How to Manage Your Brand Online

Whether you run a small business or a Fortune 500 company, brand is massively important. Just as you look for integrity and a good reputation in your candidates, they consult online resources and their own networks to assess your standing, and will very likely look elsewhere if they find something they don’t like. Studies show, in fact, that a company which receives one single negative article or review on the first page of a Google search risks a 22% loss of business.

So how can you wrest control of the digital narrative that plays such a large role in the success—or failure—of your effectiveness at recruiting? There are a few practical aspects to managing your profiles that can help better position you on job listing boards like Indeed, as well as business review sites like Glassdoor. But it’s also important to take proactive steps that enable you to drive your own press, enlist satisfied clients to help promote your positives, and position your business to succeed.

Manage your online profile

The first thing to understand about online services like Indeed and Glassdoor is that your company can appear there without any notification or warning. All it takes is for a user to submit a review good or bad, and there you are in a potential search result. It’s incumbent on you to seek out and claim your profile on these sites. It’s quite easy to do (both sites have easy-to-find instructions online for business owners on how to claim and manage their profiles), and you will find numerous tools are available to enhance what users see about you and your company. Add text, photos, and videos to better tell your story, and give your would-be candidates insight into what you stand for and how you can help. Indeed even offers the ability to integrate your company’s career page with an iFrame right in their user interface. Don’t have a profile yet? Create one yourself, and curate a page that puts you in a strong position right off the bat.

Once you have taken control of your profile, you will have the ability to respond to negative feedback that might already be there. The key here is not to be defensive. Your tone should be respectful, but also firm. Don’t accuse the poster of bias (even if it legitimately exists), but instead cite counterexamples and use data to tell your side of the story. Your engagement alone is often enough to counteract a negative review, as it shows you care enough to set the record straight. A carefully managed attitude in your response, especially when dealing with a review full of emotion, can make your company seem like the more reasonable and trustworthy party.

Finally, get strategic about soliciting positive feedback from your employees. The fact of the matter is that people are much more likely to go onto a review site to complain rather than compliment. So offset that with a strategy to deliberately cultivate happy employees. Be aware of moments in which they might be especially predisposed to say good things about you.

Brand is brand

Happily, prospects are not just using aggregators and review services to learn about your company. Commit to staying on top of what is said about you and your company online and generate a constant stream of self-marketing to help control and enhance your brand. Here are some tried-and-true methods to make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your online presence healthy:

  • Embrace social media. You know what shows up on a Google search page even higher than Glassdoor? Your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/etc profile. Get active on the platform that makes the most sense for your business objectives and audience, and stay on it with updates and information that keep your users engaged with the stories you want to tell.
  • Watch your Google results. Speaking of Google (and you might also look at other search engines just to be sure), make regular self-Googling a matter of course, so you can react quickly and effectively to any new mentions.
  • Create your own content. A steady stream of good, quality content that is broadly useful to possible candidates, promoted via good keywording and maybe a small investment in search optimization, is the ultimate way to control your own narrative. If you can build your own credibility and communicate effectively with your candidates, a bad online review is already rendered less believable by default.
  • Don’t forget about the real world. It’s easy to get caught up in the online universe and not do enough to get out and about. Attend conferences, host seminars, have lunch with colleagues, and put your engagement out there for people to see in real time.