Are you managing your online reputation? If not, it could be costing you business. Here are some things you should know.
Why Manage Your Online Reputation
Online reputation management (ORM) is the process of monitoring and managing your business’s reputation on the web. Here’s why it matters.
- Buying Decisions - Most people do online research before making a purchase and how you appear online could be the deciding factor.
- Word-of-mouth - People treat online reviews like a recommendation or a tip from a friend and can spread quickly.
- Negative Reviews - The internet is forever, but by responding properly, you can turn an unhappy customer into a long-term client.
- Feedback - Paying attention to what customers say about your business can help develop insights regarding satisfaction and feedback about your product or services.
How To Manage Your Online Reputation
Successful online reputation management is a process. Here are some steps for effective ORM.
- Audit - Conduct an audit that reveals how people see you and the issues you need to address. Your audit should answer these questions:
- Which items in my search results do I have control over?
- What kinds of websites come up for the business name?
- Is the business popular/how many mentions?
- How do visitors find the business (check Google Analytics/Traffic Sources)?
- Is sentiment for the business positive/neutral or negative?
- Strategy - An effective strategy should cover priorities, guidelines, tone, and crisis management.
- Channels - Manage your reputation in all the places where you get mentioned, including paid media, earned media, shared media, and owned media.
- Monitoring - Monitoring online conversations gives you a real-time view of your online presence and an opportunity to react. There are tools available that can help with this.
- Searches - SEO helps you rank well on SERPs for your keywords. Having a highly ranked website is great but don’t forget about optimizing your social media pages. Here are some tips.
- Define Your Keywords
- Check the SERP for your keywords and negative content.
- Identify negative items that need attention. For external reviews and platforms:
- Google My Business Reviews - Reach out to loyal customers and ask them to leave positive reviews to balance the negative ones to increase your rating.
- Negative Content - Try to contact the author with reasons why their critique is invalid or irrelevant and ask them to change it. You can also create content that will outrank the negative piece.
- Reviews - All online reviews will impact your business and sales. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your website and social media and by using email and incentives.
- Website - Create a pop-up asking visitors to leave a review. Make it as easy as possible, provide relevant links, and say thank you.
- Social Media - Find fun ways to encourage customers to leave a review, such as a special hashtag day or a fun video.
- Email - Include a line in your signature asking for a review from customers and make it easy for them to do it.
- Incentives - Establish an incentive program for reviews, but not for Google since it’s against their rules.
- Bad Reviews - Bad reviews discourage people from using your product or services. Look for your negative content on Google My Business, social media platforms, and review sites. To effectively handle bad reviews or comments, act fast, be courteous, take responsibility, make changes, and if all else fails offer a refund or create positive content that outranks the negative pieces.
- Content - Be consistent with your messaging and tone of voice. How your content appears in searches, interactions on review platforms, and your social media communication, all shape your image in the eyes of customers.
- Influencers - Influencer marketing may seem like a great substitute for paid media, but you give up the control that you have with ads and sponsored posts so be careful when choosing who to work with. Here are some tips for finding the right influencer.
- For high-end influencers, look for the ones that fit your image and aren’t already being used by your competitors. If you spot a mention from an influencer, use it as a conversation starter by reaching out with a thank you and building from there.
- For potential brand ambassadors, look for who mentions you the most, the sentiment of their mentions, check their social media follower counts, and how active they are on forums relevant to your industry. Create a list of mentioners with high follower counts and high potential to become brand ambassadors to prioritize your outreach.
If you want more online reputation management ideas or help with your reputation, let Ellipsis Marketing know!