Your online presence is tied directly to factors such as your website and your participation in social media. Cumulatively, however, it amounts to much more than simply being on Facebook or getting found in a Google search.
Your online presence can significantly influence your reputation and credibility. As you build your business development strategy, take the time to assess your online presence and find out how your clients see you.
Your online presence is affected by three factors:
- Your own efforts – This includes your participation in social networking, your business website, your blog and your online customer interactions. You have direct control over these areas, and how you handle your interactions will greatly affect customers’ perceptions of you and your business.
- Positive customer information – Good customer reviews, positive word-of-mouth and well-handled customer interactions create a positive image of your company.
- Negative customer information – The negative side is inevitable, whether it comes from dissatisfied customers, bad reviews, negative news reports or deliberate attempts to harm your reputation.
Checking your presence online
- Search online – Do a thorough online search of your name, your company’s name and any other elements that are relevant to your business. Check Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and any other sites you use. Log out of these sites before searching so that any results you receive are not influenced by your own profile with the site. You’ll quickly be able to tell what people are saying about you online and how those comments and perceptions rank in Google’s search results.
- Take a neutral look – Examine your online and social media interactions from a neutral perspective. See what you’re providing to clients and potential customers and assess the value of your online offerings. Positive online experiences coupled with high-value information and insights will build customer trust and loyalty.
- Delete and revise – If you find false information or other troublesome material online, follow the site’s procedures and request the material be removed or deleted. Carefully monitor what you and your employees put online in an official capacity.
Do you know how your customers see your company online? Are there steps you can take to improve your online presence and reputation?
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