If you are in the process of starting a new business, even if you have not yet opened your doors to the public, the time to start managing your online reputation is now. In fact, getting started with reputation management prior to your first official day of business offers a distinct advantage over initiating a campaign after weeks or months in business in that it eliminates the potential of having to deal with negative reviews, commentary or dissenting opinion relating to your business.
There are several forms of reputation management-related content that can be created prior to your opening including:
- Press releases – The variety of topics that can be covered in a press release is limited only by the requirement that it has to be in a “news” format and that it should communicate a newsworthy event. For a new business, potential topics could include the selection of a location, groundbreaking, the anticipated date of opening, the date of the grand opening, etc.
- A blog – Creating a blog provides an opportunity to familiarize your local market with your business on a more informal level. You can also use your blog to point readers toward other businesses in the area that you respect as a great way to open the potential for cross referrals once your doors are open.
- Informative content – Publishing content that informs readers about your product can help to increase anticipation for your opening and build your reputation as an authority in your area of business.
- A social media presence – Your social media pages can also help to build your business’ profile even if they start out as channels to raise awareness of your press releases, your blog, and your published content.
Starting your online reputation management prior to opening can give your business a great head-start with your prospective customers. As an added bonus, by optimizing the content you develop, your web pages can start moving toward the top of search engine rankings before you make your first sale.