In order to have a better chance of bringing new customers to your business, along with retaining the ones you already have worked hard to get, using social media is a great means to go about that.
With a positive social media agenda, you can answer and handle any questions or issues customers have, post links to relevant material in your industry that will be beneficial to customers, and present yourself as an authority in the very line of work you do.
So, what happens when your online reputation is called into question, especially as it relates to your social media footprints?
In some cases, the damage can be minimal at worst, while other situations can lead to lost business.
If you are actively engaging on social media, be sure to remember some tips so as not to harm your online image. They include:
1. Be Professional – Whether you have one or several social media pages, professionalism should always be a top priority. If a customer gets on your Facebook or Twitter page to complain about your products or services, deal with them in a professional manner. If you come across as sniping and rude, you could lose a whole lot of credibility with other current and potential customers. If something is so important or sensitive that it needs to be taken offline, then by all means do so;
2. Use it or lose it – If you are operating with one or a number of social media venues to support your company, make sure you use them regularly. If you are an infrequent visitor and bring nothing of true value to the table, customers could vent about you on online forums and other social venues. When that happens, you could quickly lose standing in the social community, meaning lost business opportunities at the end of the day;
3. Review your online footprints – There are different companies out there that will post information on you and your business to the public. If bad or private information gets out there that puts you and/or your company in a bad light, your business can suffer as a result. Periodically review your name and your company’s name by doing a Google search of both, looking for any negative commentary that may be floating around the Internet. Such problems can include negative customer reviews, old legal matters that put you and/or your company in a bad light, and smear campaigns orchestrated by disgruntled employees or competitors. Make sure you monitor such matters, including receiving alerts when new comments/reviews show up on different sites.
With all the importance that goes into building and maintaining your online reputation, leave nothing to chance.
Dave Thomas covers consumer and small business topics for various websites, including how to protect your reputation for business.
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