Over the past 20 years, the Internet has significantly changed how business is conducted throughout the world. But at least one element has remained consistent through two decades - company reputation, and importance of your professional standing.
Before the Internet, a company's reputation relied almost entirely on word-of-mouth recommendations, surveys, and consumer data, but in the age of the Internet, all of that takes place online in the form of reviews.
As you'll see in the infographic below, courtesy of WebpageFX, online reviews are now crucial to a business's long-term well-being - with more than 90% of consumers now looking at online reviews before they buy from a company.
So what does that mean for you?
In a nutshell, you could be losing 90% of your potential customers because a few people gave you bad reviews on Google, Yelp, or Facebook.
This is why you need reputation management.
Reputation management is the process of taking your online reputation into your own hands. With it, you keep a handle on how the public views your company, utilizing strategies to help manage and maintain such measures.
The tools at your disposal include creating content, engaging users on social media, replying to negative reviews on external websites, and much more.
Beyond that, you should also demonstrate that you care about the feedback you receive online - this can go a long way for potential customers, especially when they see that you go out of your way to thank customers who say nice things about your business.
If you're not actively maintaining your online reputation, the infographic below will give you all the reasons in the world to start.
This post originally appeared on Irfan Ahmad's blog.