign. I would highly recommend building your online reputation as one of the first steps in building your business/website.