This reputation management story might sound familiar:
You have an amazing product, and are delivering an incredible service, but one person has falsely blasted your honest and hardworking company even though you’ve never done business with them. Suddenly, your 5 star rating has dropped.
It can be tough, and seeing your online reputation tarnished for no valid reason (especially knowing it can affect how others perceive you) can hurt your mood and your business.
Fortunately, whether you’re an individual or a multinational corporation, there are ways this can be solved. This blog series on Reputation Management will cover the A-Z on how you can bolster your online image and earn more business than ever before.
What is Reputation Management?
Reputation Management is widely regarded as “the influencing and controlling of an individual’s or group’s reputation” (thanks, Wikipedia!). While initially a term reserved for the domain of public relations, with the usage of the internet and social media increasing drastically over the years, along with the establishment of various reputation management firms, your online search results may have become an integral part of your individual or business reputation.
How does Online Reputation Management work?
There are three simple steps to improving one’s online reputation:
(1) Tracking an individual’s or a brand’s credibility on the internet
The internet is massive. Just searching for “pizza place near me” on google, for example, yields about 867 million results (if you’re interested in getting your brand to the top of those result pages, check on this article on Search Engine Optimization to get started). There are several online services out there which will scour the internet on your behalf and audit your online presence so you can quickly monitor mentions of your brand online, and address them quickly in one location. To find out more about the best solutions out there, feel free to schedule a free consultation with one of our team-members!
(2) Fixing potentially harmful content, and using customer reviews and feedback to try to resolve problems before possibly damaging the reputation of the person or brand
“Fixing” is a bit of a broad term, so let’s expand on it. While you can’t always delete a negative review, even one that is incorrect (Google’s own blog has a good article on this!), you’ve gotta know when and where they appear. Once you know where people are talking about your brand, you can take the initiative to quickly respond to any concerns, and correct the narrative before rumors start to spread. Social media platforms also offer a great way for you to host a platform through which customers will discuss your brand, and add another powerful way to “fix” your reputation in the minds of those you interact with.
(3) Removing inaccurate and negative search results and emphasizing the positive ones
Over 90% of all customers will check your reviews online before visiting your business in person. If those reviews are largely negative, and you haven’t taken the time to visibly respond to customers’ concerns, those prospective customers will choose a competitor. Likewise, if those reviews are overwhelmingly positive, you are securing a positive image of your brand – and leads will start to flow in without you even trying!
How can I achieve these three things?
When it comes to managing your online Reputation Management, review generation, review management and review marketing are important aspects to consider. Sign up for our weekly newsletter as I discuss these elements over the course of the next few months!
Overall, reputation management usually involves attempting to bridge the gap between how a company perceives itself and how others see it. Once you can get these two perceptions better aligned, the interaction between you and your customers becomes that much smoother.