The importance for businesses to build and maintain a good reputation is nothing new. Even before the digital age, companies faced the challenge of establishing a good name in the general public. With the explosion of social media, review sites like Google and Yelp and other online tools, it has become much easier for reputations to be negatively impacted. Following these three tips will help you to improve your efforts to manage your firm’s image.

1. Develop a Proactive Plan

Perhaps you believe that reputation management is simply a matter of responding to negative postings on social media pages and website review sites. While this is certainly part of managing your company’s image, there is much more to it. A thought-out strategy is required. While it’s important to be visible on the major social media applications, it’s essential to have the resources to manage these. The plan should include regular monitoring and responding to online reviews, both positive and negative.

2. Turn Potential Problems Into Opportunities

How you manage negative online reviews and complaints will either make or break your company’s reputation. If handled properly, negative digital publicity can be turned into an opportunity to enhance your image. Criticism in a review or social media post may have some validity. Listen to what is being said. Be thoughtful in your response. Doing so will enable you to address the user’s concerns and demonstrate your company is focused on customer satisfaction.  Even if you believe what is being stated about your company is blatantly false, getting into a back-and-forth discussion online can be damaging to your business. Acknowledging the individual’s concerns and kindly making arrangements to handle the complaint offline will send a positive message to other readers.

3. Invest Wisely

You may feel that your company has limited financial and staff resources to invest in an online reputation management program. With nearly everyone online all the time, failing to invest in managing your company’s’ digital image could prove costlier than the investment you make. Many digital tools can help you monitor your firm’s name online. Some of these tools are either free or inexpensive. If you do not have an employee with the time or knowledge to do this, some experts can do it for you, often for less than you may think.

Even doing a little when it comes to protecting your organization’s name is better than doing nothing. These tips will help you ensure a positive image.