Have you ever wondered what the online world is saying about your business and brand? Whether you’re a large or small business, your online reputation can make or break your brand online. For instance, more than half of customers expect businesses to respond to their negative reviews within a week. The question remains, why is reputation management so important, and what do I do to manage it more effectively.
Why is reputation management so important?
We understand how managing your reputation across the vast worldwide web might seem daunting. After all, it’s easy to turn a blind eye rather than confront someone who got their tinsel in a tangle and left a negative review on your Google My Business page. However, consider the following trends that have increased the importance of reputation management.
Consumers Value Digital Reviews
It’s no secret that online reviews have become the new digital word-of-mouth tool. It’s a vital part of the customer journey as potential consumers will seek out some sort of validation by researching reviews before purchasing a product or service. On average, a customer needs to see at least ten positive reviews before trusting a business.
Digital Word-Of-Mouth Is Vital to Your Business
Word-Of-Mouth has evolved over the last decade or so, but the truth is that people talk. Your customers will share their feedback the old-fashioned way via chatting in person with a friend, or they will share it more publicly on social media or an online review site. The one benefit of reviews being shared online is that you have more control of that feedback. You can respond appropriately to either give thanks or a sincere apology to make things right.
Customers Drive Your Online Reputation
As it relates to customer opinions and feedback, social media is a place where they can share unfiltered thoughts without the typical marketing spin. People mostly have free reign to share whatever they want and disclose information on however they feel. It’s all the more reason to monitor feedback responsibility and listen to their thoughts related to the products and services you offer.
How to take control of your online reputation
Now that we know how online reviews can positively or negatively affect your business’s reputation let’s talk about what you do to improve your online presence.
Audit Your Current Online Reputation
Dig into the data you already have to see where your reputation stands. Pull reviews from social media, third-party review sites, mentions from industry blogs, and feedback gathered through emails and contact forms on your website. This can create a benchmark for future goals and help you understand how customers perceive your business.
As with digital, reputation management is ever-evolving, so you want to make sure you’re tracking the good and the bad reviews over time. This means setting up real-time notifications to alert you of a new mention. You can do this through hashtags, @mentions on social media, branded keywords, and tools like Google Alerts.
There’s nothing that feels more personal than to receive a negative review or negative feedback about your business, but if you do, stay positive. Respond to the customer promptly, so they feel heard and offer some sort of incentive to make it right. Even with the negative review, onlookers will see that you heard the customer out and wanted to correct the situation rather than ignore it.
Share Positive Reviews
It’s the best feeling in the world when you receive a glowing review from a client. Don’t feel bad about asking their permission to post it on your website or even showcase it on your social media channels. People love to see that kind of validation as it makes for the best content.
Practice Active Social Listening
Social listening can sometimes be challenging for businesses as it requires you to listen to what the digital world is saying about your company without bias. Gently receive the feedback and honestly ask yourself if you need to tweak your business model, products/services, or any other areas that might need more attention. If you choose to make adjustments in some way, do so promptly and communicate that to your customers.
Check back soon for more useful tips on how to leverage your small business in a big world of competition. If you need help managing certain aspects of your small business or you’d like to know more about the services ARK Marketing has to offer, contact us or comment below! Also, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for industry news, inspiration, and helpful tidbits for finding small business success.
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