By Deborah Kurfiss, Umbrella Content Marketing Director on Jun 7, 2022
Image has always been everything when it comes to the marketing of companies, products and services. Your client could have a better product than their competitor, but if the public is already convinced that a competitor has a better reputation, you have an uphill battle to prove otherwise. Today, online reviews and comments have become instrumental in helping customers make up their minds about purchases. That’s why your client’s need consistent online business reputation management.
With people paying this much attention to what their peers are saying online about your clients’ companies, you would be remiss in ignoring the need for online reputation management services for your clients.
Building, maintaining and monitoring online business reputation requires a special skill set. But even if you decide to resell white label online business reputation services to your clients, you will still want to know the following tips. There is a whole lot more to monitoring online reputation than just reading review sites.
We are going to start with review sites. Though they aren’t the only type of online platform that affects your client’s business reputation, they are probably the first that will occur to your client.
There are all kinds of review sites including Google Reviews, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau and many others. There are also review sites specific to certain industries such as TripAdvisor. You need to be monitoring relevant sites regularly on behalf of your clients. Fortunately, many review sites are set up to ping you through email or another channel if someone leaves a review.
Find ways to encourage your client’s customers to leave good reviews on review sites as well as the client’s website. This could be a follow-up survey email following a sale that contains a link to where they can leave a review for example.
You already know that you can’t just open social media accounts, post now and then and expect it to be effective. But it’s not enough just to post regularly. You must assign someone to check your clients’ social media accounts every day. Be aware that if someone is having a problem with the company, they are likely to turn very quickly to social media to air the dirty laundry. Social media is a critical part of online business reputation managment.
Let me give you an example. A creator with a ton of followers on a certain social media channel was having an issue with a well-known overnight courier (one of first two that came to your mind). She had called 14 times, filled out online forms and emailed multiple times. All to no avail. The property that was involved cost about $1,000 so this was no small matter. The courier company saw her posts on social media, and afraid of the backlash, finally answered and instructed her to contact them through the app’s direct messaging. This made her irate, because they already had all the needed information and were making her jump through one more hoop. But she did contact them through direct messaging – and got an automated response instructing her to call. As we know, she had already literally called 14 times. Finally, the matter was resolved, but this played out on social media posts for days. Would you be quick to use that courier if you had been following this drama?
So, it’s not enough just to monitor social media. Hopefully, you have customer service processes in place so it rarely reaches the point that people are casting your client as the villain on social media. But if it does, you better have processes in place to take care of it properly – now.
Of course, with any complaint, whether on a review site, social media or elsewhere, the company always wants to respond in a helpful, caring way and never get defensive. We are talking about reasonable customers. If someone is posting threats or the like, you will want to block them immediately and delete the comments.
There are many ways that your customers can recommend your company and your products, and they don’t stop at leaving a review. If your product and brand lend themselves to it, encourage your customers to upload photos of themselves using your client’s product. You can track this if you tell them to use a specific hashtag. You could offer a prize for the most creative or beautiful or funny post. Or you could just repost the best ones on your social media account. The added clout is enough for many social media users without even offering a prize.
Don’t forget to partner with select social influencers. Their shine can rub off on your client’s product if the influencer shows themselves using it. If they can also give a recommendation, so much the better.
Of course, in addition to encouraging your clients’ customers to use your hashtags in their social media posts, you need to have a list of hashtags you follow. These include those applying to your client’s company and products but also those that are important to the industry. Monitoring hashtags is an easy way to keep on top of fast-moving trends.
If you run social media ad campaigns, never forget that unless you set them up otherwise, people can comment on your ads. Unless you are boosting a post, these ads will not show up in your regular feed, so whoever is managing your client’s social media is never going to see these comments. If you aren’t monitoring these comments on the proper dashboard, you might miss out on someone bitterly complaining about your client or someone praising them to the stars. In either case, you need to respond promptly on their behalf if you are going to provide business reputation management.
All your clients’ websites should include testimonials from their customers. Develop a way to regularly harvest these recommendations. Email customers asking for recommendations at opportune times (such as after they have made a purchase and have had time to use the product). Also consider putting a portal on the website where customers can send you recommendations. Naturally, you can garner them from other sources also such as social media and review sites as already discussed.
One of the easiest things to track when it comes to a client’s online business reputation is the comments to their blog. Make sure this is set up so comments can be moderated before published. Even with anti-spam tools, you can end up with a lot of spam if you don’t moderate.
As with any online comment, be sure to respond. Company responses encourage people to interact and shows the company cares.
Google Alerts are an easy and free tool for business reputation management. It’s a no-brainer to set up Google Alerts for you’re the name of your clients’ company and products. Then you can get an email every time they get a mention online.
Google your client’s company and products on a regular basis and see what comes up. You may be surprised at what you find. If it’s negative, you can take action to address the offending content or get it removed.
Of course, you aren’t limited to tracking a client’s online business reputation manually. There are a lot of tools that can help you. If you hire white label online business reputation services to do it for you, they should provide the needed tools. But if you want to do it yourself, you may want to look into pricing and features for tools listed here as well as others.
If you feel you could be doing more to make your clients’ stars shine brighter, Umbrella can help. We offer marketing agencies white label online business reputation management services handled by experts.
Contact Umbrella for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss how we can help you help your clients.
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