The internet has become the primary source of information for people all around the world, playing a major role in shaping opinions. Information available on the internet about a brand or an individual influences perception and affects decisions significantly. A company cannot afford to ignore its brand reputation in the online world if it wants to compete with companies offering the same products and services.
Effect of Online Reputation on Brand Value
The question is, how important is online reputation? Customers research products and services online. The key to getting the attention of these customers is having good online visibility and positive reviews. A brand with a good online reputation appears prominently in the search result pages and is replete with positive reviews.
It is estimated that 84% of consumers trust online reviews. Positive reviews about the business endear customers to it. Consumers trust reviews given by other consumers on the internet. Therefore, it is important to monitor your reviews about the business, both positive and negative. Positive reviews are easy on your business but how bad can a negative review be?
Negative reviews create a perception that your business is not trustworthy or may not provide a level of service they are seeking. Ultimately, your competitors can benefit as potential clients divert away from your brand. Dealing with negative reviews in a positive and transparent way will help the online reputation of a business.
Your online presence is not limited to Google or other search engines. Many businesses can find themselves mentioned on any of the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Reddit, Instagram and more. In effect, customers have a choice of multiple platforms to find information about your business. It becomes imperative to have a good online reputation through positive reviews, comments, and conversations. People will talk with each other regarding local products and services using these media platforms. Positive comments and reviews about a brand increase its reach among consumers.
Ranking high on search result pages is achieved in part by a good online reputation. This means that businesses that use reviews have an edge on businesses that don’t.
Online Reputation Management Strategies
Your business needs to maintain a positive online reputation by promoting the positive aspects and counteracting negative comments and reviews. Bad online reputation harms business objectives and can decrease sales in the long run. A sound reputation management plan increases engagements with internet users in a bid to turn them into clients by monitoring reviews and increasing the credibility of the brand.
Responding to negative reviews is an important online reputation management strategy. Trying to delete negative reviews hurts your credibility by creating distrust among consumers. Responding in an appropriate way to a negative review can help restore the damage caused to the brand reputation. Customers who leave negative reviews get a positive impression of the business when their feedback is considered. By responding appropriately to negative reviews, you may be able to turn the negative review into a positive one.
There are many platforms which enable customers to review businesses. As a result, it becomes difficult for a business to fully keep track of online reviews. There are tools available which enable businesses to manage and respond to reviews from a single platform. Businesses operating in multiple locations can use tools such as Reputology which allows them to keep reviews from every location in a single place. Responses to reviews also improve the SEO of the business as Google indexes these reviews and responses.
Google Alerts enables a business to monitor brand mentions online. This tool tracks web results, blogs, news, video, and group results tracking what the online community is saying. Social Mention is another tool which works like Google Alerts, monitoring brand mentions on different social media platforms.
Building an audience on social media is an important part of online reputation management. Social media posts help you actively interact with customers in order to share feedback and enhance the brand influence. Monitoring these comments and conversations can also help in formulating business strategies.