Although almost every business now knows how important it is to be online, and to engage in SEO practices to be found online, they don’t yet pay enough attention to their online reputation. This is a grave mistake to make and could cost you dearly. The reality is that your referrals and reviews are your lifeline, and if people are out to destroy your reputation, it is very easy to do. Let’s take a look at some of the integral parts of online review management.
Because almost all media is now online, the focus has to be on your digital brand as well. People look for information using searches, and they look specifically for positive messages. If they type in your name and see a good review, they will instantly have more trust in you as well.
A wise man once said that building a reputation into a good one can take many years, but it takes just a few actions for it to be completely destroyed. Thanks to the online world, destroying a reputation can be done as easily as through a single negative review. This is because people notice bad comments and like to share them as well.
It isn’t all bad news, however. It doesn’t really matter whether you are a multinational conglomeration or a small mom and pop store, you can both engage in the same actions to manage your online reputation. You all have the same tools, such as social media, and skills available to you. As such, the level playing field has opened up a world of possibilities to smaller businesses.
People shop differently today. The internet is becoming the world’s largest mall. One of the reasons for this is because of reviews. If you go into a physical store, you can’t instantly see what other people think about different products. But when you shop online, reviews are posted straight away. This is the strength of websites such as Amazon, where all buyers are encouraged to share their experiences with their product. This is something you should try to emulate on your own website, even if you do run the risk of receiving negative comments. If you do, then at the very least you have some control over where it is posted and how you respond to it.
Perhaps your largest ally in online reputation management is social media. In the world of Facebook, Twitter and hashtags, it is reasonably easy for you to find out what people say about you. It is also easy for you to give people an opportunity to communicate directly with you. As such, like with the eCommerce reviews, you can make sure that you respond properly to anything negative, and this has the potential to turn something bad into something good, building up trust in your brand and customer service.
Online reputation management has to be an integral part of your overall online branding and marketing strategy.