Online reputation management is an ongoing process to create and maintain your brand name and reputation online. To get anywhere in this modern world you need to have a presence online and it needs to be a positive one otherwise people may be turned away.
For online reputation management to work you will need to first build a digital public image. Start by making yourself known online, make sure you have decent websites set up and people know where to find you. If you have not done this already you should ensure that you do otherwise you are leaving a huge gap in your business and will be missing out.
Once you have set up your online presence, you will need to deploy strategies to improve and respond to online reviews that customers leave about your business. You should be constantly checking popular review sites such as Google My Business, Yelp and any other that come to mind to see what people are saying about you. You should make use of online reputation management software which can solicit reviews from customers and then distribute them to popular online review sites to make sure that as many people can see them as possible.
You should ensure that you always ask customers to leave online reviews about your business as research shows that people are more likely to do this if they are prompted to. You could do this via an automated Email that is sent to people who purchase your products. Promote positive reviews through multiple owned or paid channels, essentially share them on social media, your website, in adverts etc. so that word gets around.
Make sure that you respond to both positive and negative reviews to thank the customer for their feedback or to address any problems that may occur. You should always respond to negative reviews as it may seem like you don’t care about your customers if you don’t and this isn’t a good image for your brand. Be respectful, address the problem and try to find the best solution.
Having negative reviews is not ideal but in most cases it is unavoidable and it is bound to happen at some point. If people see that you are actively trying to help the situation instead of ignoring it they are more likely to do business with you and not be put off. Even if the problem doesn’t get solved, addressing negative reviews shows that you are willing to improve and this is respected by most.
In some cases, you may find that there has been an incident within your business that causes some negative content to be published about it. This could be due to an employee mishap, a marketing strategy that was unintendedly offensive or anything else that could damage the reputation of your business. If this happens you could face many bad reviews and there may even be media sites that post information about the incident.
If something like this happens to you or your business, you may need to employ tactics to push the negative content down where it is harder to find. One of the most common ways to deal with incidents like these is to make new websites or outlets to share positive content which, if done properly, will in time push the negative content down the search results. This is a good method as people usually don’t look past the first page of Google so you are essentially burying the content in a legal manner.
Early Reputation Management
Building trust with consumers has always been an important part of running a successful busines but recently it has begun to form a core part of digital marketing. Before ORM it was up to the PR experts to create and maintain a positive brand image.
In today’s day and age, ORM is more vital and is just as important as paid search and SEO for local businesses. This is because more consumers have moved over to online shopping instead of traditional on the high street and in-store shopping so the need for positive customer experiences online has grown.
In the early days of Google, only ciritcs were allowed to leave reviews on products but since consumers became more involved the importance of reviews and their impact on local businesses has become much more profound.
Why Reviews Are So Important?
Before online reviews were available to the public, customers would have a limited audience to share their views about their experiences whether they be negative or positive. Since their introduction, online reviews have allowed people to voice their opinions not only to their friends and families but to the entire world. This is why just a couple of reviews can have a big impact on how people view businesses as a whole.
Online reviews are everywhere now, many thanks to the many sites like Yelp that collect reviews on businesses and rank them on how highly their user experiences are. Social media has had a big impact too as anyone can post on a business’ page about their
Alongside online reviews, you will also notice that star ratings appear in the organic search results which are based on the majority of reviews. If more people have posted negative reviews your star ratings will be considerably low and this may put people off of your business and they may look elsewhere. Because of this, you cannot ignore or hide from reviews and you should ensure that you are doing the best you can so that your star rating is at least between 3.5 – 5 stars as anything below this may mean you lose business.