by Alan Rabinowitz
With 89% of customers starting their customer journey on a search engine, it’s never been this important for businesses today to be in control of their online reputation.
And it’s true.
One wrong first impression online can cost you a customer for life.
One single tweet can destroy your career.
Hit-piece articles and clickbait headlines can manipulate public perception and ruin your life.
Study shows that if your business shows four or five negative reviews, the chances of losing a customer increases to 70%.
This can happen to anyone when online reputation management is swept under the rug.
Without an online management strategy, your business is left defenseless and at the mercy of your enemies.
The good news?
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can take control of how the world perceives your business and its online reputation.
In this online reputation management guide, you will learn the following:
- Why it’s important for businesses today to have an online reputation management strategy
- How to improve your online reputation today
- The top benefits of good online reputation management
- How the benefits of online reputation services can help your business
- How to choose a good online reputation management agency
- The best online reputation management tools that’ll give you an unfair advantage
- Online reputation management implementation that you can use today.
Why it’s essential for businesses to have an online reputation management strategy?
Online reputation management is important when creating a successful business for a few critical reasons.
- It provides you with strategies like digital marketing and public relations tactics and search engine optimization (SEO), and social media management tools that improve and maintain the online image of your brand 24/7.
- Also, online reputation management has proven to successfully improve positive reviews for companies, including positive online conversations and news articles about the business online.
- And managing your online reputation isn’t necessary, but it’s an advised course of action.
- If you want professional and personal success and effortless customer word-of-mouth referrals, and industry buzz and authority, then online reputation management is critical for your business.
- Your online digital footprint alone makes it easier for customers to come back for more.
- And it will also be the reason why new customers pour in.
How To Improve Your Online Reputation
Below we narrow down the most important steps that you can take today to improve your online reputation management practice:
- Evaluate the current state of your company image and reputation
- Claim all business listing profiles on sites like Yelp, Google Business Profiles, etc.
- Adjust the privacy settings on your social media to be public
- Claim social media profiles and be active
- Release positive online content
- Identify, minimize, and remove harmful online content
- Encourage satisfied customers to leave a review.
If you feel these steps seem small and insignificant at first, it’s the start of an enormous positive change, and move forward!
Start campaigning for positive online reputation management and see how many good things can come from it.
What Are The Benefits Of Good Online Reputation Management?
Here are the top benefits that come along with incorporating good online reputation management. Remember, for it to function well, you need to have a well-thought-out approach. Study the benefits below, think about them, and put in the effort to make them happen!
Benefit Of Good Online Reputation Management 1: Builds Social Proof, Credibility, And Trust
The psychology behind good online reputation management is a key aspect. When current and potential customers see that you are a reliable and credible business, they will want to work with you. But, other than that, it shows that you are engaged, transparent, and established business.
Benefit Of Good Online Reputation Management 2: Reinforces Your Brand Image And Messaging
Your brand identity and reputation should be extremely important to you because it’s how customers view you in the business world. If you want to establish the position of a trustworthy company, then it’s essential to send a clear message to your customers.
Furthermore, online reputation management can even help you focus on those items that you know are consistent with your brand and slowly remove the ones which are not.
Benefit Of Good Online Reputation Management 3: Attracts A Younger, Tech-Savvy Generation
Get them while they’re young. And you can do this with technology. In today’s digital world, children grow up online and have access to smartphones and tablets even while in elementary. In fact, 93% of the younger population own a smartphone. Use these numbers to make some magic! If you want to attract a big young audience and keep them in the future, then the solution is to have a big online presence.
Benefit Of Good Online Reputation Management 4: It Improves Customer Retention
Online reputation management will attract customers and also help you keep them too! A complete online presence, including being active on social media, can help you keep your company on your client’s minds 24/7. And, it’s easier and cheaper to resell and upsell existing customers than to acquire new ones. In turn, they will come to you first whenever they need more. Also, you can improve your business from their feedback and improve the overall customer experience too. Listen to them carefully, answer their questions, validate their feedback, understand their issues, and manage their expectations – that is what being a strong business is all about.
Benefit Of Good Online Reputation Management 5: It Will Increase Your Profitability
If you manage to get higher placement on Google searches, you will have more business coming through your door. If you want to achieve this type of consistency when it comes to business search placement, then you need to have a solid online reputation strategy in place.
Benefit Of Good Online Reputation Management 6: Attracts And Keeps Quality Employees
This is no secret; any employee who wants to work for a reputable company that is
well-established will gravitate to a company with a solid online reputation and one with positive reviews from employees. If you want to show a positive work culture and show that your company is trustworthy and treats staff well, then you must increase your online presence and storytelling. Create a good strategy and tell a great story and see the positive results!
Benefit Of Good Online Reputation Management 7: Pacifies Negative PR & Customer Complaints
Since there is a vast digital spectrum and you want to be a part of it, get ready to manage negative reviews as well. As much as you want to keep negative customer feedback and experiences away from prying eyes, negative experiences and reviews do happen online. The key here is to know how to deal with them! Instead of letting the negative comments consume the reputation of your company, get one step ahead of it. Here’s where you can benefit from online reputation management and provide your customers with solutions to their issues. By responding quickly, you can avoid any catastrophic long-term effects from it.
Benefit Of Good Online Reputation Management 8: Increases Audience Engagement
Once you start managing your online presence, the boom in audience engagement will surprise you. Online reputation management can help you add a personalized touch to your brand, ensuring customers that they are talking to a real person rather than a chatbot. With good online reputation management, you’ll have a system that helps you deal with all brand mentions across the internet in real-time. This best practice helps you control online conversations and deepens your presence online.
