Let’s just take a few minutes to review the last few purchases you made online. You may have booked a holiday, found a plumber, bought a book, DVD or BluRay. Maybe you booked to go to the theatre, cinema or a concert. Whatever you did, as you went through the transaction process, did you have positive feelings or negative feelings about it?
Just before you were about to complete the transaction, did you think about the credibility and trustworthiness of the people you were buying from?
Credibility is something that has to be present for any transaction to take place. Sometimes it happens subconsciously, if you are buying from a major online retailer such as Amazon, credibility is almost ‘a given’. At other times, however, we will all take time to research what people are saying about the business we are looking to buy from. This research can be simply asking other people for their opinions or more likely it will be done on the internet, probably using one of the social networking sites.
For you as an employee or business owner, online credibility and trust is essential…especially if you want people to buy from you and/or if you want to build your online brand.
The future is clearly going to be more and more influenced by digital marketing and the web is likely to become even more social and searchable. Information Technology is moving faster than ever and access to information is becoming easier by the day. The devices (IPad’s, Smart Phones, Laptops, Video Cameras) and applications (Facebook, YouTube, Google, Yelp) that we use every day are fuelling the growth of our digital world and shaping the future of digital marketing.
Communication used to be on-to-one or one-to-many; now communication can be one-to-thousands or one-to-tens-of-thousands. A Facebook comment or YouTube video can go viral in just a few minutes.
There has never been a more critical time for you to build, protect, manage, and monitor your digital profile. Everyone has an online brand – your online reputation is the search results people see when they Google your name and/or business name –it is imperative that you proactively control what others see about you online. All businesses should have an online reputation strategy.
Are you trustworthy?
You will be amazed at how easy it is to protect and manage your personal and your companies Online Reputation – here are a few tips:
1. Build online profiles on popular social networks and the relevant business directories. Do a Google search on a specific company name and you will see instantly the company’s Website pages, blog posts, their Twitter account, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yelp profile page.
2. Be Social. After you have built your business profile on the popular business and social networking directories, proactively and frequently publish relevant content. This content can be about your industry and about your services. It can be videos, industry specific news stories, blog posts, business tips, testimonials etc. By regularly updating these media channels you will keep them relevant and achieve a high ranking in the search engine results. The goal is to have all ten organic entries on page one of the search results to have positive content about your business.
3. Encourage customers and clients to write reviews and comments on your listings. Search engines always favour those businesses that have the most reviews as positive reviews are seen as recommendations for your business.
Google Places and Yelp are just two of the most popular sites on which customers can write reviews. LinkedIn is another site which will gather client and customer recommendations.
Finally, you need to monitor what is being said about you and your business online. You should create a ‘Google Alert’ for your name and/or your company and even for your products or services. If something is being said online about you or your business, you need to know about it and if is it untrue you have the opportunity to take action to set the record straight.
Building your online credibility is a time consuming but necessary job. You need to take it seriously as it could be the difference between landing a new contract or sale and losing out to a competitor.
To learn more about managing your online reputation please leave a comment, call us on 01293 822755 or visit WSIIMS