What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management is the act of managing what people are thinking about you or your business online through many different websites, including social media sites, crowd-sourcing sites like Yelp, and many other sites available.
Managing your reputation online has become that much more important nowadays with the availability of these websites because now word of mouth marketing is done on a vast scale with the internet as the conduit for available information.
Who is Online Reputation Management for?
Online reputation management is like handing your business card out on the internet. It isn’t just about your website anymore. People can now do their due diligence on levels that were unheard of just 5 years ago.
You can go to a website and that company can tell you whatever they want about their own company, but once you go to Twitter or Yelp you can see what others are saying about that same company and that is a lot more reliable than just believing what a business tells you about themselves.
If you search for a keyword, whatever shows up on page one of Google or any other search engine is exactly what you are going to discover about that keyword. We consider page one of Google to be that important to your reputation that you may want to keep tabs on the first page at least once per month just to make sure something isn’t showing up that you don’t want to see there. This makes online reputation management important for every individual and every company or organization.
Personal Online Reputation Management
Managing your own reputation on the internet is vital going forward in 2019. This can apply to any individual, such as a celebrity and even you. It doesn’t matter who is searching for you because whatever they find online will help them begin to form their opinion of you before they even connect with you.
Online Job Background Checks
Think about how important it is for businesses to do background checks on new job applicants on Facebook and LinkedIn these days. It is usually a good idea to clean up any crazy pictures or posts on your social media sites before applying for a new job since you may not get the job due to something inappropriate online. Some people will even go as far as turning their Facebook account off before applying to jobs so they can tell these companies that they don’t even have a Facebook account anymore.
Personal Business Background Checks
Some people will even Google the people they are meeting on online dating websites to see what they can dig up on them before meeting up for the first time. Parents will also Google babysitters that will be watching their children to make sure they have someone they can trust. They may also check your social media profiles.
Celebrity Online Reputation Management VS Your Business
Celebrities have an even bigger job to do than normal civilians since celebrity gossip is an industry of its own. You can’t go to the local grocery store without seeing a pile of magazines by the checkout counter with gobs of celebrity rumors.
You can’t even search on Google for a celebrity without finding some website saying something about them. Their reputations are constantly on the line so the only thing they can do is manage them. They have no control over what others say about them and the same can be said with you and your business.
That is why reputation management is so important to yourself and your company! Now there are websites dedicated to giving people the truth when they search for your company or your niche online. These websites are just like the tabloids for the celebrities at every grocery store, except there are apps right on our smart phones that expose the truth immediately, without having to get in line at your local grocery store.
Local Company Online Reputations
Local businesses play an even larger role with their online reputation because your location can affect what local consumers do and where they go to make their purchases. After searching for Walmart here in Harrisburg, PA, not only did the national results show up but some local results were added into my Google results and one of them was a bit disturbing.
Some people would actually avoid going to Walmart, especially with children, if they saw a news article like this. The question is, how did Walmart respond to this article? Did they reach out to Fox 43 directly and respond or did they just sweep it under the rug?
These large corporations have to constantly monitor their online reputation so that they don’t get tarnished from one post that may go viral. One issue that may arise online could cost a large corporation millions, if not billions of dollars in stocks and lots and lots of business over time.
How to Make More Money Managing Your Online Reputation
The internet has opened up the conversation about your company and made it a two sided ordeal with your customers and clients able to reach out and let the world know about their experience with your organization. Companies are now searching for you on Facebook and many other social media sites to find out the real details about you as a person before hiring you.
Your online reputation is at stake 24/7 and it’s time for you to watch it very closely, like your business depended on it. Word of mouth marketing is the most powerful type of marketing because it involves another person’s experience and people tend to listen to how you treat other people so they have an idea of how you will treat them. Sites such as amazon.com have decided to use the reputation of each product they offer to actually make more money, all while helping people make better buying decisions as well.
Run Your Business Like Amazon
Amazon made it so people no longer had to ask their friends about your business when they can just go online and see what third parties are saying about you and how you are responding to them as a company. People pay attention to how you handle problems and if you are not handling problems quickly and kindly this will hurt your business in the long run.
We are only human and that means we are bound to mess up once in a while. No business is perfect and so nobody expects you to have nothing but 5 stars across the board. In fact, some people make their purchase decision strictly on what your 1 and 2 star reviews say about your product or service.
Good Reviews Equal More Revenue
Nowadays image is everything and a bad reputation can literally put you out of business.
People have actually taken the negative reputation towards SeaWorld and created a documentary towards exposing their reputation to the masses. SeaWorld may not be in business 10 years from this blog post because of the negative reputation they have recently acquired towards their orca treatment and captivity standards unless they make some major changes that change their reputation.
