The prevalence of information and connectivity on the internet has been tremendously advantageous for both consumers and industrial buyers. Search engines and social media make it easy to find reviews about products, services and companies within a few clicks.
But what happens if that information is both negative and untrue? Worse, what if it's about your company?
Reputation management is important for all businesses, regardless of industry. Blogs, forums and social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are ideal platforms for upset customers to publicize their complaints — valid or otherwise — with your company. When this kind of feedback rises to the top of search results, it can be challenging to deal with. Here are some ways industrial businesses can manage their reputation online.
1. Control All Your Profiles And URLs
Does your company have a LinkedIn profile? Twitter handle? Facebook page? Thomasnet.com company profile? If not, get them. And use them. You can't address what's being said about you on social media and other platforms if you are not there. Listen to what others are saying about your company (and your competitors for comparative purposes). The last thing you want is for a negative forum post to be the main source of information about your company.
Post customer success stories on your website and encourage customers to provide positive reviews on your relevant online platforms. The increase of positive reviews and testimonials will be helpful for your brand awareness.
Helpful tips: 7 Quick Ways To Check If Your Website Is Out Of Date
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2. Optimize For Search Engines
Make sure your website is optimized for search engines to find. Adopt SEO best practices and make sure to include as much information about your company and your offerings as possible and not just glowing praise from customers (although you should have that too).
If done correctly, a good search engine optimization strategy can help win new customers. SEO is a way to maximize the success of the organic traffic your website receives.
3. Use Video Content
Video is one of the most sought after forms of content in the B2B world right now. Brand videos in particular, are a great way to reach new customers effectively, position companies in the marketplace, and distinguish itself from other suppliers. According to the Aberdeen Group, video marketing efforts can achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness.
There are many different styles of videos you can incorporate into your video marketing strategy, but keep in mind that different videos enable you to connect with buyers at different stages of their buying process.
Types Of Videos That Can Engage Your Prospects
- Company Overview
- Customer service
- Facility tours
- Product demos
4. Don't Add Fuel To The Fire
The best way to validate a negative comment or review is to start an argument over it. That will make your company seem defensive and even childish. In fact, the very act of visiting the offending website tells search engines this is valuable content.
If you must address it, post something to the effect of, "I'm sorry you have had such a negative experience. Please send me a private message so we can investigate the issue further and reach a resolution." You can also include a website link to make it easier for you to be contacted online.
5. Thank People For Positive Feedback
Conversely to the above advice, always reply to positive feedback with gratitude. You can further this by posting links to positive comments from blogs and forums on your social media accounts. If you have a company blog (and you should) you can dedicate regular posts to appreciate customers who volunteer good feedback. This serves two purposes:
1. It shows appreciation and engagement
2. It boosts the SEO of positivity over negativity
Pro Tip: Get a Google My Business Account to easily connect with customers and give them a place to leave you a review! This will also provide your business leverage in terms of SEO.
6. Be A Real Person
When representing the company online, whether via a corporate blog or on public forums, it is important to show some humanity—more specifically, state who you are and what your role is. This facilitates trust. If your internet presence is littered with faceless, nameless logos, people will perceive your company as cold and aloof, run by corporate suits, instead of people who care.
Looking for more ways to improve your reputation online and increase your brand presence? Our marketing experts have been helping manufacturers and industrial companies for more than 120 years. Send us a message!
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