These days, it’s far from a secret that reputation plays an absolutely pivotal role in determining the success or otherwise of pretty much every online business the world over. Even the biggest brands and most established companies ever to go into business live their lives on something of a knife’s edge whereby a sudden and drastic hit to their reputation could result in nothing less than disaster. Needless to say, it’s even more dramatic with smaller and newer businesses to which even a slight reputational knock could make the difference between sinking and sailing.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of businesses are to some extent guilty of perpetuating one or more bad habits when it comes to furthering and bolstering their reputation. Technically speaking, it can be relatively simple to take control of your online reputation, but tick any of the following boxes and there’s a strong possibility you could in fact be tipping the balance out of your favour:
Lack of Proactivity
The first and the indeed most common mistake of all is that of a simple yet potentially lethal lack of proactivity. In terms of reputation management, proactivity means actively keeping an eye on anything and everything that is been said about your business in general and the products or services you offer. If you are the type to sit around and wait for this kind of information to be delivered on a silver platter rather than going out and looking for it, you’re already on a slippery slope.
Focus on One Primary Social Media Platform
Of course it is extremely rare to hear of any business these days that doesn’t use social media at least to a degree. However, what’s crucial to remember when looking to take control is that each of the most popular social networks out there attract somewhat different audiences and thus enable you to gain insights into how you are interpreted across a much wider demographic. As such, if and when you find yourself locked into one primary social network at the expense of all others, you are seriously limiting what you can and will find out in terms of how you are perceived and rated.
There’s a good reason why the biggest and most successful businesses in the world hire professionals and teams thereof to constantly refresh and update their content both in terms of their primary websites and any other online presence they have. This is of absolute pivotal importance when it comes to building credibility in the first place and maintaining a strong reputation in the face of such huge competition. The simple fact of the matter is that if you allow your content to become stagnant and fail to update your blogs/social media accounts on a regular basis, you will inherently become perceived as a brand or business either with nothing to offer or of a rather dated or archaic nature.
Lack of Engagement
Last but not least, something else that is almost guaranteed to harm your reputation…or at least do nothing at all to nudge it in the right direction…is failing to make the appropriate efforts to engage with your audience. It’s one thing to lecture them about how great you are just as it’s easy to sit around and wait for them to come to you. Nevertheless, in both cases you will fail to succeed in breaking down the often damaging barrier between the client and the business which then makes it impossible to bring your target audience round to your way of thinking and to gain their confidence, respect and trust.