A company’s reputation is a critical factor for success in today’s online marketplace, regardless of whether they are a large global company or a small local business. Consumers are continuously looking at online reviews before making a purchase. In fact, Forbes has stated that 9 in 10 consumers look at reviews prior to visiting a business and that these reviews impact two-thirds of purchase decisions. The major impact of a company’s online reputation is evident, so investing in reputation management is vital for any business.
WHAT IS REPUTATION MANAGEMENT?
Reputation management involves a series of tactics meant to maintain and/or regain control over a company’s online image. Companies are not trying to control what people are saying; rather, they are trying to shape how others will read and interpret that information. This shaping is an ongoing process that requires companies to listen and respond.
HOW DOES REPUTATION MANAGEMENT WORK?
Reputation management works by using a series of strategies such as reputation monitoring, keyword protection, on-site feedback, and review responses. Essentially, reputation management works to manage and respond to the online discussion surrounding your company. Although there are still uncontrollable elements—as users can say anything they want (negative or positive) regarding a company online—it is often more about how companies react to the online feedback.
THE 3 STAGES OF REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Reputation management encompasses a number of strategies. These strategies follow a common goal of creating a clear, consistent, and positive image of a brand. This goal is accomplished in various stages, generally categorized into reputation building, reputation maintenance, and reputation recovery.
Reputation building is creating the conversation about your business. Having no conversations about your business online can be damaging. By regularly creating content, verifying hours with search engines, and maintaining an engaged social media presence, potential customers can see that your business is active.
Another major conversation builder is to encourage current customers to go online and write a review. Positive reviews have been shown to increase consumer’s trust in companies, boost rankings in local search, and more.
Reputation maintenance is the ongoing engagement between consumers and your company. This includes thanking people for their opinions on online reviews, responding to questions and comments, and using social networks to engage in conversations. Consumers expect a quick response to negative reviews, with more than 50% stating that they expect a response in under a week. Even more, almost half of consumers stated that because the company responds to negative feedback, they would be more likely to visit the business (source). This shows the true impact of engaging with your consumers and being involved in online conversations about your business.
Reputation maintenance also includes staying engaged by sharing new content and updating old content. This ranges everywhere from educating consumers about new products and company milestones to confirming and updating business information such as addresses and phone numbers. After all, many companies lose business to outdated addresses listings and phone numbers, which demonstrates the importance of citation management.
Reputation recovery involves fixing a company’s reputation after a negative review, bad customer service, etc. When customers say bad things about the company, reputation recovery involves reaching out and reacting to it in a professional and positive manner. When commencing reputation recovery, show the steps your organization is taking to better the situation. Being transparent and respondent to these bad events and reviews is extremely important, as bad reviews and remarks will keep customers away.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR REPUTATION
In today’s digital age, every mention of your company’s name influences the way searchers perceive your business online. Take a proactive approach by investing in reputation management. Media Venue understands the importance of your company’s reputation, which is why our online reputation management service is designed to improve overall customer ratings, enhance the customer experience, and drive increases in revenue. For more information, email our Director of Digital Marketing—Cassie Rogers—today at email@example.com. Enhance your marketing investment with Media Venue!
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