Did you ever think that you would need to think seriously about something like your own reputation, let alone how to manage it online? In this Social Media article, we do! According to a Pew Internet study on Reputation Management and Social Media, “Search engines and social media sites play a central role in building one’s reputation online.” The study also covers how activities tied to maintaining an online identity have grown.
Reputation has always been extremely important to individuals and brands alike because they help aid in the selection process of one business versus another. People and companies that are viewed as honest, fair and knowledgeable will encounter much more positive interactions than those with a negative reputation or no reputation at all. In fact, Microsoft published results of a study that came out in Forbes saying that “a positive online reputation is important for both individuals and companies.”
Nowadays, it is easier than ever to learn about someone with just a few clicks of a button! Google states that names are searched online hundreds of millions of times EVERY DAY. Whether someone is thinking about hiring someone, using their services or trusting someone with their business, it has become standard practice to type that name into Google and see what comes up.
What people find when they search for you online will directly correlate to their perception of you as a trusted expert in the field of your chosen brand. With a positive reputation, you will build more lasting relationships, have more people accept your recommendations and convert more leads into sales.
This is good news for you because it is relatively easy to manage your reputation online in the search engines and on your social networks! Unlike search terms in your business’s specific field that can be highly competitive, a search for your name, when coupled by your company name or an industry term, will almost assuredly show you right near the top of the search results. Why are these searches common? Because most people’s names are commonly found among the population, we have been trained to put in something additional to our search phrases to appropriately filter the results. When people are searching for you, they may use an additional word or two (company name or industry terms) to complete their search.
If you want to start your own home-based business as a solo entrepreneur and plan on using social media to market the company, remember that your name is synonymous with your brand. Once someone has searched for you online, they are likely to find your blog, Facebook, Twitter pages and more. They key is to manage your reputation so that what they find under the “more” category fills the top page of the search engine with everything that you want people to know about you!
So what goes into building a positive reputation as a credible brand and a trusted expert online?
This is where the message that your blog and social media strategies deliver comes into play. This is where your brand is a beacon for your target market niche in terms of the all-important question, “what’s in it for me?” And then how you correspond with both loyal customers and new prospects will continue to mold your reputation throughout the relationship.
The Pew Internet study referenced above also stated that 48% of adults now agree that getting to know new people is easier and more meaningful because you can learn about people you meet online. As we get farther and farther into the digital age, online reputations, brands and your shared content become more important with each passing day!
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