Taking Control of Your Business’s Reputation

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Your business’s reputation goes hand in hand with your sales, especially when it comes down to a customer choosing between different companies. A business with a good reputation has lots of positive reviews, mentions on social media, and is in good standing with the world.

Often, it feels like your reputation is in the hands of customers, and there is little you can do to sway them, but worry not! It is possible to seize control of your reputation and let people see your business in the best light possible.

Customer Support and Social Media: Friends Forever

It’s very unlikely that whoever runs your social media accounts is the same person in charge of customer support, but they need to work together, as close as coworkers can be. Their jobs are so extremely similar. It’s all about pleasing customers, current or potential, and helping them out. Often though, there is a disconnect between the two and their customer interactions.

It’s important these two work together to ensure customers get the help they need. A customer, unsure where to get help, might reach out on Twitter or Facebook for help. Obviously, this is their preferred method to contact you, yet so often social media reps tell them to send an email or call customer support. Customers feel pushed off, with many dreading dealing with customer support. Instead, the social media worker and customer support work together and solve their problem to ensure a seamless experience for the customer.

As more people see you actively solving problems, they’ll view your business as one that cares about customers and goes out of their way to accommodate them. Plus, positive customer experiences can only encourage recommendations and valuable word of mouth.

Marketing Like A PR Firm

How you present yourself on your site is important to a good reputation, but how other sites view you is just as important. Many think of PR as what you do when something goes wrong, like a corporate scandal. They’re the cleanup crew for big mistakes, but that isn’t the best approach. PR should be a normal part of your marketing plan, with you actively reaching out to news sources on a regular basis.

A big part of PR for small business is doing something worthwhile of attention. Unless your business is shaking up your industry on a daily basis, you need to do something huge. Depending on who you want to attract and your target news sources will guide the type of event. Looking for local attention? Host an event or charity to support a local cause and tell them about it. Want to be featured in industry news sites? Conduct highly valuable research and contact the sites about it. If it is truly valuable, they’ll want to cover it.

To measure how effective a PR strategy is, dip into your analytics and interview people. Pure data can tell you if you are capturing the interest of people, but won’t inform you how they feel about you. Surveying and interviewing consumers about how they feel about your business is the best way to gauge your effectiveness.

Preventing Negative Reviews

There are a lot of resources about resolving or mitigating negative reviews online. Most give advice like “respond to their comment, be professional, offer to fix it, and tell your side of the story.” This advice isn’t bad, but it only works if you’ve already gotten a bad review. Instead of playing clean up, you should try to prevent it.

The first step to this is being extremely clear and transparent in your marketing. Over promising on your product can lead to disappointed customers and a slew of bad reviews. Your marketing should give an accurate representation of the benefits of your product and business.

If you can predict a mistake or catch it before the customer can, giving them warning can mitigate a lot of negativity. On an individual basis, an email or phone call would be enough to let them know and cover your bases. If your mistake has a larger effect, a post on social media and a mass email warning them will be perfect. As you catch the mistake, give something to placate them and fix it as quick as possible.

Being Trustworthy

People prefer to do business with people they can trust, and your reputation goes hand in hand with being trustworthy. To build that trust, gather up customer testimonials and put them on your site, especially next to key pages where consumers make decisions.

Additionally, building trust goes hand in hand with being personable. For a marketer, that means having content that isn’t overly complex or filled with sales lingo. Act with integrity, show that you are real people, and make their sales experience easy and enjoyable.

Being an Industry Expert

A major reason behind content marketing is to convince consumers your business is an industry expert. It’s an excellent strategy, but to truly improve your reputation, you need to become the leading expert.

A leading expert has two different jobs. They have to be up to date with everything happening in their field and be on the cutting edge. That way, when consumers ask, you are knowledgeable. The other job is to be pushing the boundaries of your industry. Be on the cutting edge of what you do and experiment.

Discovering a new approach or solution to a problem can put you in the limelight of your industry and concrete your business’s reputation as a leader and expert. This can be huge for your reputation and boost it to the next level.

What are you doing to boost your reputation? What are some key factors to having a healthy reputation that isn’t covered above? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ben is a freelance content creator and digital marketer who believes in helping small businesses succeed. He also specializes in writing about tech, education, and video games.

89 thoughts on “Taking Control of Your Business’s Reputation

  1. Fantastic list, Michael (and honoured to see Velocity on it).

    I guarantee that your name and B2B Markeitng Insider would be on the Top Ten list of all 20 of these. Thanks for putting so much into the B2B community.

  2. Great list Michael, and yes your blog should be on it but I’m sure humility prevented that. 🙂

    I would add Duct Tape Marketing (John Jantsch) to the list. While he’s not purely B2B, he does give great practical advise. His handle is @ducttape in case anyone wants to check him out.

  3. Congrats on three years of B2B Marketing Insider Michael! Thanks for including Marketo and the shout out. Truly flattered to be in such great company. I would also echo what Doug says above, B2B Marketing Insider is definitely on Marketo’s top ten list.

  4. Michael, thank you for the inclusion, awesome to be included by you and alongside a number of bloggers I admire and who have inspired me over the last almost two years of my blogging journey!

  5. Boo. Hiss. My blog didn’t make the list.

    No seriously… great list. Great idea. Great getting schooled by you Michael.

    [Consolation prize: I do contribute to a number of these great blogs.]

    P.S. Soon to have a webinar on B2Comm. Happy about that.

