Part of being Indianapolis consultants means managing our online presence, since people all over Indiana are searching for business consultants! We asked guest blogger Jake Samson to research this topic for us.
In many instances, a customer’s first impression of your business will be formed by what they read about you on the Internet. This is great news for businesses that have complete control over everything posted about them online unfortunately, China notwithstanding, this is impossible. Accordingly, businesses have begun to focus on ways to increase good Internet publicity and decrease the bad. Here are some of the best practices when it comes to managing your online reputation.
Call in the Experts
In the same way that you want to call business consultants in Indianapolis to help out with your business improvement efforts, you want to reach out to local pros for help with reputation management. Getting the most out of the Internet takes a lot of know-how and a bit of nuance. While there’s plenty of Internet-related processes that are easy and intuitive, there are some aspects of managing a business’ online presence that are complex and decidedly counterintuitive. Unless you have a firm grasp of how online reputation management works, its best to talk to an expert. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend heaps of money, but companies like Reputation.com utilize basic and advanced techniques to ensure your company is positively represented online.
Don’t Fake It Till You Make It
Paying others to post positive reviews or talk trash about competitors is a horrible idea. The FTC Endorsement Guidelines prohibit any type of paid endorsements without disclosure. These rules don’t just apply to Indianapolis consulting firms, but if anyone should be aware of regulations, it should be people who provide expert advice. A business shouldn’t have to stoop to such underhanded tactics to have a good image online not only is this ethically ill-considered, but it destroys a business’ credibility in the eyes of the consumer when it comes to light. Instead, encourage happy and loyal customers to post positive comments online.
Create a Plan
It is a modern imperative for a business to have a good Web presence. If your business has no process to deal with online reputation management, it’s time to rethink the process. Look into how your competitors manage their online image. Is it worth it to have a Twitter account? How much business can Facebook really deliver? What Web portals are best to reach customers? Answer these types of questions to construct a cohesive and consistent approach to web marketing.
Nowadays, if a company isn’t online, it doesn’t exist to most customers. Consumers derive much of their information regarding a company through the Internet, so having a positive Web image and the ability to relay the information a company wishes to impart is vital. Developing a savvy approach to how a company appears online isnt as easy as signing up on Facebook; it takes a concerted and directed approach.
As with any part of business, its important to create a strategic plan on how to manage your online image. A company wishing to get the most out of their web presence shouldn’t be afraid to call in professional online reputation management experts, avoid dubious Web marketing and make a plan.
Jake Samson is a blogger and writer living in Indianapolis. Consultants and small businesses all over the world work with him to research the latest industry trends in online marketing.