Simply put, reputation is how others view your brand. Management is how you control how your stakeholders see your brand. Reputation management exists in all parts of the customer journey.
The Internet has given the power to consumers when it comes to online reputation. While word of mouth is still important, now, word of mouth is online. Consumers turn to social media and review sites to decide where to spend their money. It is up to businesses to shape the information their consumers see online. It is vital to take the time to connect with consumers within these networks.
Businesses that actively manage their online reputation will thrive, building trust within virtual communities. The reality is that running a business does not leave much time for business owners to understand their online reputation and learn how to self-manage. However, there are inexpensive tools available to help you.
According to BrightLocal, only 53% of consumers would consider using a business with less than four stars. The average consumer reads ten reviews before deciding. And of the consumers who read reviews, 97% look for responses from the business.
Essentially, there are three easy areas of reputation management that have a large amount of impact. They are listings, reviews, and social activities.
First, your listings must be accurate, consistent, and plentiful. This helps potential customers search and find your business over the competition and helps build trust. Be sure that your vital information, such as name, address, and phone number, is accurate on every possible listing platform.
Second, you want to have a lot of frequent and positive reviews. Positive reviews help your business rank higher in web searches and help your potential customers to make an informed purchase decision.
Finally, your business should respond and engage in social activity, interact with user-created content related to your business, and respond to reviews. This online engagement with communities and conversations will help build trust and improve your overall online presence.
Through the use of a Reputation Management Dashboard, you can:
- Manage your online reputation from one place. Compile reviews from dozens of sites to easily see what is being said about your business online. Plus, use competitive benchmarking to see how you stack up to the competition.
- Show up where people are looking. Improve your search rank by identifying online business listings that are inaccurate or missing from essential directories like Google, Facebook, and Bing.
- Hear what customers are saying all over the web. Monitor when your business is mentioned in various sources, including news sites, blogs, and social networks. Plus, highlight the most positive and negative mentions using automated sentiment analysis.
- Stay informed with automated reports and alerts. Executive reports break down how your business is faring in online conversations and helps you understand what to do. Alerts are also sent every time new information is found.
Reputation management will help you better engage with your consumers and potential customers. It gives you an edge over your competition. And this will help you thrive.
For more on reputation management, check out our blog on the 10 Strategies for Awesome Online Reputation Management.