Earlier, words like online reputation management, public relations agencies, etc., were only limited to large-scale corporations and celebrities. But now, the online business landscape is looking radically different because customer’s preferences keep evolving. Today, the way businesses promote themselves online has been changed drastically. Websites, apps, social media, and online advertising are the must-haves of every marketing campaign.
Living in a connected world, the line between online presence and online reputation gets blurry because every brand is posting content on social media and trying to impress its audience. Sometimes a brand faces backlash when they fail to fulfill customer’s needs; this is where online reputation management comes into play as it manages the image of the brand, creates credibility, and builds trust among customers.
People these days do Google before they make any kind of purchases; they also read online reviews. If any negative review is associated with your brand name, it can adversely impact your business revenue and impression.
Bad reputation = no business
This is why online reputation matters. In this text, we will understand what online reputation management is, why it is important, and how to improve your brand reputation. Keep reading.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management is a continuous process that serves to create, cultivate and maintain your brand image and its good reputation online. In short, it’s all about perception about your company. It is not a one-time process; it requires continuous efforts to monitor what other people are saying about your company.
When it comes to evaluating your online reputation, customers take into consideration certain crucial factors such as trustworthiness, customer service, and brand awareness. If you continually work on reputation management, it will help you build brand advocacy, loyalty and drive growth for a long and sustainable future. Some important facets of online reputation management include social media, the SEO results of your business, community engagement, etc.
Why Online Reputation Matters
Are you focusing on your online reputation? If not, then this is high time because people are turning to the Internet, whether they are looking for the smallest consumer product or software product or high-tech machinery, customers search for your business online.
Positive reviews about your brand can significantly create an impact on your revenue and sales. Most-used listings such as Google My Business, Yahoo, Yelp for restaurants, etc., encourage customers to make any kind of purchase decision. These platforms showcase all kinds of reviews, from those who are satisfied and others who are unpleasant with your products or services.
In modern times, lines between the online world and physical words are blurring; it means you need to maintain a strong online presence because Bright Local has stated that more than 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal suggestions.
Let’s consider an example of Google My Business, where customers are able to access contact information, business hours, menu, images, and much more. They can even book a table, make a reservation or call directly if they seek any kind of help.
We all know how due to the corona pandemic, demand for online groceries surging, so retailers these days ask white label grocery app developers to link their social media pages to the app so that users can place and track orders without even downloading the app.
Though, to make the most of it, you need to update GMB and social media profiles. For instance, update the menu frequently, add recent images and much more. Use all these techniques to boost your sales and revenue. Online reputation is not all about managing and posting content online; but it is also about dealing with negative reviews and encouraging clients to give positive words.
If you are unsure about how to maintain an online reputation for your company and what it actually does, you can also hire an online reputation management expert who can help you create a positive image across the Internet. Want to know what actually ORM experts do? Check the following points.
- Build your brand’s image on the Internet
- Showcase your products and services on specific and high-rated business directories to obtain more reviews and ratings.
- Try to please customers and deal smartly with negative reviews
- Build your strong profile on social media
- Spread positive words about your business on the Internet
Thus we can say that online reputation management is more critical than ever before, and a strong online reputation is your most precious asset.
Effective Ways to Manage and Improve Online Reputation
Managing and improving your online reputation is an uphill battle. Fortunately, there are several ways that help you monitor your reputation online. Let’s have a look at some actionable ways you can use to improve your brand’s reputation.
Monitor Your Online Footprint
Keeping your eyes on your brand online helps you address the problems of your customers; you will also come to know how your brand image looks like. Today, social media platforms play an important role as most of your customers are either influenced by social media reviews or personal recommendations. But what do you need to monitor? Are people talking about your brand on social media or any review sites such as Amazon or Yelp, or Trip Advisor?
If you are engaged with the hospitality business, you should have a strong presence across all review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google. If you are occupied with physical products, you need to keep your eyes on Amazon and other online portals. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms, but apart from that, you also need to consider other platforms where your potential audience is most active.
Don’t Overlook Negative Reviews
Indeed, positive reviews add fuel to your marketing campaign but spend some time reading negative comments and dealing with them smartly. Treat all your customers equally while responding to negative reviews; make sure you are not hurting customer’s sentiments. Don’t use a negative tone and come up with a solution.
Ask for an apology for the mistakes, explain to them what actually happened, offer them an attractive deal on their next purchase. Instead of behaving arrogant, try to be humble and highlight your product’s positive side.
Use SEO to Influence Your Online Reputation
Search engine optimization is the trending digital marketing technique that helps you boost your ranking when people search your brand name on search engines. It can be leveraged to enhance your online reputation by posting engaging and quality content. SEO also covers an extensive range of practices such as posting quality content, claiming your business on local directories, social media marketing and driving organic traffic to your website.
The bottom line is that customers read reviews first. A big chunk of revenue is improving your online reputation as it highlights your strengths. When you advertise yourself online, you are welcoming positive and negative reviews. Work on your online reputation management strategy as it brings new sales opportunities and increases your brand awareness.
Brijesh Vadukiya is a tech activist and avid blogger. My major concern is to educate people who are interested in technology. I am passionate about helping people in all aspects of SaaS solutions, online delivery business, digital marketing and other related topics that make tomorrow’s world better. I am fond of writing useful and informative content that helps brands to grow business.