What’s happening online can have a knock-on effect on your business, whatever industry you may be in. With this in mind, it’s important to be aware of your firm’s online presence, and manage it so that it reflects positively with potential clients.

But why should you care so much about your firm’s online reputation?

With increasing numbers of people using the internet to search for businesses and find answers to problems, if your accounting firm doesn’t have a presence online, it could be missing out on countless opportunities to make money and expand the business.

However, it’s not enough to just have an online presence; you can’t just exist there and expect for good things to happen overnight. Your online presence is what the majority of clients see before they even reach out to you, in fact, it may well determine whether they reach out to you or not.

Ideally, you should already be on popular social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, but above all, you must monitor and manage your online presence by responding to comments and reviews, and reaching out to potential clients in positive ways.  All it takes is for one negative review to be read (particularly one in which a member of the firm hasn’t responded to), and you could lose many potential customers.

While you can’t always control what people will write about you or your firm online, you can manage how you respond to it, and if you do it right, you could win back client trust.

To help you manage your firm’s online reputation, here are some helpful pointers:

  • Regularly check reviews

It takes just a few seconds to check whether anyone has left your firm a review, and by looking every day, you’re guaranteed never to miss responding to one. Whether positive or negative, an appropriate, polite but honest response, shows potential clients that you value their opinion, and that you take your business and the services you provide, seriously. And, once you’ve got a better idea of what people are saying about your firm online, you can formulate an effective plan to manage your reputation there.

  • Ask for feedback

For trusted clients (and even your employees), ask them to provide you with some feedback about their experience with your business (or of working for you), and whether there are any areas you might be able to improve upon. You can request them to respond to you privately, or better yet, online, where their comments and your responses, can be read by other prospective clients. Demonstrating a desire to better yourself and your business by listening to the opinion of others, helps to generate positivity, and acting on them can go even further.

  • Make good use of social media accounts

Nowadays, if you’re not making your presence known on social media, you’re likely to be missing out on vital audiences, many of whom could include potential clients. Be active on social media, respond to comments, and engage with your audience in a way that will encourage them to share your business with others, or better yet, become a client.

  • Don’t be discouraged

Every business has had a bad review at some point in its’ lifespan, but provided you respond to it appropriately and address the issue personally with the individual concerned, it could actually work in your favor.

Managing your online reputation is a vital aspect of running any modern business, whatever the industry. For a company to thrive and expand, it needs to be seen as one that engages with the public, learns from its mistakes, and most importantly, offers a valuable service that clients can benefit from.

Use your online presence to communicate with clients, demonstrate your abilities, and build up a lasting impression of a business that can be trusted to get the job done.