Do you know the benefits of online reputation management in 2021 and beyond? Why online reputation management in digital marketing is trending now? Before that, let me clarify what online reputation management is!
The technique of shaping stakeholder perceptions and public discourse about a business and its brands is known as reputation management. Monitoring perceptions and dialogues, responding to reputation threats, and proactively grabbing opportunities to improve reputation are all part of the process.
Reputation management is part of a broader organizational strategy that touches on almost every corporate activity, including:
- Customer experience, Communications, Marketing, Legal,
- Customer retention and sales.
The internet has altered the corporate landscape, and online reputation management is now something that every company must consider. Not only has the landscape altered the way we do business, but it has also altered how customers interact with us and how they assess a company’s online reputation. The internet has made life easier for customers while making things more difficult for businesses that service them in numerous ways.
So, let’s speak about how to control your online reputation. This is largely owing to how harmful bad online comments can be. Customer recommendations have always been important to businesses, but in the past, the reach and speed of word-of-mouth limited the damage radius of a single bad customer experience. In today’s world, a single negative online review can devastate a company if the circumstances are appropriate
Every business must be aware of, and actively strive to protect, its internet reputation in order to survive the wrath of offended customers (whether those wrongs are actual or imagined). No business or initiative, from sole proprietorships to multinational corporations, can afford to ignore online reputation management. Remember, for various digital marketing services, online reputation management is going to be next to ignore.
We at Podium understand that it’s easier said than done for individuals who aren’t professionals in online reputation management. It’s a distinct discipline in and of itself, and one that many professionals and small businesses may not believe they have the time or resources to adequately address. Even if you’re new to online reputation management, there are certain simple strategies that may be adopted quickly and easily without adding significantly to your job.
This guide will teach you the fundamentals, as well as how to learn from bad criticism and manage your company’s online reputation and image.
The Components of an Online Reputation Management
Online Reputation management is a notion that is both well-known and poorly understood. There is a difference between theory and objective results. We can learn how to develop a reputation with this combo. You must know your building materials from the start, just like you would with a house. Earned, paid, and owned content are the three basic building ingredients in the field of online reputation management.
Earned content is information about your company that you can find online without having to pay for it or write it yourself. It’s akin to getting free PR. Online reviews, social sharing, re-posts of your content, and brand mentions all fall into this category. If you’re lucky, a major news outlet like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal will cover your story.
PPC (pay per click) advertising, display adverts, paid social media marketing, content syndication, paid influencers, and all other forms of content that require you to hand over your credit card number fall under the last category of paid content. Paid content is not less useful than the other two types of content, but it is still necessary to devote a significant amount of time and money to the first two.
Owned content is stuff that you develop on your own. This is content that you have complete control over, such as your blog, website, or social media accounts. While these are crucial when it comes to managing your online reputation, they only account for a small portion of your search engine rankings, and hence your reputation.
All of the aforementioned properties are “typical fare” for reputation management firms. Beyond that, there are industry-specific sorts of owned media, which vary depending on the business.
Development of an Online Reputation Management
An online reputation is built using those three building ingredients. However, those architectural elements interact with other systems that have a significant impact on how a company is seen online. The system of online search is the most essential of these systems, followed by social media algorithms. But, before we get started, keep in mind that quality is the foundation of any excellent reputation campaign. That is why we developed the Reverse Wikipedia Strategy, which assists ORM practitioners in maintaining a spam-free attitude.
As much as we want to think of ourselves as independent thinkers capable of researching a subject and developing a position, the tools we utilize have an impact on our entire research and thinking process.
Developing Your Online Reputation Management Strategy
A review of your online image should be the first stage in your online reputation management approach. Tracking your reputation is a vital component of reputation management, and it’s something you should do even after you’ve completed your core reputation rehabilitation efforts. This is due to the fact that remaining on the right track necessitates ongoing monitoring. A small amount of negligence can soon escalate into a major issue.
You’ll begin by conducting some basic searches, primarily utilizing your company’s name as a keyword. See what comes up when you type it into a search engine. You’re seeking answers to a few queries as you browse the search engine results pages (SERPS):
What are the most pressing issues? Is there anything in particular that stands out?
- What is the extent of the damage? Is it a small number of links on the page, or does it include the top 20 or 30?
