Let’s face it, what people say about you matters. Forget whatever you have been told by those self-help books!

Consider this. Many years ago – when the emphasis was still much on certificates – your grade was the single most important angel to get you past the door of an employer. Nobody was likely to give you a chance if your school certificate was average or poor, no matter how smart you think you were. People either thought you lack focus or just not intelligent enough. The truth? We know better!

Crazy, isn’t it?

That characterization, as unfair as it sounds, still holds true today, though in a different light. Yes, you have this cool LinkedIn profile, and your Facebook and Twitter accounts are up and popping. You also have this great website that shows how awesome a business or person you are. Sweet!

But, why not go ahead and google your name or business? Done? Cool!

What are the results? What exactly is the world saying about you or your business?

4 Quick Steps to Boost Your Online Reputation

Since a whooping 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, it only makes sense to optimize  your digital touchpoints to control how you or your business is perceived.

So, here are quick ways to get started:

  • First things first – start with an audit

About seven years ago, while working at a firm during my holiday, the department was asked to hire two underwriters. We rolled out the call for for application, and predictably, tons of candidates put in for the roles.

My job then was simple: prune the applicants to a definite number by screening out applicants with a negative online history. This was a bit tricky.

Can I shock you?

Many of the applicants fell prey to the trap, including a particular guy who had a fantastic resume to match the role. You may argue what a candidate’s past life has got to do with it. But remember, only an employer can decide what’s best for his company!

The first step to improving your online reputation is to undertake a brand audit that clearly shows you what you current reputation looks like. This enables you to explore the most effective strategy to manage how you would like to be perceived.

  • Under promise, over deliver

In business, integrity is one of your strongest currencies to remain relevant. So, never commit to what you cannot deliver. Take time-lines seriously, and deliver on every promise you make. Most of the media attacks brands face online stem more from the failure by organizations to keep their word. This could earn your business great reviews online from satisfied customers.

  • Adopt social listening

Having your brand in the digital space means you are ready for all the troubles that come with it. Angry customers could bash your brand or drag you in the mud – whether their anger is justified or not.

What’s even more tricky is that you are never in control of what the customer says – either on review sites or on their social media platforms. You need to be able to know what people are saying about you online – either positive or negative.

To safeguard your brand online, you need to develop a clear strategy to manage complaints before they become full-blown crisis. More importantly, you need a clear communication plan to manage different shades of issues that could rub off on your business.

  • Explore the power of content marketing 

If you are considering growing a sustainable business for the long term, consider content marketing. Consider being a thought leader in your industry by consistently sharing valuable contents in your niche.

Share experiences, insights, inspiration and contribute to new trends in your space in a way that demonstrates your capacity and knowledge of the industry.

  • Seek professional support 

If your brand already has negative stories flying around on the internet, it’s best you seek professional assistance. Perhaps, there is a sexual harassment scandal about your boss that found its way into the media. Or your company is in a deep crisis that might affect public confidence in the business.

Whatever the case, an online reputation manager can help you deal with such situations in a way that best guarantees the sustainability of your business. If you miss it on reputation, you might be headed for a disaster, and you have every cause to worry.

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Content disruptor and futurist who is constantly exploring how brands can spread happiness around the world with compelling storytelling

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