Your Online Reputation Management Can Make or Break Your Business
Like it or not, the online reputation management is king in today’s culture. After all, the Internet is where people consume news, set trends, and find answers to questions.
One question people often ask on the web involves finding local companies. They go to Google to discover the best small businesses in their area.
Many companies have caught on to this trend and have taken steps to improve their online reputation management. They’ve done this by monitoring customer reviews and keeping their social profiles up to date.
So, how’s your business doing? Are you managing your online reputation? If not, then your company could be unknowingly suffering from a negative image on the web.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Here are seven reasons to invest in online reputation management for your small business.
1. Prospective Customers Rely on Reviews
Imagine for a moment that you’re looking up restaurants online. How do you determine the quality of an eatery? If you’re like most people, you read customer reviews.
And it’s not just restaurant-seekers who do this. People looking for all sorts of local businesses tend to rely on other peoples’ testimonials when choosing where to shop.
But just as positive reviews can send people flooding through your door, negative reviews can turn your shop into a ghost town. Don’t let those negative reviews sink your ship!
By investing in an online reputation management strategy, you can minimize bad reviews and obtain more positive reviews. In doing so, you will control the conversation about your business online.
2. Interacting Online Boosts Customer Loyalty
People don’t like to be ignored. So, if your customers feel like you’re giving them the cold shoulder online, then they will likely do the same to your business.
Thus, one of the best things you can do to manage your reputation online is to respond to every customer review you receive. While this may seem like a tedious task, it is worth it for the positive publicity it will give your business.
Customers will appreciate you making it a priority to respond to their messages. And it will significantly increase the chances of them becoming loyal customers.
Of course, if you don’t want to respond to the reviews yourself, then you could always hire professional marketers to do it for you.
3. Having an Online Reputation Management Plan Makes Bad Reviews Manageable
Let’s imagine you don’t have a reputation management strategy in place. One day you happen to notice a negative review of your company online, and it naturally upsets you. So, you respond to the comment angrily, and the bad only gets worse.
Now, not only is that customer is even more upset with you, but everyone else on the web can see your angry response!
Professional online reputation management takes the possibility of this happening out of the equation. By planning how to respond to both positive and negative reviews, you ensure your company will always appear professional in its responses.
This is another reason it’s a good idea to let professional marketers handle your reputation management. By doing so, you eliminate the risk of overly-emotional replies.
4. Positive Reviews Create Free Advertising Opportunities
When you don’t pay attention to reviews, you let opportunities to highlight the effectiveness of your business slip through your fingers.
Good reviews are the most honest form of advertising a business can have. To ignore them would be foolish!
After all, people said these things about your company of their own free will without being prompted. It’s the ultimate proof that your business is worth people’s time.
So, make sure you highlight these glowing testimonials on your website. You could even have a graphic designer turn them into amazing-looking graphics and post them on your company’s social channels. Whatever you do, don’t let them go to waste!
5. Other Businesses are Watching
Are you looking to partner with other businesses on upcoming projects? If you have a negative online reputation, then those businesses probably won’t want much to do with you.
An excellent way to impress potential business partners is by keeping all your company’s social profiles updated. This way, when other companies search the web to learn more about your business, they will like what they see.
6. Attract the Best Talent with Online Reputation Management
Similarly, keeping your online reputation in ship shape is also a reliable way to pique the interest of quality job candidates.
Job searchers often go to a company’s social profiles to see if it looks like a good fit. If they find profiles that you haven’t updated in years, it will likely raise some serious red flags.
Conversely, consistently branded and regularly updated profiles will make your company look like an exciting place to work.
7. A Trustworthy Business is a Successful Business
Ultimately, online reputation management is about earning people’s trust. After all, if uncertainty surrounds your business, then people won’t buy from you.
By actively engaging with your customers online, you build a rapport with them. They grow familiar with their brand and appreciate the value they receive from it.
One of the best things about your online reputation is that it’s free and open to the public. People don’t have to pay to see your gracious response to a review or that remarkable thing you posted on your Facebook page. They can access it all for free!
The more free value you can give to your customers through managing your online reputation, the more they will love your business. You just can’t beat that kind of publicity!