Becoming a brand superstar takes a bit more effort than before. Your online reputation matters to consumers, but it can seem daunting to tackle by yourself. So, grab your notebook and pen and let’s start learning how to best manage your online reputation.
Find any online reviews that are out there and start taking notes. You will want to look at Google My Business, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and any industry focused website like TripAdvisor and hotels.com for travel or Vitals.com for healthcare. There are plenty more. However, be mindful of trusting seemingly random websites with few followers or a low-quality content with a grain of salt.
This is especially important for Google My Business. When you claim your listings, you can add robust descriptions, photos, and more. This information helps people find your business faster including a direct link to your website, map to your locations and click-to-call phone numbers.
Pro-Tip: Don’t forget to save all your logins and passwords!
A canned (pre-written) response simply does not cut it anymore. Be as personal as you can with each and every customer or prospect. Address any issues that you can and try to avoid sounding defensive in a review.
Often times, you might be able to get a review taken down. Here are instructions from Google on how to flag an inappropriate review.
It is important to note that even negative reviews aren’t the end of the world. A LOT of negative reviews will need addressing but you will not make every customer happy. Breathe. Consumers know there will always be that one customer that no one can make happy. Learning how to best handle it makes all the difference! A bad review might also give a potential new consumer an idea of “worst case scenario” so they can prepare.
For example, a woman might read a review about a dress with too thin of a material. She might also read that another person solved the problem by adding a slip. This easy fix resulted in expectations being set properly by a negative review. All negative reviews don’t turn out this well. The best way to combat a negative review is to bury it with positive ones by asking more of your happy fan base to post a review.
The easier you make it on a customer to write a review for you, the more likely you’ll receive one. It can be difficult to ask for reviews for every platform so focus on one or two at a time. This can be as easy as an email after purchase or a reminder through Facebook messenger. Posters and small cards can also be helpful for service businesses. Be careful about trying pay-to-play where you offer discounts for good reviews.
Once you mastered all of these, the most helpful thing to do is to listen—socially listen. Social listening is the act of tuning into conversations happening on your chosen social platforms. When used correctly, social listening can give you the opportunity to offer your expertise or opinion at no cost. This also expands your digital footprint and eventually your online reputation as a whole, while giving you an idea of the overall sentiment of your business.
Services like socialmention.com and others can be help monitor chatter going on that you don’t know about…because many people talk to others about a product, service or business without that conversation taking place on your company channels. Reputation management is more important than ever today. The “new normal” means people will be shopping more online for the foreseeable future. It’s time to see what people are saying about your organization.