Published on June 12th, 2019 | by Bibhuranjan0
How to Successfully Manage Your Online Reputation
The internet is truly changing the way consumers interact with brands. From eCommerce product ratings to Yelp, Google, and social media reviews, consumers are finding new ways to express their opinions about brands. Online reviews are becoming a deciding factor for customers. Customers’ opinions are usually honest and unfiltered, so people trust them more than carefully curated ads made to represent brands in the best light possible. In fact, the stats show that even 78% of consumers trust reviews and recommendations more than advertising.
Any of 4.9 billion internet users can easily give their two cents about any brand on the internet with just a few clicks. This means that your online reputation is constantly on the line. You need to keep track of your online reviews and make sure to react as quickly as possible if a negative one comes up. Here are some tips to help you manage your online reputation.
Monitor social media mentions and reviews
We’ve already mentioned how important reviews are for customers. It’s also important to note that 54% of customers use social media platforms to research products before the purchase. That’s why you need to be on the loop with your Facebook reviews and Twitter mentions at all times. But it doesn’t stop there.
No matter if they’re satisfied or dissatisfied with your brand, customers won’t always turn to your social media pages or tag you. Maybe they’ll write a Twitter rant or write about you on their personal blog. That’s why you should use media monitoring tools and set up Google alerts to get notified whenever someone mentions your brand in any context.
Also, bear in mind that your brand name is not the only thing you should be tracking. You should also track names of your products and services and even the names of your notable team members (take Moz and Rand Fishkin for example). Additionally, analyzing your competitors as well as popular industry related keywords can offer you valuable insight and help you improve your online reputation management strategy.
Ask for feedback
According to a study, 49% of consumers value the number of online reviews and 57% expect a local business to have at least 11 online reviews. However, getting customers to give you feedback and leave reviews isn’t always easy, especially if you’re just starting up. Luckily, there are several different ways that can help you increase the number of reviews.
Simply asking your satisfied customers to write positive reviews is a good start, but it’s not always enough. This can be a great strategy if you’re seeing your customers in person. In addition to asking them if they were satisfied with your service or product, you can suggest that they leave you a positive review on Yelp, Google, or Facebook.
Collecting emails and phone numbers can also be helpful when it comes to collecting feedback. It allows you to send follow up emails or messages to your customers a few days after the purchase to remind them to write a review. Using SMS feedback system to conduct a customer satisfaction survey can be particularly successful, as 95% of customers open and read SMS messages.
You can also offer incentives in exchange for reviews, but be careful, platforms such as Yelp don’t allow this and you can end up getting demoted in their search rank if you violate their guidelines.
Respond to negative reviews
If you’ve received negative feedback, don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world as long as you handle it the right way. You should never ignore negative reviews, but instead, respond to all of them as quickly as possible. According to statistics, 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week, but 63% state that they never received any kind of response. Additionally, 94% of customers say they avoided businesses because of negative online reviews. This data shows how important handling negative reviews really is. But how to do it right?
Even though defending your brand reputation is important, remember that the customer is always right. Don’t try to argue with them and convince them they’re wrong, but instead be understanding, admit your mistakes, and try to make it up to them.
A polite conversation with unsatisfied customers can change their minds, or at least show those who are browsing through your reviews that you care about customer satisfaction and that you’re willing to make things right. After all, we all make mistakes, and sometimes, simply explaining why things went wrong can make all the difference. Additionally, you can try to redeem yourself by offering refunds or discounts to those who feel wronged.
Having a crisis management plan is also a great idea. You can go through some possible scenarios and prepare appropriate responses in advance. That will enable you to have a well thought-through-out response in almost no time and prevent the consequences of negative reviews as much as possible.
Invest in online reputation management
Reputation management isn’t something you can opt out of. In today’s digital world, your business simply must have an online presence, and once you’re online, your brand image is constantly at risk. Keeping your reputation positive is a full-time job so you need to have a team of experts who will manage it at all times.
It might seem unnecessary when things are going smoothly, but if you start working on your reputation once the damage is done, it’s already too late. When it comes to maintaining a positive brand image, it’s important to be proactive, not reactive. Many small businesses who don’t have time or money (or simply don’t want to invest in their reputation management) rely on as-needed or do it yourself strategies, but this approach isn’t good enough. Reputation management should be an essential part of your marketing strategy, and if you don’t have time or don’t know how to do it right, it’s best to hire someone who does.
Maintaining a positive online reputation can be a daunting task. You’re constantly exposed to criticism and keeping everyone satisfied is pretty much impossible. Hopefully, these tips will help you build a credible and trustworthy brand image in the online world.