What can an online reputation management company do for me?
It used to be that you needed to consider online reputation management only if you or your company had fallen victim to negative reviews or smear campaigns. However, consumer practices have changed, and people are more likely to seek out information about a company or product, especially when they expect to do more than make a one-time purchase. As such, it’s become vital not only for you to appear in a positive light on the first page of an online search but also for your good reputation to span the internet, including online reviews, social media outlets and news sources.
Online reputation management companies consider this and can deploy several strategies to salvage an unfairly tarnished reputation, enhance a good reputation, or even build a new reputation for a business that doesn’t have one yet.
Why should you have an online reputation management plan?
It’s important to have an online reputation management plan so you know how to react when someone posts something negative about your business online. The more quickly you react to these situations, the better chance you have to mitigate the issue before it turns into a problem beyond repair. Your plan should include how you’ll respond to negative reviews and the steps you’ll take when a negative blog post about your business is published. Also, what if your business gets wrapped up in a full-blown PR crisis? You should have a plan to address the situation immediately.
Figuring out the best strategies to handle each of these situations is one reason why it makes sense to work with an online reputation management company. These firms have experience dealing with each of these scenarios and many more. They can help you lay out a specific plan to diminish the impact of a negative online post. In some situations, they can also help you turn a negative situation into a positive one. The key is to have a plan that allows you to react quickly. The longer you wait to respond in these situations, the bigger hit your reputation will take.
How important is a modern business’s online reputation?
For businesses today, a positive online reputation is critical. When deciding where to spend their money, a growing number of shoppers turn to the internet first. They want to see what others are saying about your business, services and products.
This is especially true for shoppers looking for businesses in their local communities. Recent research from BrightLocal shows that 86% of consumers read local reviews to decide whether to use a business. The studies also show that what consumers read online ultimately impacts their decision to shop with a local business: 68% of consumers said positive reviews make them trust a local business more, while 40% said negative reviews could deter them from using a business.
Considering how much consumers trust and rely on what they read online, your online reputation can’t be an afterthought. If it is, you take the risk that consumers will have a negative impression of you, which will surely lead to a decline in customers.
How bad can it be to have a negative online reputation?
A negative online reputation can have drastic consequences. There is a good chance that consumers won’t even consider spending money with your business if you have a poor online image. Star ratings are critical: The BrightLocal study found that more than 90% of consumers won’t even consider shopping at a business that doesn’t have at least three stars on Google, and 47% said they need at least a four-star rating to choose a business.
Even if you feel the negative reviews aren’t accurate or fair, you still need to address them. If you don’t, you run the risk of never proving those reviews wrong, because most shoppers will never give you the chance.
What is an example of online reputation management?
Online reputation management can take many forms, depending on your current reputation and what needs to be done to it. For example, a business that has negative online reviews could use an online reputation management company to find and respond to the negative reviews, acquire and promote positive reviews, and resolve any internal business problems that common complaints identified. Additionally, the reputation management company could monitor the business’s website, Google reviews, social media profiles, and third-party review sites to ensure any future reviews are addressed immediately.
What is the difference between public relations and reputation management?
Public relations and reputation management are similar, with some overlap. The purpose of both is to improve your business’s image; however, their primary strategies tend to differ. PR firms use overt strategies to enhance your brand, like writing and promoting press releases, putting out social media statements, and booking interviews and news conferences. In short, PR is more promotional than reputation management.
Reputation management is the behind-the-scenes work necessary for your long-term image. This can include acquiring and responding to online reviews, updating your social media profiles, creating positive online content (e.g., websites, microsites, blog posts), enhancing your SEO, and removing negative content. Reputation management can also entail creating and promoting press releases, but that is not its main focus. Some agencies perform both reputation management and public relations.
How can social media affect your reputation?
Social media is a relatively new aspect of reputation management, but it is one of the most important. Most online shoppers look to social media to analyze a new business. Your presence on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can give consumers a better idea of who your business is, and it gives you a chance to acquire and respond to online reviews on social networks. This can all enhance your overall image.
Since your customers are likely already on social media, having business profiles allows you to connect with them and stay top of mind with fun, engaging content. Social media is a less formal way to interact with consumers, read and respond to social threads and mentions about your business, and promote your products or services in unique ways.
Why are online reviews so important to local businesses?
You can’t please everyone, and that’s OK – but you should still respond to them. Many consumers turn to online review platforms to complain about a product or service that didn’t meet their expectations. Fewer consumers turn to those platforms to write a positive review. This means that, regardless of how great your business is, there is a good chance that negative online reviews are hurting your company’s reputation. Without review management, this can greatly impact your bottom line.
Most consumers read online reviews before they decide whether to purchase a product or service from a business, with more than half forming an opinion after reading just one to six reviews. Research also shows that nearly half of consumers won’t use a business with less than four stars. In other words, if your company has negative online reviews, you are losing out on a lot of potential customers. It is important to have positive online reviews to enhance your online reputation and entice new customers to support your business.