Benefit Of Good Online Reputation Management 9: Improves Your Google Search Engine Ranking
It’s true; online reviews make up for 10% of the influence in Google’s search algorithm. Google treats each new review as new content. This is how Google obtains a deeper connection between your business and the relevant keywords for it. Naturally, good online reputation management will improve your overall keyword ranking and online reputation. After all, only the most reputable brands rank on page 1, right?
Benefit Of Good Online Reputation Management 10. Gives Brand Unique Sales Points, Differentiating Your Brand From Competitors
Have you ever thought about what makes your business unique? For generations, businesses have spent billions differentiating their business from the competition. So if you’re working without any USPs, now is the time to add some! Add more USPs by telling more stories. Whether you support a charity for a particular type of cancer or do work with Lebron James, offer free services to that local hero, or publish as many positive stories on your profiles as possible. Storytelling builds rapport with audiences and can be the deciding factor of whether or not customers buy from you or your competitors.
Benefit Of Good Online Reputation Management 11: Provides Cost-free Advertising
When you have good online reputation management, new possibilities open up to you. You will notice how more and more customers will try to find you instead of the other way around. When you get a top spot on the Google search page, you are receiving the best type of advertisement you can. A positive online presence will bring you a lot of new influencers, advertisers, and customers. All of them will promote your brand and share your content.
How To Choose The Right Online Reputation Management Service
If you are interested in giving your brand an online voice and hope to reap the benefits of maintaining a positive online reputation, a professional online reputation management service can help you attain goals as soon as possible. They will have an expert online brand reputation management strategy that will lead to more positive stories while pushing negative stories down.
But how do you find the right online reputation management agency from the stack?
Below we highlight a quick checklist to go through before choosing an online reputation management company for your business:
- Successful case studies: Check if they have plenty of successful case studies.
- Ability to work with you: Once you start choosing an online reputation management company that can help you manage your online presence, you need to know that they are capable of working alongside you. This is an important aspect and will help you see whether you can get along.
- Action plan: Before making a deal with any company, see if they have an action plan that they can provide you with. Be sure that they can handle and deliver a custom plan based on your requests, goals, and preferences.
- Great online reputation: This one is a bit obvious, but make sure your online reputation management company prospect has an excellent online reputation. Having a reputation that is only in the positive spectrum is not enough. Once you go out to search for a company, you want only the best results. The same thing goes for your customers. You want to create a business that makes your customers think of you when they think of an excellent reputation.
- Realistic promises: This is a very good point. Ask for as much as you want from the reputation management company, but they must steer you toward the more realistic lane. Having unrealistic expectations can lead to big disappointment.
- Be honest and transparent: Honesty and transparency are virtues of every good management company. If they keep checking in with you and let you know about their next steps and progress, it will lead to a long-term and valuable business relationship.
Must-Try Online Reputation Management Tools
Whether it comes to complete software or just effective tools that’ll accelerate production and goal attainment, these both free and paid tools will get the job done.
Check them out below and see whether they work for you:
- Social Media Buzz Tools: Sprout or Mention
- Reputation Monitoring Tools: Talkwalker Alerts or Awario
- Review Management Tools: Podium or Swell
- Review Solicitation Tools: Birdeye or ReviewInc
- Social Media Management Tools: Sprout, Buffer, or Hootsuite
- Search Engine Optimization Tools: Website Grader by HubSpot, Moz, or Ahrefs
- Web Content And Research Tools: SEMrush, Exploding Topics, and Buzzsumo
- Digital Risk Protection Tools: Crowdstrike Falcon X Recon, CyberAngel, and ZeroFOX
Tips On How To Implement Your Own Online Reputation Management Strategy Today
Develop an online reputation management strategy yourself today using these simple best practices:
- Professional and quick response to the feedback from your customers: You can have someone monitor online reviews and determine which ones need a quick response. You can also set your brand name as a Google Alert and get real-time notifications whenever your brand name is mentioned on Google.
- Audit your online review profile: You need a streamlined way to find all the negative comments about your business so you can respond to them accordingly. Find sentiment analysis tools like MonkeyLearn that’ll help you navigate through negative comments.
- A professional response: Whatever happens, however inappropriate the feedback from a customer is, you need to maintain a professional relationship all through the conversation. A calm tone of writing and an answer filled with solutions will get your customer to calm down and start listening to your suggestions.
- Excellent customer service: This is another very important step toward making a change for the better in your company. The face of your company is, most of the time, your customer service, so make sure you hire the right people and have the right system in place!
- Ask for feedback: Don’t be afraid to ask customers for some feedback. You may be surprised by what they have to say. You can send surveys or use forms from a tool like Lucky Orange to get user feedback to improve the overall customer experience.
When you realize the incredible benefits of good online reputation management, you’ll understand how important it is to have a strategy in place. As a reminder, here is a quick summary of the advantages of good online reputation management:
- It builds social proof and brand credibility
- It enforces brand messaging and brand identity
- It attracts younger tech-savvy audiences
- It improves customer retention
- It increases sales and profits
- It attracts and maintains quality employees
- It pacifies negative PR and customer complaints
- It increases audience engagement
- It improves SEO ranking
- It provides unique sales points
- It offers cost-free advertising.
If you have any questions about good online reputation management or are in need of online reputation management services, feel free to call 1 888-736-2667.