In a world where the first few online search results can make or break your brand’s image, online reputation management (ORM) is vital. The average internet user spends around 6.5 hours online every day. This means that prospects are combing through online reviews, social networks, customer forums, blogs, etc. to make informed purchase decisions. According to Harvard Business School, a one-star increase in Yelp rating can amount to an increase in 5-9% of a company’s revenue. A strong brand lives on in the customer’s mind and can command a premium price. For brands to put forth an image that instills trust, integrity, and leadership, an in-depth assessment of their customers’ perception is imperative.
To help them strategize in this direction, taking these well-tried steps will help create a positive online footprint:
Monitor online conversations about your business
For a brand to have control over its perception, staying on the beat with every online mention is crucial. Articles, blogs, forums, social media, and review sites like Google, Yelp, and Glassdoor are typical spotlights where customers give full vent to their experiences. Research shows that brands risk losing 22% of business when potential customers find one negative article on the first page of their search results. While several social media monitoring tools are available, a combination of human and software is always a trustworthy option. This includes keeping a close eye on your own blog and website for any negative reviews. By monitoring, brands can not only work on minimizing their negative results, but also seek opportunities to turn negative experiences into positives ones.
Be proactive instead of reactive
Social media is highly dynamic and a small glitch on a brand’s part can go viral in no time. Being proactive and admitting your mistake can save your company’s online reputation from severe repercussions. While doing so may seem like a difficult decision, think of it in this way:
- It’s easier to own up and repair your reputation rather than defending a poor one.
- It’s less expensive, both in terms of revenue and social capital.
- It shows customers that you are bold enough to acknowledge your limitations and instills a sense of transparency and integrity.
In such exigencies, online reputation management services can conduct a deep audit of the situation and deliver expert digital marketing support to salvage your brand. Below is an example that showcases how Dove took the reactive approach quick enough to abate potential backlash from its customers on an ad gone wrong.
Respond and interact in a timely manner
With customers’ patience levels plummeting, businesses need a strong ORM team to respond to and mitigate negative comments in a timely manner. Time is of the essence as sustained delay in response can pose a negative ripple effect, especially on social media platforms. While the average response time expected by customers today is one day, brands can be prompt by acknowledging the issue and promising a solution at the earliest. Doing so allows you to stay in control of the situation. It also displays your concern and eagerness to build a lasting relationship as a brand. Responding allows other potential customers to see your perspective in a specific situation. So no matter how negative a customer’s comment, replying with utmost calmness and respect is key.
Create and disseminate positive content regularly
It’s not always enough to calm an impending storm. Brands must consciously invest in building a positive online reputation in order to rise as an industry leader. From an ongoing SEO strategy for better website ranking to actively seeking reviews, there are several ways to boost your online brand image. Brands can leverage different channels like their own website, blog, newsletters and magazines, social media pages to create and distribute positive content. This could include, content that depicts brand values, customer testimonials, influencer reviews as opinion posts, ‘behind-the-scenes’ corporate videos, among others. Through online reputation management services, brands can learn how to best leverage owned, earned and paid media to propagate a positive sentiment. Here’s how these three work in tandem to create a robust online presence.
To maintain a positive online reputation, or to mitigate surmounting negative reviews, many businesses are turning to ORM service providers for support. Equipped with well-proven tactics, these firms help businesses focus on expanding their market share, while they ensure the brand’s reputation is in ship-shape.
Netscribes has supported a slew of industry leaders in not only maintaining a good online reputation but also achieving an industry benchmark above their competitors. To find out how we can help get your online image pique the interest of potential customers, write to us at [email protected]