Why is a strong identity important to your online reputation?

Things have certainly changed since the internet became an irreplaceable tool for households and businesses alike. The web is a path that has allowed us to showcase our products and services in an easy and efficient way. Here, brands and titles transform and change day by day; different identities struggle to come out on top, since this is the place that allows harnessing great credibility and trust within a society. Everything in this environment is highly competitive, is a constant race attempting to get ahead.

Identity is what makes us exclusive within our species and sadly; we are restrained by much vulnerability we encounter in the net. Here we are connected to a massive entity from which we try to remove ourselves and thus gain our independence and further advance the molding of our personality. We live in a world where change is the only constant, so it’s imperative to protect our place within our community and not expose our reputation too much. Having a well-established identity allows you to set yourself apart from others, which is very useful for keeping your online reputation clean and safe.

The importance of forming an online identity for your brand.

One of the first decisions you must make when cementing your online existence, is deciding where you choose to be present, be it a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.

All brands must be aware of important principles that regulate their reputation; things such as quality, presentation and identity, and must always strive to keep them up to standard.

Updating frequently the content shown on websites, will maintain the brand fresh and effective. Updates but be done regularly so we can be constant on the online image we try to portray with our brand. New content will nourish your web identity and give weight to your reputation.

Important aspects for maintaining a good online reputation.

Quality is one of the most important aspects to focus one, if one wants to have a great online reputation. Always making the greatest effort possible within all processes from beginning to end, to ensure an exceptional product or service, will always be closely tied to reputation. Well-designed products transmit trustworthy relationships between service providers and customers and ensure loyalty and respect.

Commitment is formed from having great habits and routines; from following through from beginning to end in all processes and procedures employed.

Honesty and transparency go hand in hand with the previous two, since they must be our leading pitch when discussing all types of businesses. A first impression is everlasting and there are no second chances to damage control this type of situations. One must be careful, because a good reputation may be gone in the blink of an eye, only by failing to upkeep an atmosphere of total and complete honesty.

Passion is without a doubt, one of the most important factors in order to demonstrate, that what you say about your product, really means something. It goes beyond words, it’s more about having your passion for what you do, speak for the quality of your products. If you do things to the best of your ability, and you are confident on your skillset, then your passion will ultimately shine through.

The value of your client’s opinion.

We understand the client always comes first. Our products evolution must be tailored to our client’s needs and opinions. Quality, passion, commitment and honesty, are aspects in which we will constantly be graded and judged on.

Users create content in our websites, social networks and sometimes even in their own pages or interest groups. It is believed that over 80% of customers will talk to others about their experiences with a service or product, especially when this experience is not pleasant. Negative reviews have a tendency to be flashy and easily noticed, easily remembered by others as well.

It is understandable that unfortunate situations happen and sometimes they are unavoidable, even if they seem like negligence for one of the involved parties. The important thing is to know how to react to this type of happenstances and finding a way to turn this into a situation in which your brand can come on top.

You must be proactive for when bad situations arise. You must be transparent in the way you deal with bad comments and other aspects that damage your situation. Honesty will always be seen as positive and a redeemable quality. Don’t wait until bad comments show up for you to react to the situation; an unhappy customer can be identified early, if you have good channels of communications open. People usually start making their comments public after they have exhausted other resources.

 

Image courtesy of MSLGROUP Global at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of MSLGROUP Global at Flickr.com

The significance of keywords and search engine results and your brand.

Search engine results must index your website or personal pages with positive keywords. It is important that good words are associated with your activities. Being easily accessible is one way of making sure this happens.

There must be a combination of favorable comments in different social networks, especially in those that have great positioning and popularity online. Having multiple and diverse content helps as well. Videos, pictures, articles and blog entries, are essential for building a good reputation with different demographics.

Why do CEOs need online reputation management?

Reputation management is the control of an individual’s or business’ reputation. Now, online reputation is stronger than some years ago because, the expansion of internet and social media allows people to access to any kind of information. Positive information, negative information, unnecessary information, on the web you can even find false information about any topic, person or business. Furthermore, internet does not filter inappropriate information for your personal or business image and as online reputation is the new marketing strategy people around the world care the most, it is very important for you, as CEO, realize you need reputation management. This follow-up is done by reputation management specialists who try to give clients the maximum control possible over what people find about them on internet. Clients say to their reputation manager what kind of information they want people see as for example professional history. Maybe you think you can manage your online reputation on your own but it requires a specific expertise you probably do not have, besides the time you have to invest that could be use more efficiently while you make other things you are good in.

