When it comes to finding products and services, people rely on Google and the internet. Negative internet reviews related to your brand name are the last thing you want your consumers to see. Misinformation abounds on the internet, but an active online reputation management approach can keep your brand from being harmed.
Before we delve deep into how to manage your or the brand’s online reputation, let us take a look at what is online reputation management and how important it is to do so.
What is Online Reputation Management?
When people search for your company on the internet, they are looking for information about it. This is your online reputation. First impressions matter and they will influence how people feel about your brand (good or bad).
As a result, online reputation management (ORM) entails influencing how people see your company online. In simplest terms, it refers to the ability to manage the information that appears when people search for your brand, products, or services on the internet.
The goal of online reputation management is to elicit good thoughts and views about your company while suppressing any negative feedback or remarks. All of this is done with the purpose of increasing customer trust in your company, which leads to more people purchasing your goods and services.
What is the Importance of Online Reputation Management?
One of the most powerful kinds of marketing has always been word-of-mouth. Consumers in the internet era don’t only poll their friends and family before making a purchase. They have access to viewpoints from across the world due to a little thing called the internet.
Impacts Purchasing Decisions
Those views, particularly unfavorable ones, can influence whether a potential consumer chooses your product over one of your competitors.
Influence Investor Decisions
Although it is not the subject of this article, it is worth noting that if a company is publicly listed, that is, if it has stock available for purchase on a stock exchange, brand perception can impact the decisions of both existing and future investors.
How To Manage Your Online Reputation
1. Analyze Your Brand’s Entire Reputation
Before you do anything, you should do an internet reputation assessment. You want to know what others are talking about you and how your consumers perceive your brand.
Asking friends, customers, business partners, and other stakeholders how they feel and what they think about your brand may be as easy as that and is a good brand marketing technique.
The next step would be to conduct a basic Google search for your brand name to see what results are returned. However, you may use a tool like The Brand Grader to obtain a more overall picture of your internet reputation. Enter your company name to see what important bloggers and news sites have to say about you.
2. Protect Your Company’s Reputation
Building your online reputation means building a name for yourself. And to start, make sure you own your brand name. If you want to be able to control your online reputation, you need to protect your name across popular platforms. The last thing you want to happen is when people look up your name, someone else’s website or social profiles come up in the search results.
Even if you don’t have a website, all businesses must have a domain name that matches their identity. Aside from the.com, I highly urge you to secure other prominent TLDs such as.net,.org, and.info. However, you should also purchase regional names such as.in (India), .us (USA), and any other locations you may be serving.
These are all well-known TLDs that may appear high in Google search results. You don’t want those domain names to be owned by your rivals or others. If you don’t get them, you run the danger of someone impersonating you on the internet, which can not only harm your reputation but also your business. You should also see whether a handle with your brand name exists on any of the more than 500 prominent social media platforms.
3. Create Accounts On All Social Media Platforms
It’s not only about search engines and your website. People utilize social media to learn about new products and services. To put things in context, 60% of Instagram users believe the platform helps them find new items, and 80% of users follow at least one company.
Also, even if you aren’t on social media, your consumers may already be talking about you. Being visible and responding to consumer feedback on social media pays off. You’d best get there quickly before you run into any problems.
As a result, register your name on all social media platforms that your potential consumers may use. It’s important having those social profiles even if you don’t have the time (or cash) to be active on social media.
Because of their great popularity, you should create an account on:
- and LinkedIn
Fill up your bio and upload a profile photo and a cover image, at the very least. You’ll be able to safeguard your brand against imposters and other wrongdoers in this way. Also, on your website, include a link to your social media profiles. You may include social networking icons in your website’s header and sitewide footer.
As a result, search engines will recognize such pages as your official sites, increasing your chances of totally controlling the SERP for your business.
4. Obtain a Listing In Local Business Directories.
Online directories, like old-fashioned telephone directories, assist users in locating businesses, their websites, and contact information.
These might be business or community directories. Your goal is to locate the ones that are relevant to your business and double-check that your website and information are included correctly. Consistency in NAP (name, address, phone) is a significant ranking criterion in Google for local searches.
In addition, many of these sites provide user reviews and comments. As a result, knowing where your site is listed and what people are saying about you is important so you can respond to any criticism and fix concerns.
5. Leverage Testimonials
When was the last time you purchased something without first reading reviews? You don’t remember, do you? You’re not alone; most people won’t test new items or services without first reading reviews online.
Reviews are an important aspect of your online reputation to maintain because they have such a strong effect on people’s purchase decisions. There are two key components to this:
- People should be encouraged to post good evaluations.
- Negative evaluations should be responded to and neutralized.
But first, let’s take a look at some of the internet’s most prominent review websites.
- Google My Business (GMB): GMB is a go-to platform for any business that wants to have a decent internet presence and is one of the most trustworthy sites for online reviews. It’s crucial for local companies since Google uses GMB data for the majority of their local-related search results.
- Facebook: Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform, with over 2 billion members as of 2018. However, it is also critical for enterprises. To stay in touch with your consumers, you should establish a company page. Users may also offer feedback and ratings based on their interactions with your company and items.
- Amazon: Amazon, the undisputed king of online shopping, is also a force to be reckoned with when it comes to online reviews. If your items are featured on Amazon, you can expect that consumers will read the reviews before purchasing them. For quite some time, Amazon has been encouraging its customers to write comments and ratings, so any product is likely to have enough reviews to be considered a reliable source.
- Yelp: For its stringent review rules, Yelp is one of the most trustworthy sources of consumer reviews on the internet. Yelp lists businesses in a variety of categories, from restaurants and pubs to dry cleaners and day spas. Make sure your company is claimed on Yelp and that your information is up to date. Also, be sure to react to any bad comments as soon as possible.
6. Respond To Negative Reviews
Is it that crucial to respond to your internet reviews? You might be shocked to learn that 89 percent of customers read a company’s response to a review! As a result, the power lies not only in the reviews but also in how you respond and deal with the issue.
Customers give important input in the form of reviews, both good and negative. Ignoring dissatisfied consumers is one of the worst things you can do. It will just indicate that you are unconcerned about client pleasure, which will be disastrous for your internet reputation.
7. Display Your Expertise With Blogs
People don’t simply search for companies and goods on Google. The majority of the time, users are looking for information that can assist them in completing a task or resolving an issue. You establish a great reputation and brand image by assisting people with useful information. As a result, when those people have a better grasp of the issue and are ready to buy, they will seek you!
By performing keyword research, you may understand exactly what search words individuals use on Google when they’re seeking helpful information.
Instead of focusing on yourself or your goods in your blog articles, concentrate on delivering value to your readers to imply the benefits of blogging. Demonstrate to them that you understand the situation and how to deal with it. As a result, you’ll gain their trust and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Your online reputation is crucial to the success of your company. A good reputation and a high star rating may help you climb the ranks, attract more visitors, and create trust with potential consumers.
Encourage favorable reviews and handle the bad, hurting ones if your firm relies on them.
Customer complaints are unavoidable, but how you respond to bad feedback makes all the difference. Make sure you reply to client feedback and demonstrate that you are interested in what they have to say.
Also, keep an eye on what people are saying about your business and goods when they mention them online. Be proactive and ready to seize any opportunity to make a positive impression.
Remember that managing your online reputation is a continuous effort, so if you don’t have the time to handle it yourself, don’t be afraid to get assistance.