PR on the Web: 4 Easy Steps for a Great Reputation
In the world of online business, reputation is everything. Whether you have a successful blog or an online store, consumers only know you by the presence you have online. Below are four PR tips you’ll need to keep a positive reputation on the internet.
1. Acknowledge, Don’t Bury
If you make your living online, you should simply assume you have no secrets. While it’s understandable that you will want to keep your private life private, there’s simply no use in ignoring a scandal. If something that will reflect negatively upon you happens, be the first to acknowledge it. This lets you stop the spin and, perhaps more importantly, stops rumors from spreading and hurting your reputation.
2. Engage Actively
One of the true joys of running any sort of online business is the speed of engagement. Your customers or viewers can give you feedback in seconds, and it’s up to you to make use of that feedback quickly. Engage with your consumers, taking their comments to heart and letting them know that you understand any frustrations you may have. People often leave negative reviews because they want to be heard. If you can give them an outlet, you can stop your reputation from being ruined by a small percentage of unhappy customers. Additionally, engaged customers are more likely to leave a review of their positive experiences than customers who feel forgotten when the transaction ends.
3. Spread Your Presence
Social media is a valuable tool for shoring up your reputation online. Engaging in multiple platforms gives consumers multiple avenues to interact with you, and thus multiple ways for you to control your reputation. While too much social media usage can be dangerous for a business, providing a positive presence on multiple platforms can enhance your presence and give you a better chance of being viewed positively. You definitely want to be well known for good reasons.
4. Post With Purpose
Every post you have should fulfill a purpose. Never post about personal opinions or problems unless you honestly believe that they can have some kind of positive impact on your brand. If you have a PR professional on your payroll—or even just someone who has a master’s degree in public relations on one of your teams—run every social media post by him or her. If you can’t do that, you’ll have to use your best judgment—and make sure to always err on the side of not posting. Although it can be important to be careful what you say online, you also want to be entertaining and personable. That can really help make both you and your brand stand out. People always like working with others that they can relate to and get along well with.
Remember, your reputation is your most important asset. Take the time to protect it by engaging, spreading your presence, and being smart about the things you choose to post. If you can avoid the temptation to treat your online presence like a social tool and look at it as a business asset, you can protect your reputation while still turning a profit.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. Kara recommends looking into a masters degree public relations for more information on how to build business reputation.
One thing I’d add under the topic of engage actively is to listen intently. Either by setting up Google alerts on your business name or by using some of the higher quality dedicated listening tools to actively monitor your brand on any social media, review site or blog and receive alerts in real time. Sometimes it’s too late, the bad news has gone viral, if you haven’t responded quickly enough.
Absolutely, listening is critical. Thanks for reading!