To ensure the long-term success of a business, it is immensely important to maintain a positive reputation in the eyes of the company stakeholders. Being a business owner, you would always wonder what people think about your business. In this article we are going to discuss the steps and tips to manage the online reputation of your business.
Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the combined execution of public relations, social media management and digital marketing. It determines the impact of your business on the people who are watching it at any online platform. Especially for small businesses, it is hard to put more effort and budget into this field, but practically they need ORM more than any other.
This 7-step guide will reflect some steps to build, assess, track and monitor your brand’s online reputation.
1. Find out what people are talking about you
Unlike the traditional ecosystem of marketing, the online sphere works with two-way communication. Here you speak with your audience and get an instant response from them in terms of likes, comments and shares on your social media handles. We call these engagements. The first step in managing online reputation is to know what people are talking about you on the internet and how they engage with your brand.
For instance, you run a small business which provides immigration services, you can search out reviews of your past clients on the internet.
To know your online presence just search your brand name on following tools platforms:
● Google My Business Reviews
● Facebook Reviews
● Google Alerts
● Twitter Search
● Q&A websites (Yahoo, Wiki)
After going through these platforms, you should be able to know- Are your clients satisfied with service and giving positive reviews everywhere? OR they are unsatisfied and putting out negative reviews about your company. You need to find out all these comments and inspect what went wrong with your past customers.
It is particularly important to get positive reviews on the internet because 95% of online buyers read online reviews first before making an online purchase. Monitoring your online presence is the first step in managing your online reputation.
2.Engage with them carefully
What if you find many negative reviews about your business online?
No worries, first find out what went wrong with those customers when they were dealing with your business. Put more effort into improving customer satisfaction when you deliver any product. This is the only practical method through which you can really impress people and get positive reviews and even recommendations from your customers.
After that, you need to solve the grievances of your customers who have put negative feedback on online platforms. You can try to engage with them publicly or privately by asking for their contact details. (As most of the company’s do the same on twitter). Give it your best shot to solve the problem they are facing with your product and try to satisfy them. If you can solve their issue, ask them to remove the negative review and put in a positive one (they will be happy to do that).
Remember, you need to identify the genuine reviewers and start an engagement with them only. Sometimes your competitors may try to malign your image on online platforms, but you don’t have to waste your time on them. You can simply get over the negativity by bringing a lot more positivity there.
3. Timeliness is the key
The online marketing world is way quicker than the traditional one. A decade ago, companies used to give postal addresses or a landline number to their customers for sending any complaints and feedback about a product. There were very few chances to get a response from the company’s side at that time. This was the traditional feedback/response mechanism.
Now, things have changed completely in 2023. A customer can use social media to give feedback within a minute after receiving the product. The best part is that social media provides transparency and one comment about your company’s product can be read by millions of people on the internet. It can directly affect your sales and reputation.
To cope with these challenges, you need to be quicker in responding to all those questions, queries and feedback. Not aggressively but politely, you could deal with all those online reviews. If you cannot deal with it 24 hours a day, you can set up an automated response or use an AI robot such as Chatfuel and Bottr which can respond on your behalf.
Give as many as possible ways to communicate with your business. You should be accessible through social media, email, phone call, WhatsApp etc.
4. Planning digital footprints
“If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.” ~ Bill Gates.
Even if it is an old statement by popular American businessman but it is true today in every sense. You need to be present on the internet to get people talking about your brand and business. The Internet can work as a customer magnet for your business if you use it in the right way. Let’s talk about the short term and long-term benefits of having a great online presence of your business.
You need to have a digital plan for your business that means having a good converting website, presence on all major social media platforms, SEO strategies to rank good on search engines and a feedback response mechanism. Not only this, you can increase your brand’s presence using these digital marketing trends.
