With over 4 billion Internet users worldwide spending more than nine hours consuming information every day, what customers read about you online has a significant impact on your brand image and revenue. The ratings and reviews of your brand will influence where it appears on search results pages. Moreover, customers get ample opportunities to review your brand online. With smart devices multiplying at a staggering rate, clicking on a star rating is a simple and easy task for most consumers. According to published reports, seven out of 10 Americans look for online reviews and ratings before making a buying decision.
To ensure your online reputation correctly reflects the quality of service you provide, you have to get control over what customers are saying about you across various review sites and social media platforms. It is a big task and requires proven strategies.
Here are the five pillars of effective online reputation management that will get you on the right path to managing and improving your brand’s online reputation.
- Monitor and manage online conversations: Monitoring is all about listening to your customers and knowing what is being posted about your business on social media sites, as they command great authority. You can use tools such as Google Alerts, Social Mention and TweetDeck to monitor the online landscape. To manage the online conversations, you must first claim all public listings of your business on local directories, including Google Places. By claiming your listing, you can get a handle on what gets published under your brand’s name.
- Respond to online reviews: It is important to track and deal with online reviews promptly. Also, instead of waiting for reviews to come in, you should look for innovative ways to encourage your customers to post online reviews for your business. Make the review process simple. This is because the easier you can make it for them to review you, the more likely they will. You can consider implementing a tool that gathers reviews from various sites so you can take quick action.
- Use surveys to address common issues: User surveys can help you collect vital information about how customers perceive your service and identify improvement areas. Be careful to keep the surveys brief and easy to access. You can seek help from tools to help you analyze the data as well as share key findings with customers to boost ratings.
- Get listed on local online directories: With the majority of customers using search engines to find local businesses, getting listed on local online directories is essential. However, you must implement a process to audit and correct your business listings across all online directories to ensure consistency and accuracy. This is because if a potential customer gets the wrong address from an online local business listing, they will waste time trying to find you, and such negative experiences are likely to damage your brand image.
- Use social media to engage customers: No business can afford to evade the influence of social media, and therefore it becomes critical to monitor social media channels and actively engage customers. You can implement tools to help you track social activity and brand mentions in a dashboard format. By staying active on social media, you can create brand advocates, drive site traffic and attract positive reviews and feedback.
Online reputation is the cornerstone of your brand. It is possible to establish your online reputation by simply doing your job as best as you possibly can and survive for few years in the cut-throat competition. However, you will need to take a proactive approach if you do not want to wait for things to evolve on their own. Moreover, that is where online reputation management comes into play.
myOnlineReputationManager can help you if you have a reputation management problem or if you are planning to rebrand. Our online reputation management solutions are designed not only to push negative comments down in search results, but we will also help you grow and defend your online reputation. Call us now to schedule a free assessment of your online reputation.