The day-to-day running of a business never lacks a customer or two dissatisfied with your services or product. Most of these complaints can be settled efficiently and quickly by coming to a resolution through an email or a phone call. However, there can also be complicated situations that may be potentially problematic, should the disgruntled client leave negative comments online.

The word-of-mouth can potentially go viral in a matter of hours, thanks to the internet. Online engagement has significantly reduced the space between clients making comments, views, and opinions travel much faster than ever before.

One of the most effective ways of managing negative reviews is using online reputation management software. Placing online reputation management strategies before a crisis can help you redeem your name in the public domain.

When you plan ahead, you place your brand better to respond rapidly to such eventualities and effectively manage the loss. These tips can assist you in improving how you manage your online reputation.

1. The Proactive vs. Reactive Reputation Management Strategy

Most startups are deficient in a proactive approach to online reputation management. It is not enough to have a company website. More is needed to protect your site from vulnerability to damaging reviews that may stand on your way to appearing at the top of search engines.

Appearing in users’ search results is crucial for small businesses, which are frequently located by name. As such, a negative comment can directly work against your efforts to feature on the top page.

If a business is tied closely to the owner’s identity, the name of the prominent executives is an area that requires proactive online reputation management. Some business founders try to maintain a low profile by avoiding active social media engagement, to keep their privacy outside of the company.

This is not enough because such an owner has not built a shield around themselves should a visitor use their identity and damage their reputation in damaging feedback.

In the same breath, poor handling of social media is similarly problematic. If you do not have the skills to manage a negative online reputation, you risk conducting yourself in an unethical and unprofessional manner.

2. Expand your Internet Presence

The big three on social media platforms are Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. However, all entrepreneurs should be aware of other platforms that are business to business-oriented. These social sites can be a way of broadening your digital footprint and presence.

It is imperative to join such platforms before a disgruntled user gets the chance to tarnish your name. LinkedIn is one such platform, especially for business-to-business interactions. Here, you can create professional connections with other entrepreneurs who may profit from your services.

Those in the business-to-business industries may choose to showcase their products on visual platforms such as Pinterest. If your brand targets the younger audience, consider platforms such as Snapchat because newer apps are not saturated with business accounts.

Expanding your online presence allows you to remain in touch with your target audience. It also bolsters your control over the topmost search results associated with your brand if a negative review arises.

3. Give your social media accounts close attention

Simply having several social media accounts for your brand is not enough to take charge of your online reputation. More is needed. You ought to update and regularly maintain order to build organic followership.

Constantly fill your social media feeds with informative, relevant, and interesting content to improve your influence, increase your engagement, and have the chance to interact with potential clients and also the existing ones.

After creating them, neglecting to maintain your social media accounts, leaves them too vulnerable to outrank any negative review that may be making rounds about your accounts on a particular social media platform.

4. Grow online visibility of your products and services

If your business deals with brands and products with name recognition beyond the company name, you may need to build your website authority and social media presence even further.

Grow your website, social media platform profiles, and all other forms of rankable content that potential clients might search you by name. When you fail to claim the ownership of any additional products and brands linked to your business, things can get potentially complicated and costly. This can probably happen when someone else claims the right to gain control of the product or brand before you.

5. Respond to Online Reviews

It is prudent to respond to your clients’ comments, opinions, reviews and other forms of feedback. It is an effective way to build your online reputation because it’s the client that prompts you to reply. This way, you keep them engaged, and in turn, they feel appreciated.

Additionally, new customers are likely to rely on these reviews before deciding to make a purchase.