Here is how you can plan your digital footprints for your business:
● Identify your target audience
● Create social media profiles
● Create engaging content (graphics, blogs and videos)
● Regularly post offers and discounts
● Get ideas and suggestions using survey forms
● Start paid promotions of exclusive products
● Use digital PR distribution
● Get influencers to recommend your business
These digital efforts can give instant recognition to your brand name among your potential customers, and it depends on your creativity how you can engage and convert them. You can follow some brands which have done an outstanding job in terms of social media marketing such as Zomato, Urban Company, Paytm and OnePlus. These may seem big brands now, but they all have started from scratch and made it to that big using social media effectively. In the longer run these efforts will help you maintain an excellent reputation and thus ultimately increasing your sales and business.
5. Going with emerging trends
Following the latest trends and adopting them to grow your business is the need of the hour. You can’t afford to stick to just one platform and hope to get huge engagements from the audience. You need to test all new platforms and try to engage more people to your products.
We can only achieve this through building an online audience, targeting them with suitable products and engaging with them regularly by offering what they want.
To maintain the reputation of a business, build relationships with people and to build relationships, use advanced digital targeting tools. These are some of emerging trends in online reputation management you can try in 2020.
● Webinars: Most emerging trend of 2020 after COVID-19 pandemic. It’s giving opportunity to businesses to directly connect with customers and have a face-to-face interaction. You can organize live Q&A sessions with your audience to know about their issues or promote a new product or service. Zoom, Google Meet and Jio Meet are
the tools which can serve you here.
● Blogs: Not only helps you in explaining about your products and services better but also helps you in SEO of your website. Blogs are the best way to describe your services without investing much time and money. Also, you can try guest posting on some good blogs which have high domain authority.
● Image & Video Optimization: Gone are the days when making videos and good graphics are the tasks of super professional people. Now anybody can make good graphics using Mobile Apps like Canva or Crello and videos with Apps like Inshot and Kinemaster. We can do these tasks on the go and bring a lot more engagement when someone searches about the same on Google.
With a constant good engagement with your customers, they are likely to recommend your brand to their fellow online users. Actually, more than half of online shoppers are likely to choose a company’s products because of a friend’s recommendation.
6. Get more reviews, ratings and feedbacks
If you are not getting enough online reviews, then you need to get them intentionally. There are a lot of ways through which you can pull people to put a review about your business online. Over 90% of all internet sessions begin with a search engine.
So, you should also start with optimizing for the same search engine. You could write a detailed informative blog about something which can help your audience or which can solve their queries. In the same blog, you could ask for their feedback in the comments section and start an engagement with them.
Review Sites: there are many websites which act as a platform for users to share their feedback about the things. TripAdvisor, Quora, Review center and many online forums have several users and threads related to the many topics.
There you can start replying to the people and attract their attention towards your business so they can use and write something about your business too.
Customer reviews: your existing customers are your biggest brand ambassadors. Ask your every customer to write a review about your business online. You could connect them over a call or email to ask for their feedback. You need to provide them an easy and suitable platform so they don’t feel it as a burden to write about you. For example, if you sell something on Amazon, then give them a link to the reviews section of your product there. Otherwise, Google My Business is the best place to get positive reviews and ratings.
Contests and Campaigns; Many brands have adopted this strategy to run giveaways and contests to get some positive reviews of people. For example, many educational institutes influence their students to write a positive review about the campus on websites like Shiksha[dot]com. In return you can give people some exclusive discounts coupons if they write something good about you.
7. Tools to Start
If you have come up to this point of the article, then you could wonder from where to start this journey of online reputation management. You can’t just opt out from this thing and if you want to make it successful for a longer run, then you must start it today.
The first task is to create profiles on every social media platform and fill it with all relevant information about your business along with answering every basic question your customers want to know. You need to optimize these social profiles according to the interest and needs of users.
Use multimedia content to start an engagement, write blogs on your business website and use these platforms effectively. This is much more than just media monitoring and you could take every benefit of the online world to grow your business and build a storing positive reputation.
Using PR to Online Reputation: If you think you have less online presence and you need media attention for your new products launches, events or any achievements, you can use NewsVoir PR distribution services to get media coverage in premium publications. Getting media coverage in publications related to your business can help you to target potential customers.
Get connected with our PR specialists today on firstname.lastname@example.org and get consultation for your brand’s online reputation using PR distribution.