May 4, 2019December 20, 2016 by Guest Author When it comes to the reputation of your business online, you only have one page to make a great impression. Most searchers on the web do not look any further than the first page, so that first look better be fantastic. Much of what a web search reveals can be shaped by personal branding efforts. Whether for a high profile person or a corporation, branding is the creation of content and interaction that establishes a distinctive image and style in the perception of the receivers of the branding message. From Branding to Reputation The information age has caused digital content to explode and the rise of portable digital devices has made access to that data easier than ever. This has made an impact in the role of branding. Now longer a stand-alone process, branding is the bedrock of identity, which now leads to reputation as the expression of that branding. A reputation that is consistent with personal or business branding is the strongest way to engender the trust of the people that are consuming digital content to find out about you or your business. The Pull of Digital The digital world online has an almost infinite amount of ways for your personal and company story to be told. Internet searches are a catalyst for finding information about your company and its reputation and discussing it with others around the world. This has encouraged the advent of the pull economy. Instead of pushing information out to the customer via commercials, now potential consumers of a product or persons interested in a public figure can pull information from the internet and react to it via social media outlets. Along with the many opportunities to tell your stories, there are an equal amount of possible liabilities to look out for on the internet. Along with so many formats for things to go right, your message can also strike a minor chord very quickly and negatively impact your reputation. A Reputation’s Many Facets What is your audience’s opinion of you? Your reputation has many facets and the good news is that you can stand to improve all areas with a coordinated effort. First of all, what impression do you or your business convey to the public? Displaying integrity by being honest even when it is not what people would like to hear will help your reputation in the long run as someone who tells it like it is. Do your customers and online followers feel like you are engaged? Being engaged in the communities where your company is located will not only generate good will for your corporation, it makes for great online content on the company website and blogs. Engagement in the digital sphere is successful when there are timely and authentic replies to questions and comments in social media. Ethical communication is another must for making the best impression you can online. Make sure communications staff are trained to ditch stereotypes and refrain from language that could be misconstrued as offensive. Promote a friendly yet professional tone in communications with zero tolerance for hateful speech from others. The display of integrity, ethics, and engagement does not mean much without the backbone of consistency. This is the most important aspect that reinforces all other areas of reputation management. Emphasis needs to be on consistency from dedicated professionals that coordinate with multiple company departments to make sure the message of the company stays on point while responding to individual comments and concerns. A Coordinated Effort Startups have the same shot as an established Fortune 500 company at making a good impression that develops into a great reputation. Consumers of information and products have taken their place at the digital table alongside corporate CEOs and multinational businesses. Marketing and customer service need to work together in this new pull economy so that efforts are coordinated and a consistent message is produced in reaction to customer engagement. The branding effort must extend from on-point website and blog content and reach out into social media forums. Adjust online search results The ultimate way to cultivate a coordinated and consistent message through the internet is to adjust online search results through the power of search engine optimized content. The Reputation Defender LinkedIn page explains that each individual and business needs an individualized strategy to boost their reputation and communicate that online with the best search results possible. From SEO content that focuses on positive facts and accomplishments of a person or a business to lessening the impact of negative content, a reputable image is promoted online. Online privacy is also another element to consider to make sure any malicious activities that would tamper with reputation are stopped. Online reputation management is a necessity in the new pull economy. Companies, as well as individuals, need to examine their current image online and pull out all the stops to craft a stellar online reputation.