Do you think, you know enough about online reputation management as of 2018?
Well, you might want to think about that again when you’re finished reading this blog.
As you may know, Online Reputation Management is something without which a business cannot even survive today. It decides that how a business is going to look online, and where does it stand in terms of overall ranking on search engines like Google & Bing. Why is that important you ask? Well, according to a stats by minewhat.com, 81% of shoppers try to look for a brand online before they actually go for the purchase. So, tell us which brand would they trust more, the one that ranks on top of the first page of Google search results or the one that stands anywhere on the second/third page?
Whenever a person starts up a new business, the first question that people ask from him/her is “Hey, what’s your website address?” or “Please can you send me your Facebook/Twitter Profile link? And if that person has not managed these sites properly, people won’t consider that business trustworthy. Because these things are what you can call “the basics”. So, if you as a businessperson don’t want to feel awkward when asked such questions, you should definitely set those things up with proper attention, in case you haven’t already.
Now, without any further ado, let’s hop on to our 13 Online Reputation Management Facts, you may not have known before.
1. Content is everything
In online reputation management, the content is everything. People want to know more about your product in lesser time. It is advisable that you should focus on creating unique and quality content that could not only represent your brand better on the web but could also gain some valuable attention. Another thing that you should be taking care of is that the content you post must be fully optimized for search engine rankings – meaning, you should use related keywords in your content that most people are looking for on the internet.
2. Having a vast online exposure is advisable
As a brand, you should not just limit yourself to your website and major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There are hundreds of websites out there that can offer you a great exposure on the internet and help you rank on page 1 in Google search results. Companies like Resume.com, About.me, and tackk.com are offering businesses to create free profiles with complete information about their product or services on their websites from where you can redirect a lot of audience to your social media accounts and website.
3. Smart owners are proactive
As a business owner, one should be very proactive regarding the online reputation of his/her business. Keep an eye on the content that is being sent out to the general public. Even if you have hired a reputation management firm you should be able to track their performance as well as contact with your customers. A proper attention should also be given to your customer service staff as they are the direct representatives of your business in front of the general public.
4. Monitoring alone won’t help
Just listening to what people are saying about your brand and not replying to anyone can be a bad idea. A business should be very swift in responding to customer queries and questions. Giving a timely customer service is the key here. Brands need to have a smart customer service mechanism not only online but offline as well, as this can help them a great deal in building a positive reputation in the market.
5. Neglecting your social media can be fatal
In the subject of Online Reputation Management, social media plays the most important role. As social media is that point where the businesses can have direct contact with their customers which not only helps in maintaining a good reputation of the business but also allows it to create engagement opportunities and respond to customer queries in a much personalized and quick manner. However, if a business fails to maintain a good reputation on its social media, chances are, it’s gonna become a lost cause. So, if you want to have a great reputation in the eyes of your customer, try leading them through social media.
6. Dreading the 1-star reviews isn’t a good idea
While you work hard for the success of your business and serve your customers with full dedication, it is natural that you expect them to give positive reviews in return. But unfortunately, that is not always the case and there will always be someone to post a negative review about you. However, you should not consider that as a problem, instead, you should take it as an opportunity to capitalize on. The focus should be to turn that bad reviewer into a loyal customer who would say only good about you in the future. You should reply to them in such a way that not only they get satisfied with your response, but other readers could also be reassured that this isn’t a very usual experience.
You can read more about this in our other blog “What to do when you only get 1 Star?”
7. White and Black hats
Online reputation managers have classified businesses in two broad categories on the internet – the White Hats & the Black Hats. White Hats are those companies who use positive and fair means to rank up their brand on search engines like generating quality content, posting legit customer reviews, and running creative advertisements. Whereas, the Black Hats are those companies who use unfair and negative means like getting fake reviews or buying out followers to gain more limelight online. This should be kept in mind that companies who choose to become the Black Hats do not go much further in the corporate race and are exposed in a very short time. White Hat companies, on the other hand, become successful in earning a great reputation online and gaining a long-lasting relationship with their customers.
8. Owning multiple domains can help
One good strategy that some businesses use is owning multiple domains for their online presence. In this way, a brand can target multiple keywords, that the customers are searching for, in a better way. What they do is that they keep one domain with their own brand name as a whole and other domain names with phrases that their customers might be searching for. For example, their main site has a domain name “example.com” and their other domain name could be with a product name “exampleproductname.com”. This strategy can help businesses gain a lot of traffic on their business profiles.
9. Online “Press Releases” are important
Many companies use the help of online press releases for gaining public attention. The method is simple, as a brand you can simply write something newsworthy about your brand or how you’re changing the lives of your customers. But, make sure that news or information is legitimate and that it creates a positive image of your brand. After that, you can use the help of some big names like BusinessWire or PRNewswire to get your release published on the web.
This is a very effective technique for increasing the trust of your customers in your brand.
10. Business directories are crucial
Updating the business directories online is very crucial to your customers as they help them find your website easily. It not only has an impact on your online visibility but it can also help you improve your search engine optimization. For that, it is advisable that you reconcile your information with some influential business directories out their every once in a while or in case of some subtle changes in business information.
11. Reviews are not always visible
For business these days, online reviews play an integral part in reputation management. But, due to lack of knowledge or strategy, some businesses fail to make them readily visible to their customers online. So, you should always look for ways through which you could display positive customer reviews to the general public more prominently. One of the best ways to do that is to use Google’s Knowledge Panel that allows you to showcase the necessary information of your brand along with the reviews on the top right corner of Google search results. Although it is not really easy for a local brand to enable google’s knowledge panel for their website, however with TrustedExpert’s professional feedback management system, you could get there without any hassle.
12. Customers can be motivated by rewards
One of the strategies, that smart businesses use to motivate their customers for giving positive reviews, is giving them rewards for it. Rewards could be of different kinds, some businesses features their loyal customers as the customer of the week or month, some invite their major customers to attend ceremonial events of the company and some even offer them referral rewards for inviting friends or family to use their products/services.
13. Non-business activities can also have an impact
Sometimes businesses face loss, not due to a poor service or bad advertisements but because of the bad reputation of its stakeholders. A brand may be thriving with lots of profit going down in its bank but if people get to hear any bad news or scandal that involves its owners or senior members, it can face a huge loss within days and that could even lead to a total shut down. So, as a business owner, you should not only take care of your business’ reputation but your own reputation in the public as well.
Also, check out our previous blog to know about “The Next Big Thing in Online Reputation Management“.