In today’s digital age, managing online reputation is crucial for small businesses, a startup, and of course, even for bigger enterprises. Consumers look up reviews on Google and Yelp and more, and seek feedback on your products and services on social media platforms before actually heading over to your site and purchasing from you. In fact, about 60% of US consumers refuse to buy from any brand they find untrustworthy during their research, as PwC notes.
With that in mind, it has become more important than ever to figure out how to go about managing reputation online for your business.
Do not let the gloomy words deter you, however. In this post, we highlight all the steps for you to figure out the ideal way for managing online reputation for your business!
Basics First: What is Online Reputation Management or ORM?
Online reputation management is how you decide how a customer views your brand. ORM can help you with building and enhancing customer relationships, cement your place in the industry, and increase your annual revenue.
There are four primary ORM methods for managing online reputation:
- Paid media
- Earned media
- Shared media
- Owned media
What are the differences between these four types of online reputation management, you wonder?
Why is Managing Online Reputation Important for Your Business?
Managing reputation online is integral for your business, and you must have already gathered the answer to the ‘why’. But allow us to take you through the needs for online reputation management again:
- Customers are bound to look up your brand on Google, and on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter (or the rebranded X). If they don’t see the positives (as well as your proactive response and consecutive action-taking on the negatives), why would they want to buy from you?
- A negative brand reputation resulting from a lack of measures for managing reputation online would be fatal for sales, on the other hand.
- You are getting constructive feedback when you actively perform online reputation management. This way you have a good grasp of consumer demands with changing markets, and you can stay informed as a brand to accelerate your growth.
How to Go About Managing Reputation Online for Your Business?
Now we get to the good part: you know the whats and the whys of managing online reputation for your beloved business. What about the hows?
- Find out what customers are saying: The first step towards online reputation management is actively monitoring what people say about your brand. You can do that through your personal accounts on social media platforms, and using the Incognito mode on Google to see what is coming up when you search with your brand’s name.
- Create an ORM strategy: Once you know how your brand is perceived online, managing reputation online becomes easier. You can create an online reputation management strategy by listing down your priorities, be they acknowledging and responding to negative feedback, building your reputation from the scratch up by interacting with your audience, or anything else.
- Define rules for your team: Make sure the team working on ORM for you has clear roles and guidelines in place to avoid mismanagement or fatal errors. Further, you can try to come up with a handy dynamic guidebook that would list the tonality your brand uses when interacting with customers, response formats to questions/issues frequently raised by users, and actions to be undertaken in order of priority.
- Encourage reviews: Positive customer service reviews can significantly enhance your business’s reputation. Ask satisfied customers to give reviews on popular platforms like Google, Yelp, or other industry-specific sites for managing reputation online. You can request these reviews for ORM through email follow-ups or by adding review links to your website or social media profiles.
- Address negative feedback constructively: Receiving negative feedback is inevitable for any business, but it’s how you handle it that matters. Rather than ignoring or deleting negative comments or reviews, respond to them constructively for ideally managing online reputation. Publicly addressing negative feedback and noting down your shortcoming shows your commitment to customer satisfaction and zeal for improvement. This can help mitigate the impact of a negative review by a lot.
- Optimize your content for search engines: Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital in online reputation management. Make sure your website is search engine optimized by incorporating appropriate keywords and generating top-notch content. When your website ranks higher in search results, it improves the chances of potential customers discovering your business. Make sure you are searching for and identifying niche keywords for your brand.
- Choose the right influencers: Choosing your influencers wisely is extremely important, since you will be giving some control over your brand image away to these influencers. Make sure to outline your goals for an influencer campaign, and make sure they are being followed.
- Focus on customer service: Exceptional customer service is a cornerstone of a positive online reputation. Respond promptly and courteously to customer inquiries, comments, and reviews. Show genuine empathy and a willingness to resolve any concerns or issues raised. By engaging with your customers online, you address individual concerns and demonstrate to potential customers that you care about their satisfaction, adding value to your online reputation management.
- Have a crisis management plan ready: A crisis can come at any time, making managing reputation online a hard job for your business. However, having a pre planned strategy with response templates and post formats can help you out in the long run.
Online reputation management does require a lot of time and effort on your part, and it may not be possible to allot that much manpower from your own team to it without hampering your actual business processes. yMedia is here to help!
We focus on making powerful content strategies for managing online reputation for your business! With us, you can simply sit back and relax as we create dynamic content marketing strategies for you while also ensuring online reputation management, and steady connectivity with your target audience. Contact us today to find out more!