Do you have any idea how your customers see your business online? Shockingly, most business owners have ZERO clue how they are seen on the internet. Most people know that it is impossible to please EVERY customer and I don’t think customers in general expect a business to have a perfect 5-star rating on the various platforms. But if you are not paying close attention to your online reputation, then you could be unknowingly losing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales each year.
So what is reputation management? Reputation management is the process of identifying what other people are saying or feeling about you or your business; and taking steps to ensure that the general consensus is in line with your goals.
Did you know that 95% of shoppers look at reviews before they make a buying decision, and 88% say those reviews influence their decision on WHO they buy from. When you put emphasis on your online reputation, you improve your brand awareness, build authority and trust with your customers, foster stronger customer relationships, attract better employees, generate traffic to your website, and drive more sales.
So you might be asking, “How can I manage my online reputation?” I’m glad you asked.
- Monitor your online reviews. Whether it is Google, Facebook, or any number of trade specific sites, it is important to know where your audience is learning about your service. Visit those sites and claim your listing if there is already one there or create one if there isn’t. Many of these sites have high authority with Google so just having a listing with a link to your website will increase your website authority.
- Make sure your business category is correct. Many businesses move or change numbers and do not remember to go back and change the information on all the review sites. Having conflicting information can damage your authority and ranking with Google. There are really great tools out there that help simplify this process of keeping your listings correct and up to date.
- Filter your mentions. Many customers won’t leave a review, but they will certainly mention you in their posts. Both good and bad mentions happen on a daily basis, so you want to make sure and acknowledge them. Thank the positive mentions and invite the negative ones to take the conversation offline to rectify whatever issue they had.
- Take the feedback constructively, not negatively. As humans, we naturally want to defend our good name and go all gangster on anyone that would challenge that. But doing so can make the situation worse. I’ve found it best to type out my response to negative reviews and then wait 24 hours to send it. Then re-read it and remove ANY emotion from it. Make it factual. If your company really did drop the ball, admit it and explain how you are taking steps to resolve the situation so future customers won’t have to experience this. Keep in mind that your response is more for your FUTURE customers than the customer who left it. Do you want that future customer to see your response as a 3rd grade level argument?
- Automate the process. As mentioned earlier, there are great software platforms that help automate the process. Here at Legion Digital, we have those tools for you to self-manage your entire online reputation by making sure your listings are current, accurate, and up to date.
Managing your online reputation might seem like a complicated thing, and many marketing agencies make it seem like it requires an expert. For large companies, I can agree with this, but for your average local small business, this is certainly something you can do yourself if you have the right tools.
At Legion Digital, we have the tools you need to manage this and other aspects of your online marketing plan in one easy to use dashboard. Our professionals can walk you through the setup process and get you on your way for less money than you’d expect.
If you own a small business and want to take control of how the world see’s your business online, go to www.LegionDigital.com/reputation and we can get you set up within 24 business hours.