You can spend years building up a good online reputation only to have it ruined within a few hours.

Bad press spreads fast, and even if you are not a high-profile company, it is entirely possible to lose sales over a few bad reviews. The point is, when the public finds a reason to not trust a company, they find what they need elsewhere.

Whether you are building a personal brand or a corporate one, here are a few tips to building your online reputation.

Know Your Audience

If you’ve ever read The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott, you would have read about preparing buyer personas for target demographics. This involves coming up with not just who you’re targeting, but why, how, and with what techniques. Unless you know who your audience is, you won’t be able to find them and talk to them directly. When you know your audience and meet them where they are, they will listen, respond, and interact with your brand.

Do Your Research

In a similar vein, hitting the online books can help you maintain an honest image, because you’re supporting your content with facts, statistics, and sources. If you look at your article and it is lacking any sort of backup, you might be doing something wrong in terms of your quality content. Shareable content needs shareable qualities.

Make Yourself Visible

When it comes to online reputation, visibility is part of that equation in a big way. The more someone sees your brand, the more they’ll trust it. This might include having a presence on social media or utilizing SEO tactics to move up in ranking. According to research from, SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation for B2B companies. 59% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead gen goals, followed by social media (21%) and pay per click (20%). Not surprisingly, 98% of B2B marketers plan to maintain or increase SEO budgets next year.

Edit Your Content

A trustworthy brand needs to be clean of mistakes. Read it out loud. Show it to someone before you post. But CHECK it. It shows attention to detail and a dedication to presenting your brand in the best light possible. This includes facts and statistics as well as basic grammar.

Respect the Webspace

The Internet is a sensitive place, where information is taken in multiple ways and where it is very easy to share the good, the bad, and the downright terrible. For this reason, it is important to be respectful of this space, which means you should not limit what you say, but be mindful that people are reading your words, watching your videos, and that occasionally you’ll get a response you don’t like. Don’t react negatively to criticism. Identify the source and learn to understand the reasons for the commentary. It takes a respectful brand to identify how to interact online.

Show Your Self

Building brand trust involves not only transparency on the part of your goals and missions as a company, but giving your company a face and a voice. Create a Meet the Team page to show who runs your company. Give your opinions on current events via blog posts and newsletters. The more your customer can learn about you, the more likely they’ll want to promote your brand.

Engage Your Customers

This particular step is significant because it involves the most important part of the online reputation equation, and this means reaching out to your customer. Using social media is a great way to talk directly to your clients, consumers, and potential partners. If someone asks a valid question, answer it. You should be interacting directly on various forums.

All of these tips are a great way to get started on having a better online reputation. For more tips and help on building your brand, contact SEO Brand for more information.