The impact of digitalization is so vast that most businesses have their own website and presence on social media channels, they subsequently have accounts on 3rd party review websites.
Online presence is not only about having websites and social media accounts for your business but also about how the brand’s reputation is online.
It has become immensely crucial for small businesses and white-collar professionals to manage their reputation, as it affects their business directly. Managing online reputation involves social listening, actively participating in customer interaction, and includes proactive roles.
Therefore it has become necessary to have an Online Reputation Management (ORM) strategy or an ORM agency to handle your brand reputation online. It allows businesses to look through a digital window, which evinces the avenues to improve and grow.
What is worse than a negative review of you or your business online? Think! It’s not having a review at all.
Negative reviews are not always bad. If your brand has all the good reviews, the customer might not believe them at all. Negative reviews can be overpowered by positive ones.
Now the main question is, how do we encourage customers to write reviews for you or your business?
There are various methods to generate user reviews, some of which are listed below. Make sure you capture the attention of users to give you a review.
An example of how an Uber Driver is encouraging customers to rate them. A message like this ensures that a customer rates the driver.
Think extensively about your business and which platform people are more likely to use to search for you on the internet. You need to find out where your target audience is present and then leverage the power of social media channels.
Most businesses and professionals have their presence on Facebook and thinking that it is enough, is a big mistake! Users rely on all types of websites to gather reviews.
Make sure you have a presence on all these platforms because it becomes extremely difficult to judge which platforms are trusted by maximum number of people.
Let us explain it by a simple example: A doctor did not list himself on Yelp, but customers still gave feedback and reviews on the portal. The timings and the phone numbers mentioned were all incorrect. Potential customers were turning into unhappy users as they were unable to communicate with the doctor.
In this situation, it would have been better if the doctor had claimed the business page and submitted correct information. Even if you received a negative review, at least potential customers now have a way to communicate with you. That is why it is important to spread out on all the portals where your customers might be present.
While you may be promoting your product or profession with high-quality pictures and videos, encourage your customers to upload pictures too.
77% of people say customers’ photos influence their buying decision more than professional pictures. The customer’s picture builds trust and gives authenticity to your brand which helps in improving your online reputation.
Find ways to get your customers to review your brand with pictures. A profitable giveaway, a chance to be featured on social media, are a few ways to get the customers to post pictures along with a review.
GoPro is benefiting from this marketing technique for many years now. They encourage customers to upload pictures that they have taken from their GoPro devices. It not only encourages customers to upload pictures on social media but also helps in increasing the conversion rate.
Social listening is a process that brands and individuals use to monitor social media channels for mentions, competitors, products or ideas which are relevant to their niche. This information is used to analyze the information for actionable insights. The action can be anything depending on the goal, like responding to a review or strategizing marketing for the future.
Customers will be talking about your brand on social media, make sure you notice. Thank the ones who have appreciated your business and maybe provide something extra which will keep them loyal to your brand. The ones who have left a negative comment are also important as this is where your customer service enters the testing waters. It is crucial as you want to defend your brand but would not want to start an argument with the customer.
Strategically plan your reply to a negative comment, address the issue at hand and provide the customer with a reasonable solution.
A restaurant received a negative review from the customer on Facebook. The restaurant apologized for the mistake but also moved the issue to another channel so that they can resolve the matter more privately.
The best way to improve your online reputation is to build a domain authority which can be achieved by blogging.
A huge part of lead generation depends on blogging. Publishing quality content on a regular basis will help in SEO. Thus, helping in increasing inbound and outbound links.
Diesel cafe has a website and a dedicated blog section where they update their clients on new arrivals in the menu. This way the cafe is increasing their authority on search engines.
How would a business know if their reputation in the market is good? Businesses can easily monitor reviews on their website and social media, but that is not enough to assess your online reputation.
For example, a business has mentioned you in a negative light on their blog. Will monitoring Google and Facebook help? Would you ever get to know about it?
This is why it is important to take advantage of tools like Google Alert to monitor where your business name is being mentioned.
Reputology is one of the dedicated solutions to help you analyze reviews and comments. The tool algorithm identifies the emotion of customers and finds an appropriate reply to the same. Some other important tools are:
The above screenshot shows a tool called Mention. When searched for Swiggy, it shows all the results where the word Swiggy is mentioned. It also shows the influencers who are using the brand name. A must-have tool to keep track of your online reputation.
Influencers have the power to convince people to buy a product or do business with you. Just like user-generated content, they have the power to create social proof for the business.
Brands need to find appropriate influencers according to the niche of the business.
Instead of brands promoting their own image on their own page, influencers can show the product in use. People follow and listen to influencers because of their expertise in a particular area and when they approve of a product, it highly influences the decisions of consumers.
Skinny mint collaborated with Kylie Jenner to market their brand on her social media profile. She uploaded a picture with their product on her Instagram profile with an engaging caption.
As we have talked about it above too, encourage customers to write reviews and add pictures in their reviews. Gathering a lot of reviews is not going to help your business unless showcased on appropriate platforms. Wherever the potential customer might search for you, reviews and testimonials should be present there. Make sure you showcase the name and designation of the reviewer. The designation must be in accordance with your business functionalities. For example, for a restaurant, a food blogger providing reviews makes it a credible source.
A local dietitian has a dedicated section of reviews on her website that showcases reviews of the customers who have benefited through her diet plans. Before and after pictures of customers make it more authentic.
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