Keep a Close Eye on Your Online Reputation
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… Your business’s service is as good as ever. Your existing customers and clients are as happy as they’ve ever been. For some reason, however, business seems to be struggling. There doesn’t seem to be any new business coming in. You can’t understand why this is happening. Well, chances are that some negative online reviews of your brand or business are twisting perceptions and doing harm to your online reputation.
The importance of your online reputation cannot be understated. In fact, it should be one of your biggest marketing priorities. If your online reputation is viewed negatively, then it makes everything else is irrelevant. There’s a lot of power to negative reviews and Ripoff Reports, and they will end up being seen. Whether they’re true or not, they will end up leaving interested clients and consumers with a bad taste in their mouth. Here are some statistics to highlight the significant impact and power of online reviews:
- According to a Yelp post from 2012, 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses. That number only continues to grow.
- According to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer, 65% of online users see online search as the most trusted source of info. about companies and businesses.
- According to a 2014 study by Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. They also concluded that 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
- According to Jack My Rep, 4 out of 5 consumers who search for you online will trust what reviewers say about you online.
As evidenced by these stats, online reviews can have quite an impact on your business, prospective clients and consumers, and your overall online reputation. People want information to help them feel confident in their decisions, and odds are that they’ll be looking for it online. Keep a close eye on where you stand in the eyes of online users and reviews. If you don’t, you could be costing yourself future business and be negatively impacting your revenue.
Managing Your Online Reputation
Your reputation is everything, and there will be times when you may receive a negative review or come under some kind of unfavorable scrutiny. Things like this are inevitable. That’s why it’s important to accept this right off the bat and start thinking about ways you can take control of your image.
- Whether it’s a negative review on Glassdoor or a Ripoff Report (anonymous and offering no room for rebuttal), chances are that you won’t be able to push it off. It’s difficult, but it also has a tendency to look desperate and would probably draw suspicion. Wouldn’t it seem a little fishy if you saw a business actively attempting to remove negative word about themselves from online?
- Find the bad reviews and isolate the “scenes.” What was the point of criticism or negativity? Was it a result of a disgruntled employee or a customer? Find out what may be stirring people up and seek a solution.
- Answer bad stories with good ones. The best response to negativity is positivity. And forget the gimmicks. Just get out there and tell your story.
- Develop content that challenges criticisms. A former employee unsatisfied or angry about their work experience? Create a recruitment video featuring interviews with current employees. A client or consumer unhappy with you and your business? Create a client testimonial video featuring footage and discussion with satisfied clients. Let them all tell their story along with yours.
- Be social. If you stay out of the social spheres, you’re removing yourself from a conversation about, well, yourself. Be active on social media. Interact with your audience and create conversations. Maintain a blog and show off a more personal side to your business. Don’t stay out of the conversation, and don’t let others hijack your image and your story.
Reputation management, however, isn’t just a one and done deal. It’s a continuous, ongoing process that will always keep you on your toes. Keep hold of your online presence and make sure that the story being told is the one that you want to be told.