Before describing the process done by online reputation managers, it is important to set who needs reputation management, usually, people or trades that have disturbing information available online. It means, when they search on internet to see what come up, they found negative information that gives them an unfavorable status. In some cases, this information is true but it belongs to other people or even business with the same name. Thanks to real-time of social medias, little mistakes evolve in big crisis in an online-focused world, hence the importance of solve this problem as fast as possible. For sure, something negative is not possible to erase and this the starting point of online reputation managers. Nevertheless, it is not managers’ work to prevent damages bad reputation can cause; it is people and business’ responsibility to avoid as much as possible destructive information is published on internet.

Once bad reputation is on the web, the online reputation manager makes sure their client’s profile story, as for example a professional written biography, shows up and dominates their profile. They make sure positive information is on the top whereas the other information will be at the end or in the next pages that are not frequented so often by users.  Reputation managers understand the cost of a poor reputation, therefore work to do is not easy and new marketing strategies have to be implemented. Websites that rank products or people are the main target for managers and when they work with brands, they not only focus on the product but main people there involved too, the most representative people of the brand. CEOs for example should maintain a very positive online reputation. Let’s analyze the importance of CEOs reputation management.

Image courtesy of TopRank Online Marketing at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of TopRank Online Marketing at Flickr.com

CEOs’ reputation influences more than people think on the product image, even if advertisements are the best ones. Customers for example think or consider the CEO’s reputation before buying products. Remember that web searchers usually make as much links as possible through web; it means that while searching opinions about products, the results will also show all news related with the product, company and important people who have any connection with that.

CEO’s online reputation can establish them as leaders and industry experts. This will not only help them in their professional career but it will help the company too while the creation of a solid image. It means, consumers will trust a product that is managed by someone whose reputation is positive and who image is solid within the market. Remember at this point, CEOs become another company’s brand.

Investors make their own search about the CEOs’ profile before investing. They need to be sure the person in charge of the company is the right person that will lead products and services to the top. This is a matter about trust and credibility. Before believing in the product, they must believe in the chief first. For investors, this person in somehow will manage their money, their inversions, and a good online reputation is transform into a good online product’s reputation.

For last but not least, journalists always take into account CEOs’ reputation before any interview. It depends on the journalist conviction if they make emphasis on CEOs online reputation or just care about the product itself. No matter what line journalist take, it is not a secret Medias play a crucial role in the standardization of any product and good stories come from good reputation management and bad reputation ends in bad stories. CEOs should be friendly with Medias and for avoiding bad stories or bad reputation within Medias, it is recommendable to maintain a good online reputation.

How should the travel industry manage their online reputation?

Most travelers around the world use a great variety of online resources before embark themselves on a particular trip. Before trusting their dreamed vacation to a travel agency, as it was done in the past, travelers favored online information everyday more. The information available online for tourist, range from promotional material, photos, videos, ratings, comments from other travelers and reviews. Depending on the quality and relevance of this information consumers take their decisions. Therefore, organizations involved in the travel industry are paying more attention on how to control their online reputation. Recent surveys found that 50% respondents between active travelers used branded supplier sites when booking travel. Below there some aspects that you need to have in mind if you are part of the travel industry and you want to make improvements in your reputation.

A well designed website

The most important thing for brand working on the travel business is having a well designed and competent website or blog. It can serve as a central hub for content delivered through multiple channels to support reputation management, therefore is the ideal platform to interact with potential consumers. It is estimated than just in the U.S that branded travel websites are the the second most common mechanism used by travelers when they want to book trips online.

Good SEO strategies are necessary to place your website at a decent ranking position, do not skimp on it, because a good strategy will pay back in the future. Whatever you make public on your website make sure that is a useful content, but even more be sure that is unique, this will give you an advantage against competitors.

The importance of reviews

Online reviews are very powerful because they play the same role as word of mouth marketing. This, clearly enhance your credibility, therefore, you need to motivate customers to leave reviews using social media, emails, and even, by promoting prizes or awards for those who are able to collaborate.

Once you get reviews, you should answer them. If you don’t do this, you are showing no interest for your customers. Even if the reviews are negative, you must always respond. You must convince your customer that you are aware and care about what is being said about your organization online. Never being negative, because in this way you will validate the reviewers negative experience.

