George Eliot once said, “People are almost always better than their neighbors think they are.” Considering that Eliot was a novelist who lived during the 19th century, it’s pretty clear that good reputation has always been important.
Now, two centuries later, online reputation is just as equally important for people who want to be taken seriously. And in an enormous place like the Internet, establishing it is much more difficult than it is in a small place like a neighborhood.
Today we are going to take a look at the reasons why your online reputation is important and three tips on how to improve it.
But Why Does Your Online Reputation Matter?
Consumers by default tend to trust other humans’ opinions when they are thinking about working with a business. Usually, there is one medium they use in order to figure it out: Social networks.
Communities like Foursquare, Yelp, Google Reviews, and Facebook Reviews have grown because people want to know if a company deserves their attention. If you have more positive reviews than negative ones, then you can expect more clients. If it’s the other way around, you have a big problem.
Your online reputation matters because it forms a public image.
Besides making sure your attraction is in top condition, here are three tips to make your business look and feel more trustworthy:
Tip #1: Form Relationships With Potential Buyers
Everybody who wants to purchase a product in 2018 does some online research before they actually buy it. Whether it is a service or a product, online reviews are everybody’s main guidelines to determine whether a business is good or not.
Unfortunately, just a few negative reviews can ruin your whole online identity but there is no need to worry. There is a solution.
Except for taking criticism into consideration (because let’s face it, you might have done something wrong that left your customers unhappy) you also need to learn from it.
If there are clients who are not satisfied with you today, most likely, there are going to be more tomorrow. To avoid that, offer a sample of your product or service before they actually move on to the purchase.
Do you sell items? Use a promo code that provides an extreme discount that will help them test your products at a low price.
Do you sell software or services? A trial version is always a great idea.
Even if they don’t find what you offer a good fit for their needs, they will always have this feeling of happiness associated with getting free stuff. Their reviews might not be mind-blowing but they will be honest and polite.
Tip #2: Use Negative Reviews to Your Advantage
Negative reviews are always going to be there. Unfortunately, you cannot remove them but you can use them to make your business look more professional.
When you see a negative review on your social media pages or on your website act professional and ask for more details. Be polite, apologize if you have to, and do not defend yourself.
Defending yourself will instantly make a bad review seem more accurate.
Something like: “We are sorry to hear that. Please check your inbox.” is enough to initiate a private conversation with your client and figure out what left them unhappy.
A professional local marketing agency might be a better idea if you are already dealing with too many negative reviews. Professionals have handled so many similar cases that they will fix your reputation in an instant.
Tip #3: Google is Your Friend
If negative reviews keep coming in, Google will associate your brand with them. So, most likely, when someone searches your company, they will come across them.
What you need to do is to keep feeding the beast and generate content that will actually push negative results down.
For each negative review, create two to three blog posts, pages, or anything that promotes your business name. This will create an extra layer of security so that when people search your business, they don’t get bombarded with bad reviews.
Keep monitoring Google search results to see what people say about you. A smart way to do so is by setting up a Google Alerts account. When someone posts something about you, you will get both a notification and a heads-up.
Is It Too Much?
Yes, online reputation does matter, but sometimes it can be a real struggle.
If you need help with any aspect of your online reputation, then contact us today!
If you’re like most people, you use Yelp for culinary guidance. It’s the same thing as checking Rotten Tomatoes for a movie you’re interested in seeing or zooming in on reviews with a Verified Purchase Tag on Amazon when you’re researching a product.
Now, if you’re to flip the whole thing and look at it from a business owner’s perspective, how would you ensure you don’t get negative reviews for your restaurant, movie, or product? That’s where brand reputation management comes in. And that’s where we come in with strategies on how you can use it to grow your business.
Brand Reputation Strategies to Master
Managing your brand’s reputation isn’t just about building an image. It also means protecting and preserving it. Remember, news – both good and bad – travels fast.
