There are a lot of things landscaping businesses have to manage. Supplies, advertising, employees, billing, and taxes to name a few.
It’s easy to forget one of the most important: managing your online reputation.
85% of potential customers use the internet to do company research before purchasing a product or service.
People look at social media, websites, reviews, and ratings before they do business with a company. Businesses with good online presences grow while businesses with bad reviews soon go out of business.
This article will show you how to manage your online reputation by using social media, reviews, and your customers.
Managing Your Online Reputation with Social Media
It can be a lot of work to use social media to market your service, but it can help a lot in managing your online reputation.
First, you want to have some kind of presence on a social media site. You can use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or many other sites. The important thing is to use something.
With that said, you want to check all social media sites often whether you have an account on them or not. You need to see what people are saying about your company and your work.
Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, if people are sharing photos of your workers’ trucks double-parked downtown, you need to know about it and address it! People can damage your online reputation without you even knowing it if you’re not paying attention.
This might be a little overwhelming. How can you possibly manage all the social media sites out there? Don’t freak out; we are here to help with our Review Monitoring service. Monitor and respond to all reviews from all sites and all customers at any time, from anywhere.
If it’s a positive comment or tweet, you can thank the person and share it yourself. If it’s a negative comment or tweet, you can address the issue and know where your problems lie.
So to recap, have a strong presence on a few social media sites and monitor as many social media sites as you can.
As a business manager, you know how important customer relations are. If you get a phone call and don’t respond for a week, what’s going to happen? You’ll probably lose the customer.
Managing your online reputation is the same. People post about your work and leave comments on your page. Whether the comments are positive or negative, you have to respond to these quickly.
Even if you don’t have the time to give a full response or explanation, at least acknowledge that a comment was made.
Interacting with your clients and future customers online can build great relationships with your company. Or it can make people think you’re too busy to pay them any attention.
Register Your Name
While it seems a little silly, it is important to have accounts and domains in your company’s name. You may never use a Pinterest or Instagram account, but someone else could decide to set one up using your name.
Just imagine all the damage that could be done if an angry customer creates a false account in your name!
It’s best to make sure that doesn’t happen, and create accounts with social media and review sites. Try to use the same account name with each site for consistency and to make your life a little easier.
You might feel overwhelmed with all these new accounts. If you’re busy overseeing a business, don’t overwhelm yourself with posting on all of them. Pick one or two that you can manage well, and do a good job of monitoring them.
With your other accounts, just keep them open. If you need to, you can use them to address problems or concerns. Otherwise, you’re making sure no one mis-uses your company’s name.
These days many people don’t even go to a business’s website before checking their Google or Yelp reviews. Your business can be made or killed by these reviews.
Ask your customers to leave you reviews about your work. Obviously, don’t ask your customers who have complaints, but you probably have plenty of clients who are willing to say nice things about your business.
Even if your customers don’t have the time to write a review, encourage them to take a minute to leave you four or five stars.
Keep in mind though, if you’re having trouble encouraging people to review your business, do not “incentivize” your reviews. Ask away, but don’t give them rewards or incentives of any sort. It’s illegal.
Even if you have to put in extra work to get reviews, this will go a long way in managing your online reputation.
Customers as Advocates
Don’t be afraid to use your former clients as advocates. Ask them if you can use pictures of your work on their homes on your Facebook page. Invite them to like the photos and post comments about your work.
Your employees can also do this too. Have your workers post photos of them planting a tree or repairing a lawn. This can also be a way to market the eco-friendliness of your business!
If you make a mistake, don’t try to cover it up. Your customers are online and are tech savvy. Any lie you make up will soon be proven wrong.
The best way to handle a mistake or error is to admit it, apologize, and move on. This shows that you are an ethical business that doesn’t stoop to insults or blame games.
It can be tempting to just delete bad or negative comments, but this is a chance to show your company’s integrity. Address the complaint, apologize if necessary, then move on. Your future customers will appreciate your maturity.
Now that you know a few ways to keep your company safe by managing your online reputation, it’s time to keep going. Check out this article on using social media to build your business.
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