Chipotle also was in the news recently for having E. Coli in some of their meat in the northwestern United States. They were forced to shut down many locations and many other people were scared to go to Chipotle across the country because they felt that they were at risk of getting E. Coli from eating there. This both hurt business and it also dropped the price of their profits by 82%, according to a CNN article, all due to some negative publicity.
The Importance of Responding to Your Negative Online Reputation
It’s going to happen. Eventually something negative is going to happen and it should be expected with business. It really comes down to managing what other people say and responding accordingly. Both Chipotle and SeaWorld responded in the correct manner, based upon what the population said online.
Chipotle closed extra locations than required and was proactive online and proactive with updating the national news. I’m glad too because I love me some Chipotle for lunch.
(Thanks for handling that guys)
Listening to Your Customers Equals More Money
Your customers are telling you what they want online. They are going to your site, review sites, listing sites, and social media sites to tell you what they like and dislike about you. Feedback is exactly what you need to be getting and responding to in order to constantly better your company.
Walmart recently responded to their Better Business Bureau complaint and ended up gaining a customer for life. The best thing about responding to a customer complaint and helping them out is that you actually earn their business even more because you made something right that was once wrong.
This will lead you to making more money in 2019! Turning angry customers into happy customers will build your brand and keep that customer coming back for more in the future.
Making More Money with Your Online Reputation
There are many ways for you to make money with your reputation and building a strong foundation is the most important thing. It could take you ten years to build a strong reputation and to build trust with your customers, but it only takes one second to break that reputation and that trust.
We are going to discuss a few ways that you can build your reputation in the rest of this post and how you can use these techniques to make more money in your business. Your reputation is influencing buyers decisions more than ever right now and these tips that you will receive are going to be vital to building your online reputation.
Building listings online is extremely important because people are constantly searching for your products or services on the internet. The more listing that you have, the more places these people can find you, which gives you a higher probability of receiving new business.
A couple things to be aware of are that accuracy builds trust and trust leads to more sales. If you have dozens of listings and each listing has a different address for your one building, you will lose trust and your reputation will go down online.
Being found online will also build you more trust, especially when everything is accurate. The importance of accurate listings are one and the same of a first impression. If someone is looking for your product or service and you have a phone number that is no longer working, you will most likely lose that customer to another business with accurate listings.
Placeable.com recently did a location based survey on the importance of accurate business listings and the chart above shows that 73% of consumers said they lost trust in the brands that have incorrect information online. 67% of consumers said they lost trust in a brand if they had trouble getting to the location of the company because of an incorrect address listing.
Social Media Reputation Management Tactics
Social media is the new voice of communication with your customers. There are many different sites and many different ways that you can communicate via social media with your customers and potential customers as well.
The great thing about social media is that it’s also free to communicate with your audience, for the most part. A couple things that you need to watch on your social media sites are mentions, responding to reviews, and being proactive by providing your audience with quality content.
Mentions can happen anywhere and you usually find out about them when somebody mentions your business in some type of post or comment. Social media sites, blog, news websites, review sites, and images are just some of the places where you can get mentioned.
If they tag you in the post you will get a notification right away, however if they do not tag you it is still a mention that is very important to pay attention to, but you will not get a notification about it unless your brand gets tagged. You also may want to monitor your employee mention of your company, in case something is said that is inappropriate. There are ways to monitor your mentions online and White Noise Digital does provide a solution with our reputation management packages.
Social Media Reviews
Responding to reviews on social media websites are extremely important. Facebook has recently added reviews to their business pages and responding to those are important because other people can see them.
Twitter is also where a lot of talking happens and if you have a large company you may have people talking about your company on a daily basis. It is extremely important to monitor what people are saying on a daily basis so you can respond accordingly and quickly.
The best thing about social media is that you can be proactive when building your reputation. If you are constantly putting out great content and providing a window for your customers to be looking at your company through, you will be ahead of the game. Being proactive will put you ten steps ahead of any of your competition because you will be the trusted company online in your niche.
There are many sites nowadays that allow individuals to leave reviews about companies they have dealt with. More and more sites are showing up offering reviews and reputation exposure agents towards brands and monitoring these sites is becoming more and more important as a business owner. Sites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and many other forums in your industry are what you want to look for when monitoring what others are saying.
Companies realize how important it is to get real reviews because giving fake reviews or paying people to leave your company positive reviews can actually get you banned and these reviews are monitored very closely. You want to receive 100% true real reviews from your customers and you want to be as transparent as possible.
