What are your company’s most important assets? Did your online reputation make the list? If it didn’t, it should, and pretty close to the top. You spend a lot of money and time creating and building your brand. Now let’s talk about how to protect and leverage your reputation.

Why does your online rep matter?

Think about your own purchasing behavior. You’re in the market for a digital camera. You want a DSLR with video capability, but there are so many choices and a wide range of prices! If you’re like many of us, you Bing “DSLR camera” and start reading.
Businesses are no different. The overwhelming majority start their purchasing journey the same way consumers do – on the web.

Protect your reputation

Tip #1: Monitor. Keeping an eye on online talk about your company is a great way to know what you’re doing right and where you could improve. Check for mentions on Yelp, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as industry specific sites, and do regular searches on your company name. Bonus: Social Media Examiner compiled a list of tools to make tracking your online rep easier.
Tip #2: Engage…even if it’s painful. Mentions are great opportunities to learn and engage. If it’s a question, answer it. Compliment? Say thanks! If it’s a suggestion, let them know they’ve been heard (bonus points if you use their suggestion and let them know about it). If there’s a complaint, apologize and look for ways to fix it. Unanswered complaints can be very damaging, so even if it’s uncomfortable, respond promptly and be genuine, transparent, and as helpful as possible.

Leverage your good name

That DSLR camera you’re wanting can be a serious investment, so you want to be diligent in your research. You’ve narrowed down your choices – where will you spend your hard-earned money? Online reviews can make all the difference.

Customer reviews can be a deal-maker or breaker for would-be buyers, so you want lots of good reviews out there. You’re already got satisfied customers thanks to your excellent solutions and outstanding customer service. Now you need to get them to share their love for you online.
Tip #3: Ask. Asking for these vital reviews should be a routine part of your engagement with your customers:
    • Make reviews part of your sales cycle. After you complete a project, ask your satisfied customer if they would be willing to provide feedback at your Pinpoint profile or other review site. Bonus: customer reviews positively affect your Pinpoint rating!
  • Make it easy by providing a link. Wherever you want your reviews to appear, be sure your customer has the right link and instructions to make it frictionless.
Congratulations! You’ve got some terrific feedback from happy customers. Now let’s get those reviews out there where your prospects are.
Tip #4: Leverage Pinpoint. As a member of MPN, you have access to Pinpoint, a terrific review site for customers searching for technology solutions. Bonus: reviews can impact your ranking with the Pinpoint search algorithm!
Tip #5: Optimize your website. Positive online reviews can drive traffic to your website, so you need a website that’s ready to receive them with clear and simple navigation and lots of ways to “contact us.” Many searches are done on tablets and smartphones, so be sure your website is optimized for mobile. Make the most of your efforts to build your online reputation by having a site that meets your customers’ needs. Here’s how:

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For more tips on optimizing your website, be sure to watch all of Alex and Emily’s “Basics of Websites” videos on the Smart Partner Marketing site.

Digital camera or technology solution, we all want to make the best possible purchasing decisions. And more and more, we’re turning to 3rd parties to help us make informed choices. By asking for reviews and maintaining an easy-to-navigate website, you let your satisfied customers help your potential customers decide on you.