  6. FearlessCompetitor.com didn’t make the list (shucks) but you got some of my favorites. Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners UK deserves the props. And Jay Baer and Mark Schaefer were both guests on Marketing Made Simple TV (https://www.marketingmadesimple.tv) Congrats to everyone on the list!

  7. Michael, I’m thrilled to be included on your list with so many of my B2B marketing heroes. Thank you. All I can think of is the scene from Wayne’s World when they meet Alice Cooper, bow down and proclaim “We’re not worthy!!”

  8. Michael,

    Thanks for thinking of us when you compiled this awesome list. Being mentioned among this group of people I respect so much is a fantastic way to start the new year. I only wish the B2Bbloggers site was going to continue this year too. Jeremy Victor’s innovative and informative work with that site really helped me and I’m sure many, many other. Congrats to my fellow B2B Brainiacs and Maniacs on this list too!

  9. Great list. I always appreicate your insights and I follow many of the blogs you’ve included. I make some B2B digital marketing observations at my site, http://www.brianjoosse.com (the blog direct URL is e-motes.blogspot.com); have been really busy the last year so haven’t been as consistent as I’d like. At any rate, thanks again.

  10. Hi, Michael!
    Thanks so much for including Savvy B2B Marketing in this fabulous line up. Thrilled to be among such great company and to discover a few voices that are new to me.

    Love that there are so many dynamic and creative marketers talking about B2B these days!

  11. What a great list, Michael. I am relatively new B2B blogger and was very excited to see a lot of familiar faces on this list! I follow many of these, and actually have told Eric Wittlake that I consider him to be my online “mentor.”

    I’m glad you published this list and I hope a lot of people who are new on the B2B blogging scene will take your advice to heart and follow the people you listed above. They will certainly be learning from some of the best!

  12. Michael, thanks so much for including my B2B Marketing Traction Blog on your list. What an honor. My resolution for this coming year – interface more with my fellow B2B bloggers!

  13. Nice list Michael! I must admit that although I follow many of these and we are part of some of their posts, there are some new ones that I need to take a closer look at. Thanks for putting the time into this post!

    And in the spirit of self-promostion :-). .. . here’s our Tech Marketing blog’s link with our latest blog re: the Top 10 CMO Predictions for 2013: The CMO Becomes Master of Data. https://tinyurl.com/ajc8vzh

  14. Michael;
    Congratulations on achieving the recognition you have in just three short years (although I bet they didn’t feel short to you!). A great list – it has many of my favorite blogs on it.

    If I may be allowed a little self-promotion: our own blog has been selected as one of the best B2B marketing blogs on the net. I believe you may find the Social Media’s Magic Number post interesting:
    https://inbound-marketing-automation.ca/blog/2013/01/08/social-medias-magic-number/
    Thanks again for the great posts you produce and for the really good list.

  15. Thanks for the great list, Michael! It is my first comment on your blog. Since you are certain that you “missed some great B2B Marketing blogs”, I wanted to contribute a suggestion to add a great blog to your list. My colleagues and I (having nothing to do with marketing) have been following Dr. Emily Coleman’s Competitive Advantage Marketing blog for a while now, and I think it would make a great addition to your list: her intelligent and witty articles are a must-read! Please, take a look – and thank you!

    https://www.colemanmgt.com

  16. Thanks for sharing this collection of blogs. I hope they will all be as great as you have portrayed them to be!

  17. Thanks got the list! I have been looking for different blogs to read about B2B marketing and this helps. Can’t wait to check them out.

  18. Hi Michael, great list! How had I missed it before?

    Can I humbly suggest that you take a look at the EyeQuant blog? We’re really proud of our conversion-centred content and the way it’s gaining steam!

    blog.eyequant.com

  19. Hi Michael,
    Like they all say……… superb resource!
    http://www.infoquestcrm.co.uk is a site just for B2B customer satisfaction surveys (a bit niche!). There’s a blog which is a bit wider, but still only B2B (which is open to guest authors, by the way).
    There’s also useful stuff including a 12-page library of questions (for c-sat surveys) and a 10-point pre-survey checklist.
    Cheers
    John

  20. Hi Michael,

    nice article! I have learned some good strategies from a few of the resources listed already. My livelihood involves B2B Marketing in that I sell financial services for a commercial collections firm. I am always looking to connect with new clients, so building my online network is a necessity, thanks for the great share.

  21. Hi Michael, great list! We would love if you could include our B2B blog at http://www.healthcareitleaders.com/blog in your next list. We feature insight from our Chief Medical Officer, a former hospital administrator; our Chief Marketing Officer, a former VP of Marketing for Express Scripts and Priority Healthcare; and our popular “Meet the Recruiter” series, in which we get to know our consultant-facing advisers on a personal level. Thanks for a great piece!

  22. Michael, (I’m clearly late to the party)

    Thanks for the list. We now have a B2B Marketing blog that has great B2B material including two particularly popular areas:
    1) #BADMarketing,
    2) Podcasts of B2B Marketers

    If it’s not too late to submit ourselves for consideration, please add the Crimson Marketing Technology Blog.

    Thanks! Glenn Gow

  23. Thanks Michael! This is a really helpful list. Maybe, it sounds interesting to you that we have included your blog in our Top 18 B2B marketing strategy blogs list:

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141014121746-21696965-top-18-b2b-marketing-strategy-blogs

    Also, one can download “How To Do B2B Blogging- Secret Sauce for Growth Hackers and Marketers”:

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141110114622-21696965-how-brands-in-b2b-space-are-using-blogs

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