Managing Your Brand’s Reputation Online: Part 1

Get familiar with all aspects of your brand’s online reputation to put your business in the spotlight.
WestHost knows a lot about online businesses. Not only do we actively participate in the market, but we help thousands of small businesses set up online every year. When it comes to trading online much of the personal interaction brick and mortar stores may benefit from disappears, which makes managing your brand’s reputation even more important in the online sphere; we can stress enough just how important it is to be in touch with exactly how your business is viewed online.
Let’s take a moment first to review the basics that can set your brand up for success, while also going over some not-so-obvious points that can really help your business shine. In part one of this two-part series we will be covering social media and domains as a part of your marketing strategy. Be sure to watch for part two where we will cover email and blog content.  
Social Media
The internet pretty much allows everyone to see everything that is ever written about your brand. This can be a good thing and a bad thing, but the important thing to remember is that your business should have a strategy to promote the positive and curb the negative within your social media accounts. Many complaints can be easily dealt with if there is a kind and helpful response within a short amount of time, which is a huge positive for your business. Social media accounts allow your brand’s “personality” to shine, putting the personal touch to an otherwise entirely electronic brand/customer relationship.
Twitter and Facebook are a must-have for any marketing campaign, but also consider taking advantage of visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, which have a vast audience. Visual content is proving to be very valuable to brands across all industries, and it can help your brand stand out from  others who are not performing as well.
The most important role your business has on social media is to interact with anyone and everyone who shows an interest in you. Regular updates, interacting with a pleasant tone and a little bit of personality can help you build your social media circle. Many in-person events that may be useful to your business are also planned online to provide an opportunity to meet face to face.  
Social media isn’t the only tool for managing your online reputation you need to pay attention to, there are many other aspects that should be considered. A good rule to go by is that anything that your customers see in relation to your brand should be monitored and managed, including content from your website.
Your web address is the first impression that your website visitors get from you; it is a crucial part of any developing brand or reputation. It should be short, memorable, and easily recognized. The great part about domains is that you can have more than one. Depending on your industry and location, gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) should be considered as a part of your domain strategy. There are hundreds of alternate web address endings that can help your brand generate interest and recognition.  
Another important aspect to keep in mind when registering domain names for your business is to think defensively. If there are domain names floating around that could damage your reputation or mislead your website visitors, it is a good idea to register them for safekeeping. Domain squatters love to hunt out web addresses that have yet to be registered to attempt to slander or defame your brand. There are many high profile examples of this, and trust us – it’s not pretty.
These two aspects of managing your business reputation are only a part of the total portrait of your brand. Keep an eye on the WestHost blog for part two of this series, which covers email and blog content to perfect your healthy business reputation.

Let WestHost provide the tools you need for a shining online reputation.