You probably understand the old saying, “Failing to plan means planning to fail.” As a business owner, you may have learned this lesson the easy or the hard way. In any case, for sure, you know how building a business reputation management plan is imperative for sustained success.
However, despite the importance of online reputation these days, not all brands have a way to combat negative feedback online. Most companies are reactive, and, unfortunately, wait until a situation worsens before deciding to deal with it.
According to a 2018 study on businesses, 97% of respondents felt that building an online reputation management strategy was necessary. A separate study found that over 90% of 18- to 34-year-olds trust online reviews more than a private recommendation from a friend or family member.
At Net Reputation, we believe that one of the largest issues these days is that companies aren’t asking for reviews often or effectively enough. From our own experience, we can say the simplest reviews are those you solicit from purchasers.
The more reviews your business has, the more trust you’ll create among your potential customers. As an online reputation management strategy, positive reviews pay big dividends.
However, since not every review will be a stellar one, entrepreneurs must grasp what goes into building a great online presence. Creating a brand reputation management plan takes you one step closer to ensuring a positive web presence in today’s online space.
Let’s dive into the fun stuff and look at how you can create your own online reputation management plan. In a nutshell, you must:
- Follow up with previous customers
- Respond to online reviews
- Contact those who left negative feedback online
- Keep a content creation calendar
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What Influences Your Business’s Online Reputation?
Your brand reputation is based on how previous and potential consumers feel about your business. Was your staff friendly? Did you deliver what was promised? And most importantly, were your customers satisfied with their experience?
However, another very influential yet many times overlooked aspect of your reputation stems from top-level management.
Modern buyers want to know about the owners, CEO, and employees before making any big purchases. More and more, people want to support brands aligned with their values. So corporate representation is another factor to integrate into your business’s online reputation management plan.
Creating or improving your reputation management plan should be a top priority. An effective plan will translate into the positive digital marketing trends your business needs for growth.
Throughout our skilled expertise, we’ve seen some alternative factors, in addition to a CEO’s reputation, that may conjointly influence the perception of a corporation, including:
- Employees that are open about their expertise
- The eco-friendliness of the corporation
- Online visibility (including SEO & Reverse SEO)
- Protection of customers’ privacy and knowledge
- Great communication and customer support
- Positive reviews
Consider these factors as you analyze your brand image and online presence. If you discover your business has to rebuild its reputation due to negative reviews, bad press, or the CEO’s impacted image, there are some ways to get started.
How To Start Building Your Online Reputation Management Plan
Contact Previous Customers
By reaching out, you’ll let your previous customer know how much you value them. If you cannot find a way to reach out, there are various online tools such as MailChimp or Robly that can assist you with email campaigns to generate more positive reviews.
Answer Online Reviews
More important than what people say about your business online is how you reply to all comments and reviews. Potential purchasers want to see that you are attentive, and solving problems is a priority.
Develop a reputation management strategy through which you follow-up and comment on all online reviews, positive or negative.
Use online alerts to be notified via email or text whenever a new review has been posted. Consider also having a dedicated team to answer reviews. Your goal? To make each client happy!
Contact People Who Left Negative Reviews
In this case, don’t solely respond online. Contact the purchasers who had a bad experience with your company directly. Whenever possible over the phone. This way, you’ll know what you need to do to rectify the situation.
You may need to create some procedures and systems to avoid a repeat of those negative reviews. If you don’t resolve the crisis, additional negative reviews may build up. Customer feedback is a valuable learning tool, allowing you to address potential weaknesses in your business operations. After correcting these potential problems, glowing reviews are far more likely.
Create a Corporate Calendar
Be proactive and create content! Optimize this content with keywords that can help you rank higher in online searches and combat negative content.
A great example of this is to post positive videos and articles sharing info about your brand and services on social media. As an online reputation management strategy, this has immediate effects on creating engagement with your followers on social media.
In addition, publish high-quality blogs and press releases to help uninformed prospects get a better sense of how your business operates and what you offer. This tactic also improves your brand’s online reputation, reinforces customer loyalty, and encourages positive online reviews.
If a competing business is posting press releases twice a month, aim to share double that amount. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. Once you understand what is working for your competitors, mimic that and double the effort.
However, make sure your content is newsworthy and your messaging is to the point.
We believe shoppers nowadays don’t grasp who to trust until they take into account reviews. By developing a good online reputation management strategy, and reviewing the curation process, you are leaps and bounds ahead of your competition.
The bigger question is, are you focusing enough attention, time, and financial resources on this issue with the potential to impact all you wish to achieve?
Your reputation is your best advertisement, and you need to invest in how you look in the public eye. Let us help! NetReputation is a leader in customized online reputation management services.
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