Complete Guide to Online Reputation Management:
In today’s Digital Era internet is the easiest and quickest way for the most of the people to get to know about a small/medium sized business. When you open a browser and do search for anything then it feels like a magic that you can be aware of what is good or bad about a person, a company, an experience or some business & organization very quickly.
But in today’s scenario people are not just visiting company websites but they also look for directory sites or some review sites, and the social media profile for additional information. And what is worse about this situation is that a bad comment or review can make away your potential customers from your business and in some cases you won't even know it. This is the point where an Online Reputation Management Services come into play.
If you have just started a business or own a small business then you must keep an eye on what people are saying about your business online and it needs to be part of your day to day marketing strategy. If you ignore what is being said about your business online it can harm you in many ways, so you better take control wherever you can and try your level best to manage your online reputation.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management stands for controlling or maintaining your online image to protect the growth and success of your business. It is a process of managing what is to be shown when someone looks up your business or company online. It's about how you handle the things in terms of bad comments, negative reviews, spam materials or feedbacks about your business. It is the combination of some techniques and strategies that ensure that people find the right materials about the company on the Internet. The purpose of ORM is to create balance, prevent misleading trends, and make you to put your best in front of users.
The process of ORM (Online Reputation Management) includes, identifying and cleaning up any damaging content about you i.e. negative Google Results or some Risky Social Media Posts, and Images with wrong message convey. It also includes promoting positive content that make your business look great online. You don’t have any control on what people say about you online, and sometimes, a single negative comment can define your business in a wrong way that ultimately can destroy what you built. The fact is that you can’t please everyone every time but if you take an active role in the management of your reputation online it will help overrule the impact of negative reviews and highlight the positive one.
Why is it important to Manage Online Reputation?
Please have a look at the following reasons of the importance of Online Reputation Management.
1. It directly affects buying decision of customers: When it comes to influence the buying decision of a consumer then your online reputation comes at the #1 priority. Because in today’s age customers depend on the online reviews while making a purchase. In nutshell we can say that an ORM can increase or decrease your sale or leads. Please have a look on the results of some recent studies held i.e. “2017 Local Consumer Review Survey conducted by BrightLocal”.
● More than 80% of customers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations.
● Positive Reviews make more than 70% consumers trust on a Local or Online Business.
● In today’s era 97% people look and read the online Reviews.
● 50% customers rely on the business having at least 4 star ratings.
2. Provides a Chance to make things right: Negative feedback can become an effective way that gives you an opportunity to improve your products or services. Because online reputation management provides you a chance turn the negative perceptions of the public around which they bear in mind for your business. It is not always easy to hear something bad about your business, but listening the customer’s feedback and creating a healthy conversation with them can help to improve your business.
3. Words of mouth travel faster than anything else: When it comes to spread of some news it's like riding a fast speed train without knowing when it will stop. Social media platform is one of the greatest examples of how word of mouth can become destructive to small businesses. It is totally depend on customer that what rating he wants to give your business because everyone has a different perspective and taste. But if someone has given his experience then it will spread in rest of the world in just a few clicks. And these words of mouth are very much important because people rely on that only before making any perception about your company. So it becomes more important to monitor your online reputation consistently.
4. Online reputation stays FOREVER: You are what people say you are and it is quite challenging or difficult to change. We may not live for 100 years but the reputation will surely going to live long. Even though what a customer said is not true or it could be just half of the story, but it will change the buyer’s perspective towards your business. Some simple comments like "Scam!" and "Don't buy!" will change the buying decision of a buyer. It's sad, but true. When someone posts a comment about your business, what has been done is just done. And the only way you can highlight or overrule it, is cautiously managing your online reputation.
The Rules for managing Online Reputation:
Some simple ways for Online Reputation Management are as follows:
● Consistently monitor your business’ reputation
● Analyze your brand’s image
● Deal proactively with negative reviews and crises situations
● React quickly & politely
● Improve relations with customers
● Increase the awareness of your brand
● Accept & address criticism
● Attack your illegitimate attackers
1. Consistently monitor your business’ reputation: It is foremost important to know what people are talking about you. And for small size businesses it becomes necessary to monitor their business’ reputation the trust of the customer is the key element that can make or break a company or brand. You can take some Online Reputation Management Services who will keep a watch on your online reputation by using some monitoring tools.
2. Analyze your brand’s image: The brand image is defined as a perception of a brand in the minds of persons, that is what people think & believe about a brand. So, you better take feebbacks from your employees and consumers to know about how they like your products, because consumers select a product not only for its commodity or quaity but also for the image associated with the product.
3. Deal proactively with negative reviews and crises situations: People share their opinion about the produsts or services or the quality or may be the brand on the Internet. You should stay tuned with what they say about your company/produt/brand and try to react and engage quickly to real-time comments. You must respond to a dissatisfied customer in the positive manner before the story gets ahead of you.
4. React quickly & politely: You must respond to a query or a review or feedback as quickly as possible. In case of a customer complaint if you don’t know what you can reply before checking the issue, you can give a polite & quick respond for example: “We are aware of the problem. We are working on it and will get back to you as soon as possible.” It is a better response insead of a later reply with more information.
5. Improve relations with customers: You need to create good relations with the customers for that you shoud follow-up on positive comments from your brand ambassadors, and respond to a dissatisfied customer in a humble before the story gets foward to you and become uncontrollable.
6. Increase the awareness of your brand: For managing your online reputation it is necessary to increase you brand awareness and for that you must engage and manage an online community. Because people always trust people’s recommendations. So building a community of people is a great way to spread the awareness of your company and your products.
7. Accept & address criticism: Accepting criticism is not always easy, but sometimes taking criticism is necessary to make yourself even better. So whenever you get a negative feedback or review about your product. Instead of defending it with bad words you should accept & address it with th comment “it will never happen again.”
8. Attack your illegitimate attackers: If a critism is for your betterment take it but if something is illegal & not related to your company or brand then you must take an action against it. Sometimes you simply have to fight some illegal behavior of consumers. People who post false information on the internet, if they don’t get punished, then they might do it again. So you better to sue those illegitimate attackers.