Give a positive response always, you don’t want to initiate a discussion. By being positive you are portraying that the problem potentially resides with the customer. Do not take it personal and leave your emotions aside, because human beings tend to go too far defending their arguments. Just try and understand what the particular issue is. And obviously take responsibilities about possible improvements.

If the reviews are positive you must respond as well, this shows that you are paying attention to the conversation. Reply with gratitude, this will show engagement with your customer.

Reviews play an important role on building your brand and building your ever expanding online presence and definitely influence the decision making process.

A new slogan might be written as: customers should have the right to leave a comment and is your responsibility to look at them and get back to the people.

Social Media

Brand presence on social platforms should be effectively implemented in order to control their reputation. The biggest social media organizations like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, TripAdvisor, and various listing sites–are the perfect channels for generating powerful reviews.

You should update your content periodically and make sure you guarantee the use of ads on all these platforms. This can make a huge difference to both your bottom line and how you are perceived.

Image courtesy of fdecomite at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of fdecomite at Flickr.com

Design and visually appealing

Our visual sense is very important for our decision making process, therefore, promoting trips or places depends on visual elements to perform well. Using beautiful, high-resolution videos, photos, and other multimedia impacts your reputation in several ways. A good multimedia presentation is more likely to be shared, increasing your brand’s exposure and creating indirect recommendations. Visual media are easy to publish across many different platforms (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest, Flickr, etc.), making them more likely to show up in a video or image search.

A website must be appealing for customers, but even more important, it should be friendly and easy to use, it encourages reviews, makes it easy to research and book a trip, and is more likely to show up in search results thanks to better navigation and user experience.

Take command of your reputation, as it were the most important element in your business, explore all its facets by making customer experience as remarkable as possible. These kind of gestures will be never forgotten. Following the previous steps, you will be definitely ready to start your reputation management on the right track.

 

6 Ways to Make a Positive First Impression Online

The Internet has become a useful tool for individuals on both a personal and professional level, as it provides people with the ability to conduct quick, efficient research. With this expanded access to information comes an increased need for a healthy online reputation, much of which depends on establishing a positive first impression.

If first-time visitors to your online social media profiles or websites are left with a negative perception of who you are, they may avoid your site thereafter and you may never have another opportunity to reshape their opinion of you. Thankfully, the following six tips can give any individual the opportunity to make a positive first impression online.

1. Use a Professional Photo

jimmy stewart professional photoOne of the simplest ways to make a good first impression online is by equipping all social media and business websites with a dignified and professional picture of yourself. Not only will it encourage networking by allowing colleagues to be certain they are connecting with the correct person, it will show site visitors that you have a commitment to professionalism.

According to one psychological study, it takes less than one-tenth of a second for a stranger to form opinions about a person based on how they appear in photos. If you smile with your teeth showing, keep your eyes unobstructed, and stand against a bright background, you can increase the chances that people react positively to your picture. Additionally, in order for Google to show your picture when your name is entered into its search engine, you should upload photos containing your first and last name in the file name and alternative text.

2. Stay Positive in All Content

In order to create a positive first impression on the Internet, people should focus on producing positive content. Individuals who focus on the negative, engage in heated debates with customers or colleagues via social media, or actively post content about negative topics may be seen as difficult or unprofessional. This may also make others less likely to want to connect in a professional manner.

Instead, professionals should focus on populating their social media accounts with positive content. It is also important to handle any conflict that arises on social media with tact, particularly by avoiding engaging in public arguments so that those observing your social profiles do not see contentious interactions between you and angry customers or colleagues.

3. Form Connections with Others

old people making a connectionBeing well connected on the Internet is an excellent way to show people that others enjoy working and interacting with you. In order to make a positive first impression, connect with colleagues and friends online, and regularly engage with others by making positive comments, asking pertinent questions about the content that they post, and expressing interest in their opinions. By maximizing your connections, people will be more likely to view you as sociable and trustworthy, and they may be more apt to see you in a positive light.

4. Focus on Your Language Choices

Studies have shown that a majority of communication is nonverbal (e.g., facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language). Since there are fewer opportunities on the Internet to make a nonverbal impression, it is extremely important that people who seek to create a positive online image pay extra attention to the language used on their websites and online profiles. In all online writing, be sure to pay attention to grammar, spelling, and punctuation usage. Consider having someone else proofread your posts before publishing them on your personal pages. Poor grammar or spelling could be attributed to laziness or unintelligence, leaving a bad impression of you in the minds of site visitors.

