The internet has completely transformed how businesses interact with potential customers. It is easier than ever for businesses to reach highly targeted audiences through a variety of online platforms.
But the internet has also made it easier for other people or groups to talk about your business online. That can be either a good or bad thing, but most importantly, it’s a powerful thing. When customers search for your business online, they’ll be presented with a variety of information, much of it beyond your immediate control. Businesses need to be able to mitigate the damage of negative online messages, and amplify the effect of positive messages. How can they accomplish that goal?
Online Reputation Management to the Rescue
Online reputation management is the answer. Word of mouth has always traveled quickly, but with the advent of the internet, word can get around overnight — sometimes even sooner.
Imagine your business has several bad reviews on various websites, or that a disgruntled ex-employee or customer has penned a scathing blog post about your business. Or, what if a customer has a bad experience and leaves a long rant on your Facebook page, or spouts off an angry Tweet?
Assuming you even see these negative messages, how do you respond to them? It can be a full time job in and of itself just to monitor all the various channels people could be using to discuss your business. How do you make sure the negative messages don’t turn away potential customers? Availing oneself of the services of an online reputation management company can help mitigate the negative impact.
Online Reputation Management Companies
Although online reputation management may sound relatively simple, it’s actually a complex discipline. Although businesses can take some steps to help manage their online reputations, an online reputation management company may prove more effective, allowing you to focus on your business, and let the online reputation management company focus on theirs — on your behalf.
Although such a company can help you respond to negative reviews, businesses would be remiss if they didn’t also take advantage of the power of positive reviews online. It’s not just a mistake for businesses to have a negative online reputation; it can be a mistake to have no online reputation.
That’s where an online reputation management company can help. These kinds of companies can help you get your customers to leave positive reviews on platforms like Facebook, Google, Yelp and more. Some companies can even provide you with a website where you can easily track reviews and ratings, giving you an instant snapshot of your company’s overall online reputation.
Using an online reputation management company can free up your time to focus on growing your business. You can do what you do best, and let the reputation company do what they do best — maintain your business’s reputation across numerous blogs, commenting systems, and social media and review platforms.
People Trust Reviews
You may be thinking that you don’t need to worry about your online reputation. Perhaps you think that nobody really reads or trusts online reviews. But the evidence shows that this isn’t the case. People seek out and trust online reviews.
For example, polling suggests that 66 percent of consumers around the world trust the online reviews they read before making a purchase. Negative reviews could dissuade them from becoming a customer, while positive reviews could alleviate any uncertainties and help get them through the door, or checking out of the online shopping cart.
In the age of the internet and social media, it’s clear that online reputation management should not be an afterthought. It is an absolutely essential part of your business’s success, and should be a top priority in your business plan. Your online reputation can make or break your business — make sure you have a reputable company working on your behalf to ensure it is sterling.