Until recently, decisions of all kinds (personal, professional, etc.) were made mainly based on direct interactions and recommendations from people known personally (family, friends, work acquaintances). Nowadays, more and more often in search of social proof, we reach out to the web, checking about a particular brand (personal or corporate) on websites or social media.

Thus, online reputation, or “what people say about us on the Internet,” is gaining importance – both in a personal and professional context. How can you build and, more importantly, maintain a positive image in the online world? Here are five practical tips that are sure to help in this difficult task.

Online reputation – why does it matter so much?

By online reputation we should understand the image (opinion, opinion, perception) that Internet users have about a particular person, company or organization. This type of evaluation has been formed on the basis of data from various sources (social media, search engine, news portals, etc.).

It significantly influences whether customers will buy our products or use our services, candidates will be interested in available job offers, potential partners will want to establish business cooperation, etc. Social proof and the available information about the brand on the web are therefore of strategic importance in the context of the conducted business – and within different areas.

What builds online reputation?

The essential thing is that online reputation can be created by two types of activities – both internal and external. Internal activities include, for example, social media publications about ongoing projects. This is because self-created content is the main source of knowledge about the brand for Internet users, allowing them to identify with it.

However, the importance of external activities is no less important, i.e. articles published about the brand (which may have negative overtones), opinions of customers and candidates appearing on platforms specialized in this area, or discourse about the brand conducted in social media of entities unrelated to the company.

How to improve online reputation?

The important thing is that reputation is not a constant that can never change. On the contrary, you can work to improve it with various types of activities aimed at building a positive external image of the brand. Below we give you the top 5 tips for doing this.

  1. Ensure constant monitoring
  2. Constant monitoring of what is being said about your brand is the most important step in the area of online reputation building – without it, any subsequent ones will be pointless, as only selective opinions and reviews will reach you. In this regard, the best idea is to invest in a professional tool designed for monitoring, preferably for different channels (not only social media but also blogs, sales platforms, etc.). In this way, you will always be up to date with the emerging information and opinions about the brand, and thus – you will be able to respond to them promptly, taking corrective action. After all, in the case of this type of situation, reaction time is significant.

  3. Respond to every comment
  4. Whether the opinion posted online is positive or negative, it is always worth ensuring that it does not go unanswered. In the case of positive comments, by thanking them in kind words you build a positive relationship with your audience, while in the case of negative reviews, you can thus show that your audience’s opinion matters to you.

    However, you must make sure that the responses you give are characterized by a professional and balanced tone (appropriate choice of words required). Also, remember to avoid engaging in unnecessary discussions. You should focus on solving the problem each time while showing your openness to constructive criticism and willingness to take corrective action.

  5. Establish partnerships with influencers
  6. If you find an influencer who matches your corporate or personal brand (e.g., in terms of adhering to the same values), such a partnership can contribute to the positive reception of the activities you implement.

    After all, influencers are individuals who not only gather around them a circle of audiences that trust them, but, most importantly, are characterized by their high power of influence. Their recommendations can significantly increase trust in your brand, and thus improve, for example, sales results. Now you can see the benefits of working with such people not only in the marketing (image) dimension.

  7. Create your online presence
  8. You can’t just control what information about your brand appears online – you must also create your presence. Activity on social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Tik-Tok) significantly affects your reputation. In this regard, what matters is not only what kind of content you publish, but most importantly, how you communicate with your audience. Therefore, make sure that all your publications are as thoughtful and polished as possible, with engagement visible at all times. This is how you will build an image as an expert and professional in your industry.

  9. Keep an eye on data security
  10. When it comes to the Internet, audiences are particularly sensitized to any incidents related to the protection of their privacy and personal data. For this reason, any mistakes in this area (especially data leaks, identity theft, etc.) can not only expose a company or users to financial losses but also significantly damage a brand’s online reputation. To avoid such negative consequences, it is worth implementing appropriate cybersecurity procedures (including passwords and two-factor authentication, installation of antivirus software or regular updates).

Online Reputation

Online reputation – summary

The aforementioned tips can be useful in improving online reputation (taking care of a positive online image) for both individuals building their brand, as well as smaller and larger businesses. After all, regardless of the type of business, it is necessary to take care of what can be found on the Internet about the subject.

Online reputation has become an integral part of digital society, and its importance with the further development of technology and social media will only grow. Still, remember that building a positive image is not only a matter of controlling the information that circulates about us online but also of creating valuable content and engaging in positive relationships with other users.

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Author: Zofia Lipska

With over 10 years of experience in digital marketing, Sophia not only knows the rules of this industry but above all knows how to break them in order to achieve outstanding and creative results.