In Business, Reputation is Everything
A good one can land you the client of a lifetime, while a bad rap could cost your business everything. As constructive as they are, social media, blogs, and forums can just as easily become your firm’s worst nightmare. Here are some concepts that will give you the insight to keep everything running like a dream. Did you know that your online reputation and company brand go hand-in-hand? In fact, they are seamlessly tied together. One cannot go without the other.
Having a strong Internet presence on social media sites such as Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or Facebook these days is a necessity. It builds creditability, recognizability, and offers potential customers more information and insight into your business. But how can you keep them from spinning wildly out of control and damaging your reputation? Here are some things to think about.
A. Using the name and logo of your company online can inarguably increase brand awareness, name recognition, and spur business.
On the other hand, it leaves nothing to the imagination if any faux-pas or gaffes are made, so consider this one carefully. It should also go without saying that mentioning your clients by name or any jobs that are in progress without explicit permission can be a huge liability. Not only is your reputation at stake, but your client’s as well.
B. Extending beyond company-branded social media sites, are discussion forums and blogs, which can be just as influential.
When blogging or posting on behalf of your company, keep in mind that even though social sites are casual and conversational in nature, staying professional is critical. It’s easy to let your guard down and become too personal for your own good. Discussion forums, in particular, have no obligation to remove something that you may regret posting, which makes retroactive damage control difficult, if not impossible.
C. “Just as with your non-online life, it’s generally good practice keeping business separate from your personal agenda,” states Orange County Web Design guru Adam.
Using an alias can minimize the chances that your actions online could negatively impact your company’s reputation. Couple that with carefully considering what you’ve written before you post it, and you should be in good shape. In combination with good, old-fashioned common sense, you can minimize the chances that the reputation you’ve worked for years to create isn’t torn down in a matter of minutes.
The reputation of a business is one of its most valuable assets and you have the right and responsibility to influence what is said about you online. With all of these ideas in mind, you can help keep these powerful online business tools working for you, and not against you, ultimately building a stronger brand.