By: Marco Balic

Reputation is a lot like a game of Jenga – a single choice can topple all of your hard work. To make things scarier, the digital age has created many avenues for blocks to be pulled out of the tower. Your online reputation is more fragile than you think. A single 1-star review on your Google listing or a searing comment on your social media account is all it takes for potential leads to be driven away. Ouch!

Public relations catastrophes can be avoided, and online reputation management is the way to do it. By getting satisfied clients to write feedback while handling criticism properly, you’ll have ratings and reviews that make you stand out above your competitors.

The Basics of Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management is about more than just addressing angry clients. It’s about how you portray yourself and keep that portrayal in tip-top shape. This includes monitoring what your audience is saying about your business on socials. In order to improve your image, you need to know what your current image is, and that’s why social media monitoring is so vital.

Your website, search engine listings, and social media profiles must take advantage of the good experiences you produce, without ignoring the bad ones. Don’t have many reviews to display? Make it easy for customers to leave reviews through your site. After someone stops by your office, reach out and ask them to share how they feel through a review. This will help you see where you are succeeding – or failing – in building your reputation.

How to Handle a Complaint

Has an experience as a customer angered you so much, that you made the business know it by grilling them on social media? It’s not fun when you don’t get your money’s worth – but it’s not fun being on the receiving end, either. One irate comment or post can completely hamper a local business’s success. So, how should they respond to the customer?

Using social media to interact with your audience comes at a risk, and the best approach is to be transparent. Promptly and honestly address any complaint that comes your way. Avoiding the problem or being defensive could make a customer’s blood boil even more, so don’t try hiding issues. Instead, face them head-on with the customer – the best way to keep trust from eroding further.

Online Reputation Management Tools

Imagine if every happy client you served took the time to write a gleaming 5-star review on search engines and social media. No doubt people would trust your business after seeing so many high ratings!

This can be a reality if you use the right tools. Reputation management services can automatically elicit reviews from customers and display them on your website. Angry blasts that stand out like sore thumbs will be mitigated by the voices of many delighted clients. And if those angry blasts are being properly addressed, then people skimming through reviews will see them for what they are: small hiccups that were handled with care.

That’s not the only way to suppress image-damaging complaints. What if negative content is showing up in Google searches? Your best defense is having your site and socials in the top positions so the threatening results aren’t. This can be done organically through SEO, such as by utilizing keywords or having a blog. When a potential customer searches for services you offer, you want to appear first – even if you’re not concerned about critics!

Need Help Building an Online Reputation in Cleveland?

Managing your reputation can be tricky, especially if it’s under threat. But you’re not in this alone! BRMC is a digital marketing agency in the greater Cleveland area. We can help you with the many facets of reputation management, search engine optimization, and much, much more. Contact us online, or call us at (888) 535-2762!