Online reputation management has become a key element for the image and identity of a business in the last couple of years. Today, the brand of any enterprise hugely depends on the degree and quality of its online reputation management. It won’t be wrong to say that online reputation management, or the lack of it, can play a decisive role in determining the future of any enterprise.
If your business is new to this concept, read on. In this piece, we are going to discuss the importance of online reputation management and how businesses can actively manage it to gain all its benefits.
Importance of Online Reputation Management
A recent survey in the travel industry shows that more than 90% of business owners think online reputation management is extremely important in their sector. People from other corporate sectors also have more or less the same opinion.
It Attracts Customer
Numerous surveys are out there that highlight the importance of reviews and online reputation. Almost all those people who buy online don’t finalize their purchases unless they skim through the customer reviews on the given service or product. One study suggests that almost 90% of online consumers go through 5 to 10 reviews before trusting a product/service/manufacturer.
Online reputation management is responsible for maintaining a well-curated body of customer reviews. This collection of reviews persuades other customers to give your product/services a try.
It Improves Search Engine Ranking
Gone are the days when search engines would only rely on their keyword crawlers to rank a website and business. Today, they use a mix and match of factors to improve or degrade the search engine ranking of any webpage, which also includes assessing the customer reviews and the given business’s response on it. When the good practice of online reputation management is in place, a business can eventually experience a bump in its SERPs as well.
It Helps in Creating a Professional Image
When we go on the website, Google Business Page, or a social media profile of a business, we consciously and unconsciously assess its professionalism by seeing how it is managing its reputation. For instance, a comment section with scathing reviews and unanswered queries don’t make for a professional image.
How to Manage Online Reputation?
It is important to mention here that online reputation is not just about the curation of customer reviews. Good online reputation management has many facets that collectively work in favor of the company’s repute and status.
Active Presence on Social Media
For having a reputation of any sort, you need to be seen first. Today, social media platforms are places where all types of businesses can reach out to most of their potential customers. So, the first step of online reputation management is that a business or enterprise should be present at every social media platform— be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.
However, making pages and profiles on these platforms is not enough. You have to actively engage with visitors, potential and existing customers there. You need to update them about any new business developments, offers, and promotions. You have to address their legitimate queries and concerns. Also, avoid deleting negative reviews. Instead, try to engage customers via other channels and address their genuine concerns. Nonetheless, you can get rid of the comments and reviews that are intentionally kept “bad” just for the sake of it.
When you are omnipresent on social media with fronts that show your professional interaction with the audience, you come out as a transparent and legitimate business to new visitors. Developing this perception among the audience helps in generating new leads and retaining old customers.
Align Your Brand and Products with Your Online Outreach
As mentioned earlier, managing an online reputation is not just about deleting negative comments and reviews. Your reputation also depends on the way you reach out to your potential customers and whether your products and brand reflect it. Many people determine the reputation of a company by matching up its messaging and content with the nature of products and services it delivers.
For instance, crass jokes and edgy one-liners can help an energy drink brand to establish its repute among potential customers. However, if a palliative care provider will use the same strategy to promote itself, it may have to roll back its business altogether. This is just a simple example of how messaging and product/brand are strongly interconnected.
The professional online reputation management service providers get into the nuance of it to make sure a business is presented on the web with the messaging and content that strikes the right chord in terms of what it is actually offering to customers.
Manage Individual Accounts of Executives
In some companies, the identity and posturing of its key executives have a huge effect on their business. Also, the contemporary culture of celebrity entrepreneurs has changed the game. Back in the day, people didn’t know the names of the CEOs of popular brands. But now they know who is running Google, Apple, and Facebook. This new trend has made it important for every company to boast its C-suite executives.
Good online reputation management also keeps a check on what goes out of the personal accounts of a company’s key executives. CEOs, CFOs, and other decision-makers who have a brash online behavior and make insensitive, politically incorrect comments don’t do any favor to their companies. Online reputation management ensures that executives use their accounts while taking care of these things.
Listen, Don’t Argue, and Apologize
If you stick to these three things while engaging with customers, you can ace the management of your online reputation. Upon seeing a negative review and complaining comment, don’t give a knee-jerk response to it. Instead, listen to what customers are trying to say. If they are raising a legitimate concern, reach out to them with an apology and ask them how you can help them.
If a customer is only interested in escalating the issue without looking for a solution, drop out of the interaction. There is no point in arguing with a customer who is not willing to listen and cooperate for the resolution of the given problem. These arguments will only leave a bad mark on the respective social media page. If you are convinced of the importance of online reputation management, get in touch with Business Marketing Solutions Group. Its experts can help your enterprise in devising its online reputation management program that will help in harnessing a positive brand image and identity.