- Is there any defamation as a result of customer evaluations or published content (articles, news pieces, etc.)?
- Is this correct? Is it possible to disprove the claims?
- Is there anything positive that can be heard over the din?
- What is the status of our company’s web presence?
- What is the company’s social media presence like?
- Who are the brand’s customers and where can they be found? Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and other social media platforms?
After you’ve answered these questions, you can start putting together a strategy to address the concerns. You begin with “What” and work your way to “Why.”
- Is there anything immediately correctable or improveable about the company’s presence?
- Is the business out of touch with what customers want?
- How can the organisation obtain client feedback more effectively?
- Is it possible for the firm to deal immediately with the most extreme examples of defamation?
- What tools does the corporation have at its disposal to suppress bad search results?
Finally, a strong online reputation management strategy will address each of these concerns, incorporating SEO tactics, content marketing, Voice of the Customer (or similar feedback methods), and the willingness to make changes if they are genuinely required. Below, we’ll go through each of these in further depth.
Customer Relationships to Improve Your Online Reputation
It’s Better to Have More
Disgruntled customers are the most typical cause for needing online reputation management–and with good reason. Consumers would consider engaging with businesses having a minimum star rating of 3.3 stars on average. Whether it’s a single negative review outnumbering a handful of positives or a slew of critics among thousands of evaluations, the first step is always the same: start asking for input from more of your consumers.
If the criticisms aren’t representative of your services or products, the additional comments will help to drown out the negativity. Collecting additional reviews, on the other hand, will assist you in identifying the problem area and determining how to remedy it. More reviews, in any case, will be beneficial.
You want to do everything you can to facilitate the feedback process and make it as simple as possible for customers or clients as you seek input. The more convenient it is for people to provide feedback, the more feedback you’ll get. If you give them a means to directly communicate with you, you’ll have an opportunity to address any concerns before they become public.
Similarly, providing customers with healthy outlets for venting (such as customer service or support forums) will reduce the quantity of high-ranking negative reviews.
When it comes to inviting clients to post a review, you have a few options:
Customers should be asked to give a review as part of the payment process, therefore train your personnel to do so.
Integrate online reviews or a similar product into your point-of-sale system to automatically request reviews from each consumer.
Responding to Feedback
One crucial thing to learn for everyone involved in reputation management is that resolving a problem is preferable to allowing it to fester. You can handle a poor review if you respond appropriately. If you leave it alone, it will continue to express its disapproval. Knowing how to respond is crucial.
When done correctly, you can sometimes convert critics into devoted consumers. If it isn’t possible, you may demonstrate to other consumers that you care about whether or not your customers have a positive experience.
Begin by teaching whoever will be responding on how to handle complaints correctly. Theraspecs’ Greg Bullock encourages customers to show genuine concern and care for them. “Difficult conversations with a disappointed customer can easily turn sour,” he says, “but our team has created a cadence for delivering meaningful support with genuine care even when we are unable to accomplish an optimal solution for the consumer.”
According to FM Outsource’s Nathan Sansby, the best way is to accept blame and demonstrate regret. “Own whatever caused a client to leave that negative review,” he recommends, “apologize, and do your best to rectify the problem.”
Don’t forget to thank those who applaud your efforts to grease the squeaky wheels. It is advisable, according to Sansby, to “Avoid responding solely to negative feedback. Customers that leave positive evaluations should be shown some affection in order to keep them coming back.” You indicate that you’re paying attention and care about your clients’ experiences by responding to both positive and negative evaluations.
Correcting the Course
Some critics will say something useful, providing an honest assessment of your brand, and they should not be dismissed. When you get unfavorable criticism, think about it and see if it’s a sign of a true problem. If that’s the case, be willing to make any required adjustments.
Mazdak Mohammadi of blueberry cloud is a supporter of this strategy. “If we’re able to use negative reviews to make ourselves better, then we can continue to grow as a business and serve our customers better. Not only will you be able to persuade the critic to change his viewpoint, but you will also assure that there will be no more complaints in the future.”
Your Plan for Managing Your Online Reputation
These nine methods should be used while building an online reputation management strategy. Each of these strategies will benefit your customer reputation in a different way:
- Get positive feedback by doing good work.
