What is reputation management online? Well, the name says it all: it is the practice of monitoring and influencing your reputation on the internet. There are two sides to ORM: reviews & ratings and owning the first page of Google through review sites.
The obvious starting point is online reviews and ratings. A Nielsen study showed that 92 percent of consumers around the world trust earned media, or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. Also, according to Search Engine Land, 85 percent of consumers report that they read online reviews for local businesses.
So, if most people read online reviews and most people trust these reviews then it’s safe to say that you should be spending time ensuring your reviews are genuine and accurate.
The next step is understand the value of your reviews and engaging with your audience by commenting on their reviews.
For the most part online reviews are an honest assessment of your business’s performance from a paying customer. That means if a reviewer has a problem with your product or service, it’s something you need to address.
Handling Negative Reviews
So let’s address negative reviews. First and foremost don’t make it worse by starting an argument online. Don’t be upset with the reviewer, online reviews can always be used to build brand awareness and brand authority. Good or bad they present you with a chance to connect with your audience and bring attention to the positive qualities of your company.
For instance, the video apology that this Domino’s location released to a customer who posted a negative review on Twitter not only showed their commitment to quality service, but also gave the store an unexpected advertising opportunity.
Owning SERP Like a Boss
Now for the second part of ORM: owning the first page of Google. There are a number of sites out there (Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.) that let consumers leave reviews and ratings, including social networking sites like Facebook and Google+. Google has already figured out what sites are most important to the people who search for you and it’s helpful for your visibility online to make sure your business is accurately portrayed through those channels.
Yelp is a big player because of its mobile app. If someone is looking at you on Yelp it usually means they are close to making a decision and spending money. There are also industry specific review sites like Healthgrades and TripAdvisor. It’s very important for you to know and be active on industry specific review sites.
4 Online Reputation Management Tips:
Own all of your online profiles. This ensures that people looking for you can find, call and connect with you. It also gives you the opportunity to control conversations about your business online.
Don’t get mad at bad reviews. Every review you receive boosts your visibility. Negative reviews present an opportunity to connect with your customers and make a good impression or change their opinion of your business.
Respond to all reviews. Responding to only bad reviews gives them more importance. You don’t want to focus on the negativity, you want to focus on being open and creating a meaningful connection with your audience.
Solicit reviews. Soliciting online reviews is the same thing as asking a customer how their meal was, how their service was, how they like their new laptop. It’s something you probably already do, all you have to do now is transfer those conversations to a digital platform as well.