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Managing Your Online Reputation and How a Virtual Assistant Can Help

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Your customers are talking about you and you need to know what they’re saying, as Mashable insists. These aren’t pioneer days when word traveled slowly by the Pony Express. In the Internet age, someone can post a complaint online and millions of people will see it in minutes. These opinions influence others. Therefore, managing your online reputation is a crucial task. It’s also time-consuming. Many businesses are hiring virtual assistants to handle it. Here are 3 reasons why you need to control your online reputation and how a Virtual Assistant can help you:

1. Your Online Reputation is as Important as Your Real-World Reputation

In the real world, people might complain about a specific company to other people, or write letters to the editor of a media outlet, and word will eventually spread to avoid that business. The same is true online. If your company gets a bad reputation from people posting bad reviews on the Internet or complaints in forums, you may find yourself with a dwindling number of customers.

There are a lot of places online where people can complain. Looking for those complaints using Google and services like Reputation.com can be a full-time job. If you hire a virtual assistant for reputation management, just task him or her with finding negative information about your business online. Reputation.com’s Twitter page offers tips and advice to help guide your assistant through the process. That’s one less thing for you to do to make your company successful.

2. Make Sure You’re the One Defining Your Company Online

In most cases, online complaints are the result of only a very small percentage of customers. However, they are the ones speaking up the loudest and people are listening. Plenty of other customers have probably had a perfectly wonderful experience with your business, but their voices aren’t being heard. By taking control of your online reputation, you are defining your company and not allowing others to do it for you.

American Express recently conducted a survey and found that 40 percent of Australian consumers found consumer reviews helpful in terms of gauging a company’s customer service, according to Queensland Government’s Business page. Part of the job of your virtual assistant should be to try to get negative information about your company removed from sites where it appears. He or she should contact the owners of those sites, ask that the negative information be removed, and explain why this should be done. Sometimes it will work, but it will cost money, and there are occasions where the site will not remove the information. However, your virtual assistant can make a big dent in the negative information out there by getting some of it removed simply by asking. This lets you have more control over how your company is defined online.

3. Make Sure People Only See the Best About Your Business

If you do a Google search for your company and come up with a big list of sites with complaints, you need to get that changed. Seventy-five percent of people never go beyond the top 10 search results on a search engine, according to Search Engine Land, and if your company has 10 sites with complaints on them in those positions, people probably won’t see anything good that’s on additional pages. Your virtual assistant can fix this by posting good reviews of your company in any and every place possible, and can even create new websites just to say good things about your business. They will use your company’s keywords to make sure those sites get into the top 10. This way, bad information will move off of the top 10 and people searching for your company will only see the good things. This is one of the best ways to create a good online reputation for your company after a PR disaster or a spate of bad reviews. Taking control like this creates a new reputation that will make your company shine.

Author’s Bio

Andy Wallace: Andy writes for various blogs on diverse topics.
Posted on December 4th, 2013 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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