by Sarah Brooks
An individual or brand’s reputation is at the heart of prosperity, so successful entrepreneurs focus their efforts on generating a positive image. And since today’s flow of information relies on the Internet and mobile technology, it is especially important for startups to manage their online presence.
Building a reputation takes time, so an incremental approach to creating an online presence yields fruit in the long-run.
Dismantling a positive image, however, can be accomplished in an instant, so calculated steps lead to the best results for startups carving-out enduring presence on the Web. And while there are more places than ever to make a name for yourself online, the overwhelming volumes of information present online can be intimidating for startups establishing their niche.
Fortunately, social media provides vibrant forums for making an impression, so the infrastructure is already in-place for startups seeking positive brand recognition. Successful startups use these and other tactics to build a positive online reputation.
1. Participate Where it Counts
With the explosion of available social media alternatives, most organizations and individuals are hard-pressed to participate on each channel. As a result, refining your social media approach might mean selecting a few of the most beneficial platforms to highlight your presence, rather than spreading yourself too thin online. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn each have their own unique benefits, and even Pinterest and other specialty channels can help establish a visual identity for your brand. The key is to find the right balance and designate a member of your organization to take the lead on various sites.
2. Be Genuine
Participating online is more about building relationships than making sales pitches. Be authentic interacting with followers and friends on social media, and give fellow users a glimpse into your organization or personal brand. And remember that online interactions are a two-way street, so taking an interest in other users builds trust and curiosity about your brand.
3. Maintain a Blog
Blogging is about sharing information, but the practice also assists efforts to increase visibility on the web. Search rankings, for example, are influenced by content included in a blog. By tying your blog posts to developing news about your company or organization, it is possible to draw increased viewership through search engine returns. Linking from your blog to other relevant information also generates attention from Google and other search engines, provided connections are genuine and don’t intentionally manipulate search ranking returns.
4. Share Useful Information
Whether done through social media or a dedicated blog, offering useful information is a great way to connect with potential customers and other interested parties. To build a solid online reputation, strive to give more than you take, furnishing content that is helpful to readers. Too often, entrepreneurs wrapped-up in their own efforts fail to recognize the importance of providing content that goes beyond their own interests. Though sales may be the endgame, online resources furnish a roundabout way to building business, rather than direct hard-sell opportunities. If you do sell a product, for example, make sure to provide plenty of support online for users with questions about how it is used and maintained. Help them see how your goods and services add value to their lives.
5. Measure Your Words
It is important to be good-natured online, so potential customers associate happy feelings with your brand. And while connecting with readers is your goal, don’t become overly familiar as you share online. Measure humor, for example, to ensure your levity does not contain content others might find offensive. And focus on sharing positive outcomes associated with your goods and services, so viewers immediately relate to the benefits of your brand
Maintaining a positive reputation online is achieved with consistent participation that shares useful ideas. By staying positive online, startups generate interest and goodwill, which ultimately leads to sales.
This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from Freepeoplesearch.org. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com.