This article will go over the basics of reputation management, including online reviews and your online reputation. There are many reasons as to why it may be in your best interest to get started on your reputation management journey and here is the best place to start.
What is Reputation Management?
Every interaction your company has with its audience can affect how people see who your company is, for better or worse. It’s incredibly important to manage your reputation to protect you and your company’s image. Reputation is what other people think about you and your brand. It’s based mainly on how your brand is portrayed online rather than first-hand experience. The practice of reputation management is the effort to influence and control an individual or group’s reputation, or how people think of a brand or person.
Why might you need reputation management?
There are a variety of reasons you may need a brand manager. Part of our existences as companies and people are found online. We may have past posts or past histories online that no longer represent who you may be today. Negative reviews of your person or business can be damaging to your future. In comes management reputation which can hide and discard negative search results that can inhibit today’s success.
No matter what your business is, people can find you and your company online. Your own identity is almost like your own brand. If you don’t take charge of your own brand, someone else can and tarnish what you represent. You may have some unsavory history that shows up first when someone Googles your name. Or, your company may have a string of bad reviews or bad press during a difficult time. It’s possible to hide this content from your audience.
Why can’t I do it on my own?
If you’re thinking about beginning the process to manage you or your business’ online reputation, you may also be wondering if you could handle this on your own. The truth is, a successful online reputation management journey must be handled by the experts. There may be a lot of advice out there to start the process, but nothing beats or meets the years of experience and technical skills of someone who completes these tasks every day.
With this is mind, there are some key aspects you will want to focus on when managing your business’s online reputation. For one, designing your business’s reputation management strategy can be intimidating. With your reputation at stake, your reputation management strategy should be planned carefully. There are a handful of areas to direct your attention to, two of which we will address in this article, including online review management and online reputation management.
Online Review Management
There may have been a point in your business history that you have had a few unhappy customers that have left scathing reviews about your products and services. Now, every time a potential customer looks you up, they face those unhappy reviews. Bad reviews can have a lasting negative effect on your business so it’s essential to address those reviews.
Online review management is the process of “taking care” of bad reviews. It’s the process of monitoring, analyzing, responding to, and potentially even generating positive reviews across multiple online review websites. Let’s be real, a business relies on reviews to be successful. Research found that 72 percent of prospective customers will not take action before they read reviews. That’s why it is crucial to have not only good reviews for what your company and brand has to offer, but a good amount of reviews, too. So what can be done?
Put reviews in plain sight
You may want to consider placing your reviews in a pretty visible place. Consider placing reviews for specific products or services right on that page. You can even add an entirely separate page for testimonials that show how great your brand can be. Make sure that every review works for your site, brand, and products.
Consider getting on the same platforms that your customers are already on. Use social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get in touch with your consumers. With an easy access line like this, it is much easier for customers to reach out to your brand with questions and comments. Do not forget to also include Yelp and Google Places so that customers can find you through these services as well as comment on your profiles.
Follow up with your customers with a quick email after they have made a purchase. Not only does it show that you care about their experience, but you’re also more likely to get a review with a purchase still fresh in their minds. You can even automate this process. In order to get the best answer, ask the right kinds of questions. You’ll first need to decide what kind of answers you are looking for. Your questions should provoke answers in the form of meaningful testimonials.
Respond to Reviews Online
Success for your online business starts with being a responsive business. If you notice a glowing review, reach out and thank them for their business. You can also ask permission to share their review on your website and social media platforms. Be sure to even respond to your negative reviews. You may just want to ignore these reviews and sweep them under the rug but it’s essential to address it and try to fix the problem. The problem won’t just go away on its own. Take a negative review as an opportunity to learn from your customers to then improve your business.
Use your reviews in the right way
Let’s say you have a handle of positive reviews that really show the best parts of the products and services of your brand. Reviews have a big impact on whether someone will buy what you’re offering. People rely on other people trying out what you have to offer before they want to risk it themselves. That’s why not only can you use reviews to help boost the amount of business you receive, but you can also use them to help your site to rank higher in SERP. The more reviews you have will help bolster your online presence.
Successful online review management can truly change your business for the better. If done correctly, you will be able to attract customers instead of driving them away. Keep in mind that once you have a ton of reviews, your negative or poor reviews will be much less noticeable. The key part of online review management is your ability to engage with the customer. Listen to what they have to say about your business and show them appreciation for taking the time to give their feedback. With the right approach and perhaps some help from the experts, you can use your reviews to strengthen your online presence.
Online Reputation Management
A wide amount of communication takes place online. Not only do we speak with our friends and acquaintances, we also discover new businesses and learn about new information. We consume so much content online and come to an immeasurable number of conclusions. It does make sense, then, that most of the reputation management services are done online.
97% of business owners say online reputation management is important, according to a Forbes’ study. It is becoming increasingly important to maintain a positive online presence. What your audience sees of you and your brand online can (and most likely will) determine how they interact with it.
What can an online manager do for you?
Exactly what can an online reputation manager do for you? There may have been a point where your brand was not meeting certain standards and your reputation may be at stake. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to erase everything you dislike about your online presence. The good news is that once it’s off the first page of Google, it becomes almost completely irrelevant to those who search you up. Think of the last time you clicked to the second page of Google. It’s probably been a while, if ever. Online reputation managers work to hide the things on the internet that don’t show the best of your brand.
An online reputation manager can help you and your company develop a strategy for your online presence. This strategy is basically a plan to uphold your brand image across multiple online platforms and throughout commonly used search engines. This strategy will most-likely include the handful of ways there are to manage a brand’s reputation. This can include:
- Online PR management
- Social Mentions Monitoring
- Negative Content Filtering
- Negative Content removal
There is no such thing as ‘absolute control’ over your online identity. It is impossible to curate your online persona for your business or as you as an individual exactly. Yet, there are ways to make sure that your brand is seen in the best light possible. Reputations need tending. The good news is that there are several ways to improve an online reputation.
Even if you or your company is not currently facing a problem, it can actually be very beneficial to look into managing your reputation. Taking charge of your reputation proactively can save you money and any potentially unsavory online situations that stick around. Think about being proactive rather than reactive for your online presence. Be in front of the problem.
Reputation Management is Key to your Company’s Success
Don’t let the fear of incurring the web’s wrath inhibit the usefulness of the internet. There are a ton of reasons to go ahead and get yourself and your company on all different kinds of platforms online. If you are thinking about hiring a management reputation service, don’t wait until it is too late. Get in touch with an expert now!