Don’t Underestimate the Value of Online Reputation Management
A Lasting First Impression Goes a Long Way in Establishing Your Brand
There is no denying the fact that online reputation management plays a significant role in today’s business and media landscape. While 82% consumers read online reviews for local businesses, the average consumer reads 10 reviews before placing their trust in a brand or offering. In fact, 3 out of 4 consumers trust a company more if it has positive reviews, and 49% prefer at least a 4-star rating before they choose to engage with a business.
No matter how big or small your business, your customers, prospects, and just about anyone who finds you online could be influencing your reputation, positively or negatively. Reviewing your product or service, tweeting about your latest offering, sharing a post on Facebook, or leaving a comment on your blog. For some companies, this may translate into transformative sales and customer engagement. For others, it may end up in disruptive rumors or a fall from grace, with the potential to destroy careers and businesses.
Managing and influencing your online reputation may seem like a daunting task, especially when you have no control over user-generated content, such as online reviews. However, there are several tools and strategies that can help you protect and strengthen your online reputation and create a lasting first impression for your audience.
Top 5 Tips to Manage Your Company’s Online Reputation
- Monitor your online presence: The first step in boosting your online reputation is active monitoring. If you do not know what is being said about your brand, product or service, how are you going to acknowledge an appreciation, deny an allegation, or correct a misinterpretation? While a simple Google alert can do the trick, you can also use other free tools, such as Social mention and Tweet alarm. Want to go a step further and get a quick read of how people have reviewed your brand? Brand24 not only monitors the social media for brand mentions, but also provides ‘sentiment analysis’ based on key emotion words in the reviews. Similarly, Cision lets you track brand mentions across traditional, digital and social platforms, and provides valuable automated insights to fortify your online efforts.
- Be mindful of your official comments and replies: Very often, there are no second chances in managing your online reputation. One wrong or negligent step could damage your image irreparably. Some of the biggest global brands have experienced this firsthand. For example, American Airlines’ faux pas tweet, or Nestlé’s sarcastic and impolite comments on Facebook are lessons in what not to do. Here is some online reputation management 101:
- Avoid sarcasm. Craft polite and empathetic replies, even in the face of harsh criticism.
- Use humor carefully and intelligently. The internet is crawling with people who may perceive things the wrong way if your humor appears to be insensitive, even unintentionally.
- Be prompt and personalize your replies. Customers are looking for real interaction and acknowledgements, and do not care much about templated responses.
- Own up to mistakes with humility. Let your apology reflect a genuine intention to resolve the issue.
- Stay on top of your search results: While improving brand visibility is critical, minimizing the visibility of negative content associated with your brand is equally important. When a user searches for your brand or offering, you want your business website to show up first. What this means is you need to optimize content for your own branded keywords to retain the top spot on SERPs. Another way to improve search results is by improving your average ratings. It is all about cultivating positive customer experiences from start to finish and encouraging your happy customers to submit online reviews. That way when new users look up your business, they are more likely to see you in the top ranks for that product or service
- Have a crisis management strategy: Designate someone who can respond to any signs of crisis 24 x 7. Social media is here and now, instant and volatile. People expect immediate responses, and any delays in managing minor negativities could put you in the middle of a massive reputational crisis.
- Address the basics of online branding: While you may focus on building up your reputation on multiple social media platforms, don’t forget or skimp on the basics of online brand management.
- Maintain uniformity in the look and feel of your website, offerings, paid ads, and posts.
- Make sure all the basic details of your company are up-to-date across all platforms.
- Ensure that your posts and comments are consistent with the brand image that you are cultivating. This includes the tone, style, appearance and conversations across channels.
- If you have different teams managing your website, social media accounts, ads, blogs, and marketing campaigns, it’s important to ensure a coordinated strategy. This will help avoid sending out mixed signals or conflicting messages to your audience.
Strengthen and Protect Your Online Reputation with Leap Digital
Whether you wish to build on your brand image or repair the damage of negative press by dissatisfied customers or disgruntled employees, the experts at Leap Digital can help you successfully reshape your company’s online reputation. We take the time to understand your business and audience and create a sustainable strategy for managing your online presence. From cultivating active customer engagement and experiences, to taking prompt steps for mitigating any damage from negative content, we ensure that your company’ online image is a true reflection of your corporate values and brand promise.
Besides online reputation management, we offer a comprehensive suite of digital marketing services for expanding your reach, generating leads, and growing your business.
Take advantage of our systematic and structured approach to online reputation management to build, protect or restore your brand image. Call 416-458-4876 or contact us through email. We are excited to draw up solutions and strategies that will maximize your online presence and help your business grow.