If someone were to offer to buy you a cellphone, which brand would you prefer? Given a choice of Gtel, Itel, Samsung, Huawei or Apple, which one would you pick? Even when all the brands may be offering the same specs, I think your guess will be as good as mine. You would pick Apple of course! Why? Because of the online reputation it has created consistently over the years, you have come to TRUST the brand.
This is how important online reputation is to your business. Let alone in Zimbabwe where there has been a rise in small businesses competing for the same market. You have to make your brand stand out.
A solid online reputation is one of the greatest marketing assets you can have in Zimbabwe. It can help you increase sales, profits, customer loyalty and trust. The key is in understanding the online tools at your disposal to effectively build your reputation.
“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they will do business with you.” Zig Ziglar
Here are a few tips that can build you build a solid reputation online.
In the 21st century digital world, a website is a necessity for your business to grow and build an online reputation. A website helps you establish credibility as a business, whether large or small. If you do not have a website, potential customers will assume that you are a small time company that does not take their business seriously. Therefore, the first step in establishing a good reputation online is to create a website. One that advertises your business/services to your target market. Not many small businesses have websites in Zimbabwe and having one sets you apart from your competition.
The Zimbabwean market has a difficult consumer base that expects a certain level of seriousness in the content they consume. Especially if you are expecting them to eventually convert into paying customers. Creating exciting content helps you connect emotionally with your business prospects. Humans are social animals and they love engaging stories. Use stories to connect with your prospects. As is aptly said in Shona and Ndebele, ‘Vanhu Vanoda Nyaya’, ‘Abantu Bathandi Ndaba’.
This will help you build your reputation in Zimbabwe, because stories attract many people. The creation of engaging and interesting content increases your online following and page ratings which increases your popularity.
People love to associate with a business/service that has lots of positive reviews. Thanks to reviews, marketing has been made a lot easier for you. People TRUST what other people say about your business more than what you say. In short, a review is more credible than an advert.
If you can convince 10 people who had fantastic experiences to leave reviews, your overall online reputation would flourish and more consumers would be interested in your services. No matter how good you are, you will get a negative review once in a while.
Negative reviews should not be ignored but should help you adjust and improve. Read all the comments and reviews, it allows you to monitor your online reputation regularly
. Check and maintain your profiles on various review platforms and publish them to your website.
Personalised emails like [email protected]
help you generate credibility. Using Yahoo or Gmail accounts make you look dubious and less serious. It’s easier to attract international clients if you use personalised emails. Techtribe Inc offers low priced personalised email services to small businesses in Zimbabwe.
Use the steps given above to build your reputation online. However if you are too busy in production and improving your service offerings, engage a credible reputation management company to do it for you.