Your Online Reputation is At Risk!
If you’re like most business owners, you shudder at the idea of someone damaging the online reputation of your company. But if you know what to do, it doesn’t have to be that scary. In the spirit of Halloween, let’s tackle this monster head on!
It’s true that your company’s online reputation is now more crucial than ever. A whopping eighty-six percent of customers are willing to pay more for services from a company with good reviews and ratings. Eighty-five percent of consumers use the Internet to research services before buying. This is the new social-driven culture where organizations are ranked, rated and reviewed online. Here are four ways to protect your online reputation.
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Invest in Social Media Monitoring
Social media monitoring tools notify you when anyone mentions your company or brand on social networks. You immediately read what is said about your company and can respond to customer complaints before they get out of hand.
How does this help? Forty-three percent of social users communicate with companies on social media in regards to a question or problem. Thirty-one percent turn to social to access product experts and customer service staff. By promptly responding, you manage perceptions of your company. You can also prevent negative posts from going viral.
“Social media monitoring can also bring business,” says Kissmetrics. “These days, lots of people ask questions via Twitter and Facebook because they are evaluating whether or not they should buy from you.”
Create More Content
Negative reviews impact perceptions, especially if they show up as the top search results. You can mitigate the damage by publishing compelling content such as blog posts, tutorials, and how-to guides. Press releases count as well. Make sure this content resonates with your target customers. Eventually, if you practice good SEO, your new content should push the older negative content further from view.
Will this be enough to help you? Statistics suggest that it will. The top listing on Google’s result page receives thirty-three percent of all traffic. In contrast, only eighteen percent of viewers visit the site in the second position. Traffic drops by a massive ninety-five percent for results on page two. “The best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google,” joked The Huffington Post in 2014. So keep adding positive information until the negative information is pushed to page two.
Respond to Bad Reviews
Seventy-eight percent of consumers trust peer recommendations more than conventional advertising. So a negative review can have a detrimental impact on your business. Replying to negative feedback online is a must to protect the reputation of your brand. “Negative reviews or comments – particularly when left unchecked – can spread like wildfire on social media,” says online marketing expert Jayson DeMers. “Responding quickly is the best way to minimize the damage caused by these comments, as it helps ensure that your point of view is also seen by anyone reading the original review.”
Striking the right balance between what a customer wants and what’s best for your business is tricky. You’ll want to appease a disgruntled customer without exposing flaws in your business model. If a customer submits a negative experience on a review site, apologize and continue the conversation in private. Encourage the poster to send you a private message so you can discuss the issue away from a public forum like Facebook or Twitter.
Replace the Bad With the Good
If customers have left complaints on review sites like Yelp or Healthgrades, encourage other customers to share feedback on those sites as well. Remember to request feedback instead of asking for positive reviews, or you could get banned from the sites.
“Many customers are quick to share a negative comment or complaint, but most don’t think about voicing appreciation or offering props for good service,” says PR expert Jason Mudd. “It’s important to note that this works best if you do it in advance of negative reviews. In other words, don’t wait until there’s a problem before you begin working on your online reputation.”