What’s your Online reputation: an eye opener for small business owner

Reputation is essentially how people perceive you. It does not matter who you are; if your reputation does not speak the same of you then ultimately, you are perceived in a different light. You could be a potato but your reputation roars…this makes you a lion. On the other hand, you could be a lion but your reputation meows…to the populace, you are a cat. Such is the power of a reputation. Over the years, online reputation has become way more valuable that local reputation as the internet, serves the local as well as  global audience.

You could be a potato but your reputation roars…this makes you a lion. On the other hand, you could be a lion but your reputation meows…to the populace, you are a cat. Such is the power of a reputation.

While we all strive to build a good online reputation for ourselves and or businesses, effectively managing that online reputation is a dynamic task that evolves daily as techniques that worked last year could fall short in the following year. However, the importance of building a good online reputation cannot be underestimated as through proper management and automation our brands and businesses can achieve better control over what is being said and heard about us online and this would, in turn, improve patronage which is ultimately the goal of building a reputation.

Every day, the internet and the number of people using it continues to grow rapidly, it is now more pertinent to ensure that we have an online reputation management plan, not just for ourselves but for our businesses. As seasoned professionals, brands and businesses, we want to build an online reputation that could serve as an insurance policy should anything happen. Let’s say there’s false information making the news about you or your business, having a good online reputation gives you the required ground to dispel such rumors.

Without the right knowledge on how to build your online reputation, these rumors might run both you and your business down that you might soon become stale and disillusioned on how, when and where to start. So what do you need to do? You need to start now!

The secret to success is in following the path successful people went. Therefore, understanding how several other successful businesses built their reputation online is essential because through this we would have a blueprint to success. The lies in effective online reputation management.

Basically, online reputation management is the process of controlling what shows up when someone Googles your name. It’s how to promote positive content to the top of your search results and push negative, irrelevant or competition related content farther down to ensure that when someone Googles you, their results are populated with positive, relevant content about you.

You need to follow a simple exercise;

  1. Log out of your google account.
  2. Search for you/your business as your consumers would.
  3. Now study the content that flashes in the search results.

 

You will be able to categorize yourself into any one of the following categories.

Category 1 : The irrelevant identity: you fall under this category when your search results are about you, but they are not helping you or your business in any manner. These results are outdated and of no valuable relevancy. Instead of showing you are one of the most well-respected dentists in Miami, the person finds out you went hiking with a bunch of friends three years ago.

The other case might be that your search engine shows somebody or even multiple people that go by the same name. This person’s results are forming your first impression for you – for better or worse. In a best case scenario, they simply prevent the searcher from finding anything meaningful about you. In a worst case scenario, they might actually mistake you for someone else, who has a negative online reputation.

Category 2 : The impressive identity: your search results are loaded with relevant and efficiency bragging content related to you and your business.

Category 3 : The Defaming category: This is the worst category to be in because it means you have one or more negative search results representing you. In today’s world of social networking and anonymous sharing, it is disturbingly easy to have your reputation tarnished. It takes only one status update, tagged photo or blog post from an angry ex, rant by a former employee, false accusation or wild friend to put you in this negative online reputation category.

You don’t need to worry if you are positioned in the irrelevant or defaming category but you need to start  working on your online reputation management strategy right now. Based on research, numerous online reports, and studies, we have compiled a number of statistical figures and industry figures to aid in not only creating a better understanding of why building an online reputation is very important, but also a better way to protect and manage it in the process. To know what makes up your online reputation and how you can improve it read our next article.

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