Why Your Online Reputation Is Everything in Business and How to Manage It

What is online reputation?

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Warren Buffet – World’s richest billionaire.

Before the advent of the internet, business reputation was based almost entirely on word of mouth and media publicity, consumer data, and surveys. Today, these exist online in the form of reviews.

Online reputation, or e-reputation, is the reputation of a business, product, or service on the internet. It is affected by the activities of the business on various online platforms (including social media), interactions with customers and prospects, web content creation and marketing, and how web users respond to all of these.

Online reputation is very important, especially for e-commerce brands that perform all of their dealings online. It affects the decisions of consumers and has a major impact on brand credibility.

It is possible for the online reputation of a business to be tainted by negative reviews when they are not dealt with in a timely and effective manner. Negative reviews can also be intentionally distributed by malicious individuals.

Why does your online reputation matter?

“Our reputation is more important than the last 100 million dollars.” Rupert Murdoch – Business Tycoon

  • Online reputation creates a long-lasting impression of your business

Once your brand has gained a reputation – whether positive or negative, intentionally or unintentionally, it is very difficult, almost impossible, to change.

It is important to bear in mind that once a review has been posted about your brand, whether it is true or not, it will have an impact on how prospects and existing customers look at you and your business.

According to statistics, 87% of business executives state that it is more important to manage reputation risks than to manage strategic risks.

  • It affects your credibility, prospect conversions, and consumer-buying decisions

You could lose more than 90% of your potential customers as a result of negative reviews that users find when they look you up on online – including on Google, Yelp, and other social platforms.

According to available statistics, 91% of consumers look up businesses online. After reading 1-3 reviews, 40% of consumers will form an opinion about a brand, and 67% will decide not to buy from it after reading 1-3 bad reviews.

Online reputation management (ORM)

“Your brand isn’t what you say it is; it’s what Google says it is.” Chris Anderson – Journalist and writer

Online reputation management is all about your online public relations; protecting your online image to ensure the progress of your business. It has to do with managing negative reviews, feedback, comments, and materials that exist online related to your business.

Online reputation management means taking charge of these online interactions and conversations to control what people find about your brand on the web, making sure that you have the right kind of publicity.

Some of the methods you can use to achieve this include the use of PR copywriting services to create quality content, constructively responding to negative reviews, reaching out to users on social media, and various other strategies.

As part of your ORM strategy, you should take online feedback from customers seriously and value constructive criticism. This will go a long way in helping you improve on your products and services and put you in a good light with prospects and customers.

  • Track mentions of yourself, your brand, and your products

Monitoring what people are saying about you, your business, products and services is very important. This is because negative comments spread very fast and if they are not responded to on time, can affect your credibility.

There are tools that can be used to track mentions of your brand. When you find a positive mention, you can respond and thank the reviewer. Dissatisfied customers can also be attended to in time – helping to nip any bad publicity in the bud.

  • Track and remove spam links

Spam links negatively impact SEO, hurt your Google ranking, and damage your reputation.

It is possible for a rival or hacker to use black hat tactics to intentionally try and pull down your ranking. You, therefore, need to stay alert to whether poor-quality links are being created to your site. There are tools availableto help you discover your backlinks and recognise how valuable or not they are.

  • Get onboard on key social media sites

It is important to register your brand on various social media sites even if you don’t plan to use them. This will prevent the possibility of someone else registering your brand name with bad intentions.

It is also important to earn followers and get reviews. Have a strong brand presence across every possible channel.

  • Press releases and content publications

Publish updates on major events, significant hires, etc. Work with a content writing company and avoid cheap content writers – providing high-quality content that is relevant to your niche is important.

  • Create consistency across all networks

Consistency across all networks is important to suggest reliability. All your profiles should have your logos, similar layouts, colour schemes, etc. Your content should also be consistent.

  • Track and encourage online interactions

Your ambassadors and detractors have all the power to shape the perceptions of your brand online. It is important to take a proactive approach in handling reviews rather than ignoring them. Respond with a solution to negative reviews, since ignoring them will only make things worse.

Make room for satisfied customers and brand ambassadors to leave positive feedback and remarks. Encourage your customers to write a review after a purchase and publicise the positive reviews. Provide incentives for top customers.

Source: business-achievers.com