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Your Reputation is at Stake

If you’re an entrepreneur, you have a LOT going on. While juggling all of your tasks and responsibilities, are you neglecting your online brand? If you are, your reputation is at stake.

The way your buyers choose to shop and interact with your business has shifted.

Incidents (negative or positive) that occur between your customers and your front-line employees can (and probably will) be broadcasted to a sea of your current and potential customers. This isn’t isolated to a simple social media posts; both Facebook and Google offer a “Review” score. And, this review score can be brought down immediately if someone chooses to rate your business negatively, justified in their opinion or not.

Don’t underestimate the power of this either. Thanks, largely to Amazon, customers rely heavily on their peers and social proof to dictate when and who they’ll buy from. A 5-star rated business will likely get a phone call before a 3-star rated business. No matter how successful the latter business is or how hard they may be working behind-the-scenes to boost customer experience.

Don’t underestimate the power of a bad review. #Business #SocialMedia Click To Tweet

It’s a reality of the way business works in the world today.

Let’s take this even further. Did you know that when someone types in your business name into Facebook, your employees might also show up in the search options if they’ve listed your business as an employer?

If a certain employee is choosing to conduct themselves in a negative way, your potential customers have visibility to it, and this, for better or for worse, impacts your brand as well.

With all of this said, you don’t have to enter panic mode or start ringing the alarm bells, but at the very least, you need to be considering that your brand (and reputation) is no longer isolated to a storefront. It has constant visibility, it doesn’t care about business hours, holidays, or weekends.

Here are three steps you can take immediately to ensure the first impression you’re making online isn’t compromising your business:

  1. Audit Your Networksrahul-chakraborty-460018-unsplash

If you have a poorly designed cover photo, no profile picture, and haven’t posted on a given network since 2014, you’re dead in the eye of the customer. Period.

You may have a thriving business that people love, but if your social media isn’t showing this, then it’s simply not being represented.

Do an audit of your graphics, your language, your review score as discussed above. Identify what needs to be updated or completely revitalized.

Don’t forget to consider both desktop and mobile views!

  1. Create Clear Expectations

Your employees need to know how they conduct themselves impacts the business.

If you own a storefront and your employees won’t greet customers, or are rude, or don’t know what they’re talking about, their poor service is just one social media post away from being broadcasted publicly.

And, if your employees are choosing to list your business as an employer on any social media platform, their online fingerprint is a reflection of your brand, as discussed above.

Set clear expectations with your employees, specifically that they need to be extremely mindful of the following:

  • Profanity.
  • Race, religion, or politics.
  • Inappropriate images (ex. nudity or provocative imagery).
  • Public complaining about the brand/business.

If they can’t adhere to these rules, they should not be permitted to attach their online fingerprint to your business.

While you can’t control your employees’ opinions or social media tendencies, you can prohibit any link or affiliation to them online if they choose to present themselves negatively.

In fact, if they’re behaving in such a fashion online or offline, it may be a good sign that you need to revisit their role in your company entirely.

3 steps to improve your first impression on #SocialMedia. Click To Tweet
  1. Keep an Online Pulse

If you called a business twice and never got a response, would you choose to work with them? I wouldn’t, and I doubt you would either.

Remember that social media is a communication tool. If you’re not checking your social media inboxes and notifications daily, it’s akin to not checking your email or voicemail.

Keep a pulse on anything associated with your online platform. That means messages, mentions, notifications, hashtags, and tagged images. I can’t tell you how many business pages have messages dating back to years ago that have still never been read.

According to estimates, the number of worldwide social media users reached 2.34 billion in 2017. It’s expected to grow to some 2.95 billion by 2020.

As an executive, you can no longer give in to the belief that your brand only exists in the physical world.

Your online brand is important. It’s your reputation in today’s world, and it’s the key to either scaling or hurting your business. The choice is yours. The numbers don’t lie.

Leave me a comment and let me know, have you ever had a poor experience with a business on social media? Did it impact your willingness to do business with them in the future?


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