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7 Musts of Online Business Reputation Management

By Deborah Kurfiss, Umbrella Content Marketing Director on Jun 9, 2023

Successful businesses use a variety of marketing tools and channels. But small businesses can’t do everything when it comes to marketing. So, what marketing programs should you prioritize for your clients? No doubt about it,  online business reputation management is critical for every business with an online presence.

When people read online reviews and customer comments,  they trust them more than if the company makes the same claims. After all, what does a customer have to gain by giving a good review?

  • That’s why 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • It’s also why 93% of consumers read online reviews before buying a product.
  • On the flip side, 94% of people surveyed said they would avoid a business due to bad reviews.

With that in mind, we’d like to discuss 10 online business reputation musts.

#1 Consistently Monitor Online Reviews and Conversations

You can’t improve your client’s online business reputation if you aren’t following what people are saying on a day to day basis. You need to monitor it constantly. Once a day would be ideal, particularly during a campaign. But if that’s impossible, check in every few days.

You will want to check review sites, social media platforms, news articles, forums and anywhere else you can think of to see the chatter about your client’s company. You don’t need to do this manually. There are plenty of online monitoring tools available. Regular monitoring enables you to catch the upswings and downswings in public opinion so you can get in front of them.

#2: Respond to All Kinds of Reviews

It’s important that you don’t just leave customers talking to themselves on review sites and on social media. You need to engage with them.

If a customer leaves a positive review, thank them and engage with them. They will feel that you see them and appreciate them.

But it’s even more important not to ignore or get defensive about bad reviews. Invite the person to email you so you can get more information. Or if you know how to solve the issue, for example if you want to issue them a refund, you can say that right in the public reply. Transparency is respected.

But what if you think the review is just plain wrong? Keep your cool. You can publicly reply with evidence that contradicts the faulty review of your client’s customer in a polite, logical manner. But if you do this, make sure your client is really not at fault. No customer expects any company to be perfect. But a willingness to make things right instead of doubling down when the company is at fault goes a long way.

#3: Look for Systemic Issues

Reviews can be helpful in determining systemic problems. If the same complaint keeps recurring, the company needs to get to the root of the problem and fix it. Of course, you should then let complaining customers know how the company has remedied the problem.

#4: Don’t Forget to Monitor Social Media and News Articles

Reviews are important, but they are not the only factor in managing a company’s online business reputation. You also need to track what people are saying about your client’s company on social media and the news. There are sophisticated software tools to help with that. But something very simple you can do as a start is to set up Google Alerts for the company’s name, its executives’ names and keywords and phrases in the industry.

Needless to say, every social media post you make should strategically help to bolster you client’s image.

#5: Motivate and Share User-Generated Content

We have already mentioned how credible people find customer reviews. But if you can get your client’s customers to product user-generated content about the company, that’s gold. This can be done any number of ways, such as having a social media contest where people show how they use your client’s product.

But you may also run across content where someone praises your client’s company in glowing terms, reviews a product or service, or shows a cute video about your client’s products or services. Share that content and make sure it’s seen by a wider audience. You will want to contact the customer to get their ok on using their content to promote your client’s company.

#6: Don’t Be Blind-Sided

Things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes your customer’s online image may suffer due to the unexpected. You need to plan for that.

Here’s some ways to prepare:

  • What are various scenarios that could adversely impact your customer’s online business reputation? We are talking about things such as data breaches, product recalls, an executive being misquoted (or saying something controversial and being quoted correctly) as well as a myriad of other possibilities. Analyze each scenario and its possible impact.
  • Strategize responses to each crisis scenario. Literally make sample drafts of press releases and social media posts that address each scenario. Of course, if something does happen, it’s unlikely to be exactly what you imagined. But at least you will have the bones of a response in place that you can modify to the actual situation.
  • Don’t flail around trying to figure out who will handle damage control when the seas get rough. Have a team with clearly defined roles in place. Train your team on goals, tone, brand image and communications protocols.

#7. Review and Update Review Site Listings

No doubt when you first take on an online business reputation client, you list them in Google Business Profiles, several online directories and review sites that make sense for their industry and location. Periodically update the content of your listings, but also check to see if there are new directories where you client should be listed. Also check whether it still makes sense for them to be listed in current directories. Sometimes businesses change over time, and you want to keep up with the company’s current brand image.

Consider White Label Online Business Reputation Management

Marketing is complex today, and it becomes increasingly specialized every year. If you would like experts to guide you and your clients through the complexities of online business reputation management, get a free consultation by contacting Umbrella through this website form or by calling 1(866) 760-2638.

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