You may think online reputation isn’t as useful as word of mouth marketing. After all, businesses thrived before reviews on the internet, you say. Think again! They did, but back then there was no digital assistance. For instance, marketers who power referral programs using digital tools are thrice as likelyto get more referrals. It is smart not to ignore the importance of word of mouth marketing. But 70% of marketers are being smarter by increasing their online reputational budgets. Just think of the source you’d go to when you need information about a certain business. Wouldn’t you turn to the internet? So will most of your consumers.
Online reputation and its dimensions
By now, you may have realized how critical the online reputation of your brand is. So, how will you establish or enhance it? Reviews are one tool to use, and social media is another. In order to put social media to work for you, you’d need to understand which factors of reputation are important to customers when they evaluate a brand.
Some of those factors aren’t working in the open but only subconsciously. You can use the Reputation Quotient (RQ) to determine those factors. The RQ allows you to evaluate how your customers perceive your company in an environment more realistic than a vacuum. It starts with surveys that a company can conduct on highly visible brands. Whether their positive reputation keeps them in the online eye or a bad one, those brands are constantly on the consumers’ minds.
The RQ evaluates such brands based on the following six dimensions of reputation:
Services or products
Leadership and vision
As you can see, unlike social reputation, the online reputation of your company is a complex thing.
Using social media to improve your company’s online reputation
Today, the consumers hold the power, which has shifted away from businesses in terms of a company’s reputation. Companies used to promote carefully crafted messages via traditional advertising methods before. Now, though, the internet — and specifically the social media — has taken that ability from the billboards, TV spots, and radio. It has been transferred over to the consumers.
While the consumers find it increasingly easy to evaluate businesses, the latter are finding damage control that much harder. Companies must deal with negative feedback, a higher number of voices involved that increases daily, and the diffuse nature of comments. If you own a company and want to maintain a positive reputation, you need to know how to use social media to do so.
Online reputation management with viable tools
Managing your online reputation becomes much easier with the right tools. For instance, by setting up a Google Alert, companies can find out what is being said about them. When someone or the news mentions your business, Google will send you an email. Setting up an alert is easy enough, and you just need a Gmail account to get started. Then go to Google’s support site and follow the steps there.
Responding to the complaints from customers and winning back the potential customers those disparaging comments can turn off is possible too. Visit review sites, such as Yelp, and “claim” your business there. Then you can use the site itself to respond directly to negative reviews and put things right. Note down any less-than-stellar customer interactions that are linked to your company and improve them.
As you interact with your customers and reviewers in a positive manner, you will improve your company’s reputation. But these tools aren’t the only ones on the list. You will find many other useful ones that allow you to monitor your online reputation. Improve the perception of your company through Online Reputation Management.
The software of this kind doesn’t just single out brand mentions and bring them to your attention. They can also track hashtags, facilitate customer interaction, and manage multiple social media accounts for you. With the right tool in hand, even small businesses have an advantage. While the big players work on their reputation using multiple teams for their many brands, a small business can use a unified team and deliver a customer experience that is similarly unified.
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