5. Update Social Media Regularly

In order to make any kind of impression online, you first need to have a strong presence on the Internet. People who neglect their websites or social media accounts may be perceived as disorganized or unwilling to commit to the effort it takes to establish a web presence. To leave a strong first impression on the Internet, focus on actively updating your websites. Consider setting a schedule for publishing posts; by committing to at least one social media post every week, not only will your page look current, but site visitors will see that you understand the value of an active profile. It will also show that you place importance on consistency, signaling that you are reliable.

6. Write a Concise Biography

typewriter biographyA simple way to take charge and make a positive first impression is to attach a succinct biography to any social media or professional sites. Within the biography, you should establish information such as your professional values and your educational and professional background.

A biography also provides you with an opportunity to have some influence over other people’s first impressions of you. This should be thought of as an opportunity to steer others’ opinions in the direction you want them to go. However, you should not be long- winded, overly wordy, or self-aggrandizing. Instead, opt for writing biographies in a neutral tone that presents positive facts about you and your professional life.

7. Run a Blog Related to Your Professional Industry

To cement a positive impression, consider authoring a blog on a topic that is professionally relevant to you. Creating a blog signals to others that you are willing to put in the time to research and write about a subject in your field, and that you are also willing to share your knowledge with others. While writing, be sure to optimize your blog for SEO so that it shows up in search engine results. Additionally, make sure that you do not neglect your blog after its creation, and post consistently, even if your schedule allows for only one post every month.

Top 5 online reputation management mistakes that can be easily avoided.

Online reputation is certainly one of the most every business or brand should pay attention to.
Everything is different today than what it used to be a decade or two decades ago when users didn’t really have a say in what was good or bad about a brand. Users and customers have come out of the silence and can generate now a much bigger impact on a brand, a product or a service with what they have to say about it. Users and customers weren’t used to share out loud and tell everyone in all the ways possible, what they liked or didn’t like about what they paid for. Today, everything has changed. A bad testimony can become viral on online social platforms and it can either ruin the reputation of any company and any person in minutes or it can make their sales increase in no time.

That is why online reputation management has become such an important matter in today’s management world. Companies are finally acknowledging their online image is just as important as their bank account, since the first one can definitely save and grow, or destroy the second one.

Just like in every matter, when it comes to online reputation management there are good practices and bad practices, there are many points of view, depending on the importance and the priority people give to, but one thing is sure: there are certain things or actions considered mistakes that companies should avoid at all cost. Here is the list of the top 5 online reputation management mistakes that no business can afford.

Losing control of your brand image

When owners of companies are not aware of how new information about their brands and their products is being shared, they will lose control easily of their brand. If you own a company, a brand, a product or a service, make sure you are the first one to communicate what it going on, either if it is good or bad, you have to make sure the first, official information comes from you, from your brand. Otherwise you will let the media and anybody else say whatever they want about you, and that is not always a positive thing. As long as you can control it and be the first to open the positive trend, things will go much better.

Responding to every single critic

Just like real life, in online reputation management there are battles you will have to choose not to fight. The truth is no company has a 100% customer satisfaction. There will always be people that are not happy or satisfied with what your company has offered or delivered. Here is when you have to decide what is better for your business. Sometimes you will feel the need to respond to every attack you receive, the same rude and violent way they have attacked you, because you get so angry and feel the need to defend your brand, but this can cause more harm than good, most of the times. It’s good that you respond to almost everything. Try to do it in a very polite and neutral way, always with a kind language.

Underestimate monitoring

Knowing about absolutely everything that is being said about you or your brand isn’t that difficult anymore. There are plenty of online platforms that will help you monitor the mentions about you and the impact that they are causing out there. Not monitoring online reputation is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make.

Creating Fake reviews

Try to keep things real. It is very commons for brands to start saying and posting and sharing the worst comments about their competitors. The only thing you will receive as a reply is an even worse comment, but now it will be about your brand or product. Either if it is about you or your competitor, try to remain honest and polite. Remember competitors are not always a bad thing to have around.

Image courtesy of Daveblog at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of Daveblog at Flickr.com

Having a slow reaction and response

Whether if people are complaining about your brand,  or recommending it by saying how fantastic it is and how well it has served them, remember always to react quickly. Saying thank you, showing your brand will always be happy to offer their services or responding to what the customer is asking or claiming for. A slow online response is one of the worst things a company can have because it will literally show people that your brand doesn’t care about them. If you have an online presence, make sure it is always set to answer as soon as possible to the customers.

Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee at Flickr.com