- Put a premium on customer service.
- Respond to unfavourable feedback.
- Make a Google Alert for your business.
- You may learn a lot from negative interactions.
- Have a good time with your brand’s voice.
- Charity can help to change people’s opinions.
- Make your consumer a part of your business decisions.
- Make an effort to be transparent.
Positive Feedback by Doing Good Work
Receiving positive feedback is one of the most effective strategies to improve your internet reputation. Why not ask your customers for reviews? Providing reviews has become a common occurrence in our lives, so why not ask for them? The easiest approach to do this is to provide excellent service and make it simple for customers to leave a review. Make sure you invest in the necessary things for your business, such as reputation management software, to make the entire process easier for everyone. Reviews can help you gain popularity, assist potential customers in making decisions, and improve your SEO.
Provide a Premium Customer Service
Never underestimate the importance of customer service in your business, much as you care about delivering high-quality work to your clients. In today’s digital age, a single transaction can ruin a person’s reputation (there are a number of recent celebrity downfalls that show exactly how this can ruin a brand name).
Respond to Unfavorable Feedback
When they notice negative reviews online, too many business owners try to avoid them. This is the worst strategy since your consumers may interpret your silence as agreement, and potential customers may conclude you are unconcerned. If you receive a negative review, respond promptly and maintain your composure when dealing with clients. Responses can help you improve your SEO, build stronger customer relationships, and set yourself apart from the competitors.
Make a Google Alert for your Business
Instead of scouring the internet for every mention of your brand, set up a Google Alert for it. When your company’s name is mentioned in the media, this will send you a reminder, making it easy to keep track of your efforts. When someone makes a negative comment, a Google alert will warn you..
Learn a lot from Negative Interactions
Take a step back and learn from every interaction, even if the negative review or poor service was not your fault. Whatever your clients say, needs your full attention. A product description update, additional staff training, revised email signup regulations, and modest modifications to your brand can all make a difference.
Have a Good time with your Brand’s Voice
Consider the brands you follow on social media. What makes you want to spend time with them? Why do you like it so much? The most well-known companies in the market all have a voice that evokes emotion. Even when dealing with severe issues, talk directly to your audience and tell them about the people behind the brand!
Charity can Help to Change People’s Opinions
If you’re fighting a losing battle against a bad reputation, you’ll need to put a face to your business by donating to charity. Microsoft is an example of a corporation that has done this well. They were regarded as a massive corporation in the 1990s, but now they are a massive corporation known for giving back. A modest gesture can have a big impact on how potential and present customers perceive your company.
Make your Consumer a part of your Business Decisions
Engagement is an intriguing method to build client loyalty and control your reputation. Involve your customers in your business decisions by conducting consumer surveys, asking casual questions, or simply asking for their input. This type of corporate relationship fosters trust.
Make an Effort to be Transparent
The news travels swiftly these days, and you can no longer hide a public relations problem. Rather than avoiding them, confront any PR issues head-on and honestly. Because of their transparency in the breach, some firms in recent history have weathered data breaches with no serious consequences. It is preferable to be honest than to hide something.
The appropriate reputation management tactics can propel your company from the bottom of Google’s search results to the top. Customer experience improvements, new company ideas, and more loyal customers can all be guided by the correct tactics.
Even though many reputation management firms utilize this method anyhow, an online reputation strategy is never a cut-and-dry templated affair (beware). Personalities are similar to brand reputations. There are several intricacies and details that must be first grasped, then assimilated, and finally allowed to build the reputation plan. Any firm may reclaim its internet reputation, regardless of what has happened, how awful its products were, or what unethical acts its leadership engaged in. There is always a route up, even if it takes time and resources.
I am a Google, Hubspot, SEMRush Certified Digital Marketing professional. I’ve been providing quality Digital Marketing Training since 2018. I’ve started my journey as a freelancer. After 2018 when I launched Biva Technologies, I have been successfully handling various digital marketing projects including content writing, website design and development, SEO, SEM (PPC), social media, content marketing, email marketing and more. I love exploring new things, therefore, I spend 3 hours (approx) a day to lean new things. I am very passionate about Digital Marketing Training, Digital Marketing Services, Blogging and Affiliate Marketing as well.