In the age of technology and social media, businesses have more access to consumers than ever before. They can advertise their products or even provide services directly to consumers through smartphones that are always on their person.
However, the internet can also be a significant risk for businesses. According to Entrepreneur, companies are at risk of losing roughly 22% of business if consumers read negative articles or news about the company.
So, here are a few tips on how to protect your business’s reputation online.
Monitor the business’s reputation vigilantly
It might be helpful for Oregon businesses to designate an employee or partner to manage public relations and supervise the company’s online presence. This might involve:
- Reading and responding to online reviews;
- Searching through hashtags and social media; and
- Keeping an eye on employees’ posts about the company.
Big companies especially may want to have a designated public relations manager. However, even small businesses should be sure to monitor news, posts or reviews about their business.
Address social media in company policies
Everyone in the United States may have the right to free speech, but business owners can – and should – establish a code of conduct that their employees should follow online. There are two primary reasons for this:
- Business owners can create rules for how employees speak about the company online.
- In some cases, employee behavior posted in the public eye can reflect on the company.
Companies cannot control how their employees engage with social media, but they should make their expectations clear that an employee will not harm a business’s reputation online.
Connect with consumers directly – but politely
It does not take long for posts to go viral nowadays. And if one consumer posts a negative review of your business, it may not take long for other consumers to see it.
Social media allows a business owner to address negative press almost instantaneously. While it is critical for business owners to use this to their advantage and mitigate the effect of negative press, they should be sure to respond civilly to any negative comments from consumers.