As business owners, we hear a lot about reputation, image and branding and it is essential that we understand why these are all important. The fact of the matter is that there are more businesses being created than ever before, the result of this is that there is more competition in almost all industries and markets than we have ever seen. Thanks to this competition, it can be very difficult to find loyalty and trust in our customers and difficult for customers to find a company which they want to give this to.
Creating a strong and powerful reputation and image, we can show customers who we are and what we do, and give them reasons to trust us. The problem however is that our reputation, especially online which is so important, can be easily ruined and we need to work hard on protecting it. I spoke with Reputation Management Consultants Eric Schiffer and his team, to gain a further understanding as to what exactly damages one’s online reputation.
The review system which is in place on sites like Google and Yelp can prove to be invaluable to our future success, this modern day word-of-mouth system can be seen by people all over the world and if we have strong reviews then we will be able to ensure that we have future business coming our way. In the same light, negative reviews can be very damaging to our business, especially if they are false. That is the issue with these review systems, they are unregulated and if anyone has an axe to grind with us then they can take to the sites and defame our company.
Guilt by Association
Business, like the internet is all about creating a community and great partnerships can add strength and support. In spite of this, some companies that we are partnered with may decide to go rogue and our association with them will paint us with the same black brush. This kind of guilt by association can prove to be extremely damaging with regards to our reputation, especially online. It is for this reason that many opt to use a reputation management company which can eradicate all links with your rogue partners.
Social media has the power to influence millions of people in a split second, this kind of power can build reputations and see your company gain great success. At the same moment, there is also the worry that the same level of global influence could work against you, and your reputation could be in tatters in the blink of an eye. It is important that all businesses have a full understanding of the true power and capability of social media, their role within it and how to best stay away from the notion that one day our reputation could be stripped away from us, as a result of mistakes on social media.