Do you know what people are saying about you online? Did you know that one negative tweet or Facebook post have the potential to make your business loose close to a hundred customers? Here’s an article I found on with 4 online reputation management tips you should follow.

Online reputation management is a relatively broad definition. It could mean anything from establishing a good reputation, keeping a good reputation or getting rid of a bad one. If people have the wrong impression of your company, they will not buy from you and you will not make money.

Your reputation is everything. If you want to have a good name among other customers and leads, here are 4 tips to help:

1. Respond to criticism
Nobody is immune to criticism. It can and does happen to every business. The key is how you handle it.First of all, do not ignore it. The best way to find complaints about your business is to type in your business name+reviews. If you find negative reviews about your firm, make sure you respond.

The best way to answer a critic is to offer them something for free. Do everything you can to make it up to them. This will not only turn around their opinion of you, but it will also show other visitors to the site that you care what they think.

The most important thing is to avoid arguing with the customer. This does more harm than good. If you absolutely cannot resolve something peacefully (some people just like to argue) than move on.

2. Go to niche forums
Getting involved in forums related to your niche is a great way to establish your reputation as an expert. This way, you can answer people’s questions and show that you know what you are talking about.

3. Start a blog
Almost any business could benefit from having a blog. This allows you to provide useful free information to your leads and customers, and also to get in a conversation with the marketplace. The reason is that you can allow comments on your blog. If someone comes to the blog and leaves a comment, you just have to respond and answer their question. This can help you gain their trust and brand yourself as an expert to visitors.

The best thing about a blog is that you can get ranked for many keywords related to your niche. This can help bring in free traffic to your site, and thus get you more customers.

4. Submit articles to directories
Article marketing is a very effective way to show people you are an expert in your niche. It can also help you with SEO, because you get a link from a quality article directory.

Online reputation management can make or break your business. If you have a good reputation, people will recommend your product or service. If you have a bad reputation, they will drive others away. Use these 4 guidelines and you should see results shortly.