Online Reputation and the Importance of Being Genuine

Customers today are very savvy. The advertisements from yesteryear do not have any effect on most people when it comes to making choices to do business with a company or to buy a product. Instead, people are interested in the relationship they will have with the business. Customers want to know that the company is more than just a faceless entity. Blogs and a social media presence certainly help with this. However, people are tired of corporate speak. They want to see the genuineness of the company and the people who are behind it. No longer can companies simply be faceless entities without personality.

This is a double-edged sword though. You want to stay within your branding message, while still providing a real and genuine experience for those who read the blog and who are part of your social media network. Having personality is great, and it can create a better relationship with customers. You have to walk a fine line between being too personal and too stiff, and it is one that many companies are struggling with today.

Naturally, this can cause issues with your online reputation. If you become too transparent, the things you talk about on social media or write about on your blog could come back to haunt you. Think of the web as an extension of meeting a customer in person for the first time in a brick and mortar business. You would not talk to the customer about religion, politics, or sex in the vast majority of the cases! You shouldn’t talk about those things online either. Be genuine about your company, what you offer, and how you can help your customers. That is what people want! They do not need to know how you vote.

Consider the issues that companies such as Chick-fil-A and Papa John’s have had over the past few years when they come out and weigh in on politics. The social media backlash can sting, and really, politics has no place in pizza or chicken. Think about what you are writing in your social media posts, and if you ever feel that maybe you shouldn’t say something make sure to listen to that little inner voice. Your company will be better off for it.

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