What is Reputation Management, and why do you need to consider it for your business?

Whether you know it or not, people are talking about your business online. Make sure you stay on top of your brand’s reputation with a good Reputation Management Strategy.

Gone are the days when a business’ reputation was all about face to face interaction and recommendations. These days, everything is about what happens online, particularly via social media. Social media is where people gather to share opinions, experiences, and to vent frustrations. The good thing about this is it’s easier to have your finger on the pulse about how customers perceive your business. The challenging thing is maintaining a positive reputation in the face of negative comments or reviews. A good online reputation management strategy (ORM) can help, and here’s why.

Trust

Do your customers trust you? The chances are, if you’re an established business, you will have a core of loyal customers who use word of mouth via social media platforms to share positive opinions. As a start-up business, you might be relying on those positive reviews flowing in from customers who you have worked hard to please. But what happens when something goes wrong? A mistake by a shipping partner or a miscommunication about an order can leave a customer feeling like they don’t trust your company. If these problems are not dealt with swiftly and in a positive manner, that customer will share their negative experience. What is a simple mistake for you is a major problem for the customer, and they will ensure their friends and family know all about it. Bad news spreads much faster than good news, as any social media marketing agency knows. A reputation management strategy can actually turn a bad experience into a positive one, and reaffirm your customers’ trust in you and your business.

Sales

As businesses, we all want to sell our products or services. The internet is the first stop for consumers when they want to choose a service provider or purchase a product. There are fewer and fewer people browsing on the high-street, so it’s important that your business’ online reputation is absolutely stellar. Competition is stiff, and if a customer sees that a business has had bad reviews, or negative comments, they are unlikely to even stay on the website or social media page. They will simply carry on searching.

Ensuring a positive reputation online, as well as ensuring your product or service provides a relevant solution for your target audience, is the key to increasing sales. A social media marketing agency will always look at how you appear in online searches, as this tells them how your business appears to customers.

 

Brand Image

How do you want to appear to your customers? Purely professional and business like? Fun and trendy? In the know? However you want your brand to appear to your customers, a good ORM strategy can ensure that your brand image is consistent and reaches the right target audience. The strategy team will monitor how customers react to each type of social media post, ensure brand marketing is kept positive and productive, and deal with responses where appropriate. A brand image is what keeps a business moving forward, and in today’s digital world, it couldn’t be more vital.

Finding the Right People

Did you know that around 90% of all job searches are initiated on mobile devices? This includes web searches, using job sites, and logging in to networking sites and social media. If you’re searching for the right talent to join your company, then it’s never been more important to ensure your online reputation is the best it can be. When an applicant is looking for a new job, they will potentially look through dozens, even hundreds of companies before they find one that seems the right fit for them. It’s not all about the pay. People are very driven by a company’s ethics, goals, and how they deal with their existing people and customers. Make sure your online reputation says good things about you and your business, and you will naturally attract the kind of talent that matches those values.

Dealing with Negativity

The internet is a sounding board for many people. Things people wouldn’t say to a person’s face, they find very easy to say online, where there are seemingly few or no repercussions. That’s why negative reviews on business social media pages are often vehement and angry. They are also completely visible to the entire public, and can be shared endlessly. So, as an established or start-up business, how do you deal with this? An effective ORM strategy recommends dealing with negative respondents promptly, in fact, as quickly as possible. It might seem daunting, especially for a start-up business, to interact with customers, clients, or other businesses who have nothing good to say about you. But it’s important because the longer you leave it, the more time they have to spread the ‘bad news story’ about how your business has let them down.

Conversely, when customers experience a problem that is dealt with well, they are more likely to tell people what a good ‘customer service’ experience they had. Replacing an order promptly, answering a query, refunding an overcharge, getting a service provider out to premises; whatever is required to help that customer out will be a good experience, and will turn around their perception of you.

Respond to the negative comment or review as politely and professionally as possible. Don’t ever take anything personally. This will only escalate matters. As soon as you have given the initial response, take the conversation off the public forum. Private message is fine. A phone call is better. Whatever it takes to get that customer talking to your business, rather than the whole world.

It’s a sad fact that sometimes you will receive poor reviews which are not genuine. However, most social media platforms will help in removing these. Encourage your loyal and happy customers to write reviews, as the more positive comments, the more your brand reputation increases.

Your company’s reputation is the key to success, so ensure you have an effective ORM strategy in place and watch that good reputation grow.

 

How to Excel with Your ORM Strategy

Even though it may seem that online reputation management is a daunting prospect with a lot on the line, it is actually possible to have a successful and effective strategy that does not have a massive impact to your resources or day to day business. There are specialists that exist that will be able to keep a watch on your business’s online reputation 24/7, and raise alerts whenever something is registered.

This can be particularly beneficial, as having a third-party company looking after your online reputation allows you to focus on other important areas of your business, while safe in the knowledge that any issues are being dealt with.

ADVRT can offer you a completely bespoke online reputation management strategy that is tailored to suit your business’s needs and requirements. Whether you’re a local business or attraction and need to keep an eye on trip advisor, or whether you are a restaurant that depends on a positive reputation – we can help. Get in touch today, or follow the link above to find out more about how ADVRT can help ensure you stay on top of your online reputation.

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