The more you keep your brand image positive, the more you build loyalty and customer confidence. And the more you grow your loyal customer base, the more your sales will increase and your bottom line looks better.
That said, here are 4 ways to effectively build, protect, and preserve your brand’s reputation.
1. Use Content Wisely
The content you produce will help establish the brand you want to build. One way to do this is by being a go-to resource for your target audience.
Provide the content your users are looking for. Make them see you as an authority, who can provide answers and solutions to their needs and wants. Don’t copy what your competitors are doing or if you have to, make sure you do it 10 times better than them.
Try to build relationships rather than just pushing your products or services. Encourage them to share or even start conversations. And when they do, make sure to engage them.
You want your audience to interact with your brand. In fact, you want them to become ambassadors for your brand so they can encourage more people to recognize what your business or organization is all about.
3. Become a Thought Leader
A strong PR plan can help you do this, but you have to think bigger than your website. Get your name in major publications and look into speaking at events.
If you can give to charity, better. The important thing is to make the most out of these opportunities and network with other thought leaders in your field.
Clearly, online reviews are immensely powerful. They have the capacity to build your digital reputation and influence conversion rates. Negative online reviews, however, can severely damage the way other customers view your business.
A lot of business owners are uncertain about navigating negative reviews, whether they’re real or fake.
In this post, we’ll look closely at what you can do to manage your online reputation effectively.
1. Assess A Review’s Validity
Every business will deal with an angry or unhappy customer at some point–it’s simply inevitable.
However, some negative reviews are valid, while others are not. It’s possible to receive poor reviews constructed by bots, for example. Other reviews may come down to personal preferences and ideas.
Every review gives a business owner the chance to reflect. Most can give you an idea of how to improve customer service and other operations.
Valid reviews may have to do with poorly trained employees, a fluke lack of organization, or a miscommunication. All of these can give you insight into how to run your business even better than it is already running.
Take some time to assess how valid the poor review is. This will be critical for crafting your response.
2. Respond Quickly
Responding right away to negative online reviews is critical.
Whether you’re responding to a positive or poor review, you can demonstrate attentiveness to your customers’ concerns by responding within an hour or two of a post.
Besides timeliness, make sure your response is professional and accommodating. Avoid any defensive language, profanity, or sarcasm. Be brief if necessary.
It’s always best to apologize as cordially as possible if the situation requires it. You may even want to offer the customer a product discount or other free gift, depending on the severity of the review.
3. Manage Other Positive Reviews
Don’t just respond to negative online reviews. It’s important to respond to all reviews you receive online.
This can demonstrate your devotion to the entirety of your customer base, not just the unhappy customers.
Of course, if you receive tons of online reviews all the time, you may not have time to respond to all of them. That’s where we come in. Learn more about our review management services.
4. Leverage the Good Reviews
While it may be difficult to impossible to delete a negative review, it is possible to bury a bad comment by showcasing your positive reviews.
You can do this by sharing positive reviews on social media, for example. Simply post a screenshot of a five-star Yelp review on your Facebook business profile and give a gratitude shout-out to the reviewer.
5. Ask for Feedback
Another great way to deal with negative feedback is to engage with your customers on their terms. Request further feedback when you respond to negative reviews.
Here’s some sample language:
We’re very sorry to hear that your experience at The Mountain Hotel was short of perfect. We’d love to hear more about what happened so that we can be the best we can be for future customers. Feel free to reach out to us through our website to leave further feedback.
That’s How to Deal With Negative Reviews
If you’re struggling with a series of negative reviews, it is possible to manage these in a way that can preserve your online reputation.
Respond quickly to all bad reviews after assessing their validity. Use poor reviews as an opportunity to improve your own services.
Respond equally to positive and negative reviews, and always ask for feedback when possible. Leverage those good reviews, too, so that you can focus on the positive!
AAMP Agency | Adventure & Activity Marketing Pros is all about helping you cultivate the online image you deserve. Start a conversation with us today to begin managing your online reputation!