A business’s reputation used to be the reach their customers had via word of mouth.
Now, a company’s reputation is the collective image provided by real-time feedback online through review sites, social media and forums. Any online source a consumer is talking about their customer experience on is a channel your online reputation should be managed.
Digital marketing and online reputation management for businesses
Online reputation management is a part of a greater digital marketing strategy that works alongside business listings, SEO, paid search/ads, social media & review management. All help your business stay competitive and relevant online. 4 in 5 consumers surveyed use search engines to find local information from multiple devices to find store address, business hours, product availability and directions.
A reputation can be affected anytime, from any source across the web. You can use products (SaaS), services (outsource services) or people (outsource or hire a digital marketer) to cut down on your reputation management time expenditure. Missing a listing on a reference site is just as bad as having bad reviews on that site. Ensure that you stay on top of your reputation by setting up an automated system.
Why your business’s online reputation matters
Without reviews & ratings it would appear as if no one ever visited the business. Customers view social recommendations as a mirror of the actual customer experience that they would experience themselves. Good reviews set good expectations, bad reviews ward potential customers away.
Ready or not, consumers are talking about your business
Even one experience can affect an online reputation, sometimes showing up near the top of a search results page. The worst thing your business can do is appear unresponsive. Unmanaged negative responses can create an angry mob mentality, spreading like wildfire.
Everyone’s feedback matters
Social media is a two-way conversation, both sides having an equal voice. Dramatically changing the way businesses communicate to customers. Whether customers are raving about a business or letting everyone know they had a terrible experience, it’s the businesses’ responsibility to be aware & respond.
Reputation drives conversion
79% of customer use their smartphones in store to look at reviews or compare prices and 74% of them end up making a purchase. What people see online matters. Approximately 74% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This trust in reviews translates to dollars, as customers put their money where their trust is. A study found that a restaurant with a one star increase on Yelp will see revenues increase from 5 to 9%.
What makes a good online reputation?
Being present and having a good reputation go hand in hand.
Some important aspects of the online footprint include:
- number of business listings
- consistency of business listing information (name, address, phone)
- sentiment in reviews
- frequency or current velocity of new reviews
- volume of reviews
- engagement and social activity
Many people find that cultivating their digital profile is too time consuming. There are reputation monitoring tools that make keeping up with customers quick & easy, with huge returns. Get more people in the door & in turn make more sales!