You might think that online reputation management isn’t something you should concern yourself with. I'd implore you to reconsider that thought!
According to eMarketer 83% of consumers say that online reviews impact their opinions about a particular company, and 8 of 10 of these people added that a unfavorable entry online is responsible for them changing their mind about that company. Even one negative review, whether justified or not, can negate all of your finest efforts if you haven’t thought out an online reputation strategy to manage it. So to help with that I’d like to offer five strategies your small business, and your brand, can use to monitor and manage your online reputation.
- Monitor your company and personal names – Keeping an eye on what’s being said about you and your business is of paramount importance. Fortunately, there are several free tools to help in this regard, like Google Alerts, Hootsuite, Social Mention as well as others.
- Claim all of your relevant social properties – Unused social media sites can be utilized by your competitors to pull you down, and spread negativity. Be sure you claim all social sites that matter for your brand.
- Dominate page one of Google for your brand name – A great way to make sure what people see and read about you when they Google you is to own all the virtual real estate! If all they find every time they Google you is wonderful stuff about you and your brand, you’ll not really be damaged by the random attack.
- Go after customer reviews – Customer reviews aren’t just going to show up on your site: you have to request them. Don’t be shy about seeking reviews. Typically, your clients will be flattered you asked. And of course if you offer incentives, let them know that you’re not attempting to bribe them or influence their review!
- Engage with your people – Interacting with those writing comments, Facebook posts and tweets is an excellent technique to head off any damage from the get-go. Don’t participate in mud-slinging however, regardless of how justified you feel! Thank them for their contribution to the discussion, and politely disagree, standing up for yourself. (If they’re not right, of course!)
- Reputation videos are huge. Imagine the power of having customer on camera telling the audience how awesome your business is. Let your customers do the talking for you.
Online reputation marketing is far more vital than ever before, in this day of instant communication. Don’t neglect yours!