Your reputation is as good as your word because 65% of online users see online search as their most influential medium. This is especially so for the average online business. Your online reputation is all that can speak for you. New business owners are especially vulnerable because their reputation is in the early stages of growth.
Many of the mistakes made by new business owners can destroy their reputations for good, and that can make it impossible for a startup to succeed.
What are the five things new business owners do to damage their online reputations, and how do successful entrepreneurs avoid these mistakes?
Promising the World
New business owners are incredibly optimistic about their companies. They want to conquer the world, and many of them believe they will too. The problem is that when you have so much optimism you tend to promise the world. And rarely will you fulfill these high expectations.
Even if you achieve a great deal, if you don’t fulfill those promises you are going to disappoint your target audience. You should always aim to under promise and over deliver. It’s always better to smash low expectations than fail to meet high ones.
And bear in mind that you can make promises without realizing it. They can appear in company slogans and even in the apparently innocent status updates you post.
Posting Negativity on Social Media
One of the biggest mistakes new companies make when building their reputation is taking social media for granted. It only takes a few minutes to take an online reputation and destroy it for good via social media. And it all happens due to status updates that are posted in anger.
New business owners often fail to grasp the dangers present until it actually happens to them. Even the slightest mistake can cause a great number of problems in a world where everyone is seemingly offended by everything.
To counter this, make sure that you avoid posting on impulse. Schedule your social media updates in advance so you have some time to consider them.
Failing to Handle Negative Reviews in the Right Way
You have yet to refine your business. Your products and services will still be rough around the edges, and so you are going to get more negative reviews than normal. And how you react to these negative reviews will influence your online reputation.
React to all negative feedback in a calm and measured way. Apologize to the customer and pledge to do better in the future. These complainers could turn into your most loyal customers when you learn how to control the conversation.
And go one step further by actually implementing the changes in question. Too many new business owners pledge to make changes only to never get around to them. Once again, you are making a promise that you haven’t kept.
Reach Out and Be Proactive
Make sure that you take proactive steps to protect your online reputation. For example, you may decide to set up a focus group when you release a new product. This will allow you to gain some early feedback before your products hit the public markets. Eliminating problems early will preserve your online reputation.
Unfortunately, many new business owners can only wait and allow things to happen to them. Reacting to things as they happen will only limit the damage to your reputation not stop it.
Make a commitment to defending your online reputation and you will gain the rewards of it.
Monitor it Constantly
You can’t defend what you don’t know about. Set up a Google Alerts signal for your company name, the names of your founders, and some of your unique creations. You will automatically receive an email when someone mentions any of the terms you enter, both in a positive way and a negative way.
Monitor your online reputation constantly so you can react to what people are saying about you. It will help you to make changes to your business that will protect your online reputation in the long-term.
As you continue to grow, online reputation becomes a bigger issue. Too many entrepreneurs make mistakes in the beginning and they find their reputations in tatters. It restricts their growth and damages their prospects.
Businesspeople who get started early with their online reputation have a better chance of lasting longer than a few years. Be proactive in building your reputation today and reap the rewards tomorrow!