Think online reputation management is just for the big dogs? You better think again!
According to eMarketer 83% of consumers state that online reviews influence their opinions about a particular company, and 8 of 10 of these people added that a negative entry online is the cause of them changing their mind regarding that company. Even one negative review, justified or not, can negate all your best efforts if you haven’t prepared an online reputation strategy to handle it. So to help out with that I’d like to offer five strategies your business, and your brand, can use to monitor and manage your online reputation.
- Monitor your business and personal names – Keeping an eye on what’s being said about you and your company is of paramount importance. Fortunately, there are lots of free tools to aid in this regard, like Google Alerts, Hootsuite, Social Mention and others.
- Claim all of your relevant social properties – Unused social media sites can be utilized by your rivals to pull you down, and spread negativity. Be sure you claim all social sites that matter for your brand.
- Own as much of page one of Google as you can – One proactive way to make certain what people learn about you whenever they Google you is to own most if not all of Google page one for your brand names. This makes it much harder for flyby attacks to have much if any impact.
- Ask for customer reviews – Customer reviews aren’t just gonna magically appear: you must actively court them. Make a point of asking your clients to write reviews, and do everything you can so that it’s easy for them: links to review sites, examples from other customers, etc. And if you offer incentives, let them know that you’re not attempting to bribe them or affect their review!
- Make engagement a high priority – Engaging with your commenters, social media posts and tweets is a terrific way to stop any negativity from the start. Refrain from getting into a shouting match though, however powerful the urge.