Your online reputation is important. It’s how your customers view you, talk about you, and think of you. Now more than ever, online reputation management is crucial to the success of your business.
What is online reputation management?
Reputation Management or ORM (Online Reputation Management) refers to the monitoring of the reputation of an individual or brand online.
In 2017 it was reported that 97% of consumers read online reviews when considering a purchase or decision and 85% of consumers trust online reviews today. Therefore, it’s critical that you protect your online reputation.
Thanks to the Internet, businesses are unable to hide from their customers’ opinions. We are constantly connected. We carry our smartphones in our pockets. There’s an app for everything. We use them to communicate. Find locations. Gather information. And to find businesses we are interested in using to learn about the experiences others may have had there. You can read and write an online review anywhere at anytime.
So how do you manage your online reputation? How do you track reviews? Respond to reviews? Here are our best tips for managing your online reputation.
Have a Plan
Don’t start online reputation management without a game plan. Brainstorm. Write it down. Share it with your colleagues and make sure everyone is on the same page. You don’t want different employees handling your online reputation differently. Find out what review sites you’re on. Monitor those sites. Have a point person who takes care of all of this. In the end you’ll be thankful you prepared yourself.
Be Active on Social Media
Having an active social media presence helps you in Google’s rankings. Meaning, when someone searches your company online, they will first see your active social networks and then are more likely to look for information there. So keep your content fresh and stick to an active social media strategy.
Write a Blog
Blog about your industry and maybe even become a thought leader. Just show people what you do and how you do it. A blog gives you and your business a platform to generate and share ideas with customers, potential customers, and perhaps your peers.
You need to be on top of what people are saying about you. Take the time to monitor your reviews on major platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Think about investing in a online review monitoring software such as Review Trackers. Review Trackers allows you to keep track of your customers’ reviews across more than 80 sites and sources. What does it do? It collects all of your reviews in one place and sends email reports to keep you up-to-date. It even allows you to track the performance of multiple locations and can set up alerts to be notified immediately when a new review pops up.
Ask for Reviews
Did a customer rave about a positive experience in person? Why not ask them to leave a review online? Unhappy customers are more likely to share their experiences, so make sure you ask satisfied customers to leave a review for your business.
Help your employees commit to asking for feedback and reviews. Make sure they are listening for areas of improvement. Everyone in the company needs to be on the same page, from top to bottom.
Interact with people who take the time to leave a review online of your business. Respond to positive reviews by thanking them, but don’t let the negative reviews get you down. What’s important is to handle those reviews correctly. Be courteous, apologize when appropriate, and get in touch with the customer directly to resolve the issue if possible.
So what are some quick takeaways?
- Use social channels to listen to consumers
- Act immediately
- Maintain communication and engage in conversation
- Be prepared for positive and negative reviews
What tools and practices are you using to improve and monitor your online reputation? Let us know in the comments below.