It is becoming very difficult to monitor all of these review sites at once but there are many ways that you can do it to streamline the process. The more positive reviews your company has, the more trust you will build with your customer base and the more sales you will receive moving forward.
News Site Reputation Building
The news has always been important when it comes to your reputation. Somebody once said bad publicity is still good publicity. That may be true for celebrities but for businesses it is not the same. Monitoring what news sites are saying about you is extremely important and responding appropriately will definitely help your reputation grow.
By managing your reputation online with these new sites you will be building more trust with your customers and potential clients and you will start making more money just by being active. The most important focal point with the news is being transparent with the public.
If something is said about your company, respond as transparent as you can be and just know that the truth will set you free. Another great style of news is for you to actually provide your own news via a blog or news section on your website. You can blog about different topics and discuss various newsworthy subjects that you want to fill your audience in on.
Another great thing with blogging is that you are actually being proactive with your customers and you were building more trust by allowing them into your world, just by providing them with value and content that they can consume.
Blogging is actually becoming a full-time career for individuals because it actually builds likability and trust to the point where people are actually buying products from the blogs and services from them just because of their recommendations.
How to Get More Customers with Your Reputation
Don’t hide things from customers, be honest, and respond to all of your reviews, especially bad ones. Businesses used to be able to hide things from the public but now with social media and the internet it’s impossible.
People will find out and people will talk about it so you have to be as transparent as possible, and that includes being honest with your customers in a proactive matter. Create content as much as possible because content is what drives the internet. If your customer sees that you’re creating content that actually helps them and somebody is talking trash about you, they will actually stand up for you.
Creating content will build trust, it will make you an authority, and it will attract new customers to you all at the same time. Some people and some businesses will make millions of dollars a year just off of creating content, which also builds your reputation as the company that cares and helps your customers up front.
Other Reputation Building Money Strategies
Being consistent and watching what other people are saying is going to paint the picture for how the world portrays your company as well. Another great way to get more customers is through exceptional customer service. Customer service is now more than just receiving a phone call.
Now customer service is handled through social media websites, your own personal website, and many different review websites, including listing websites and sites like Yelp. It would be best for you to respond to social media messages and comments as quickly as possible and it will be extremely important for you to stay in touch with your customers through social media. Social media gives you a voice and that is how you will communicate with your customers on their level since it also gives them a voice.
Handle Problems Promptly
Show your customers that you care with how you actually handle problems when they arise. Problems will come up, and it’s not the problems that matter but rather how you handle the problems that matter. People are watching you and they are watching how you handle problems and how you respond to issues. You can actually turn a bad review into a good review just by acting quickly and handling the issue in an appropriate manner.
Turn Your Mistakes Into Money
Finally, you need to learn from your mistakes. Every business makes mistakes and every individual also makes mistakes and it is up to you to learn from those mistakes. See what people are saying and actually respond to them appropriately by fixing the problem so it does not happen again.
If you continue to have the same problem over and over people will notice a pattern and they will stop buying from you as your reputation declines. Fixing those mistakes as soon as possible will show customers that you were listening and you were handling objections and problems as quickly as possible, which will raise your reputation and that will then cause you to bring more business in by building trust.
Online Reputation Management Solutions
There are multiple ways for you to handle your reputation online and it really depends on where you are at as a company.
Self Manage Your Reputation Online
You can always manage your reputation all by yourself, especially if you are a small business without a budget for reputation management. You can also hire an online reputation and social media management employee to handle it for you. Sometimes actually appointing an employee to handle all of your online reputation is extremely important, especially with your social media profiles these days.
Most companies now understand how important it is to have social media and to actually keep in touch with their customers, so they are actually putting a lot of money into actually managing their day-to-day social media operations. People are growing their businesses every day through social media without even doing ads as it all comes down to communication.
Outsource Your Online Reputation Management
Finally you can actually outsource your online reputation management to an online reputation management company. This comes in handy for any company because it allows you to focus on building the actual business while a reputable management company takes care of your reputation side by side with you.
It is similar to hiring a property management company to handle your real estate investments. You don’t manage your properties but rather the property management company while they manage your properties. The same relationship exists with an online reputation management company.
Your online reputation is vital to building your business in 2019 and beyond. Making sure you are authentic with your customers and helping them out will keep your reputation high, both offline and online. The best way to make money with your reputation is to keep your ratings high and to encourage reviews and interactions with your customers. As your reputation builds, your trust will build and that will entice more purchases and more customers signing up to do business with you.
Leave a comment below and let us know how the reputation of a company or product has altered the way you bought in the last year, including the star ratings and reviews you’ve read on Amazon. If you want more help with managing your online reputation, click here and let us take a look at it so we can help you make more money in 2019.