Online Reputation Management: A Crucial Undertaking for Your Business

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As we move into a new decade, the percentage of all goods purchased online continues to grow. It’s estimated that in 2020 people purchasing goods digitally will top 2 billion—that’s over a quarter of all people! This just drives home the fact that we need to be where these people are, and listen to what our customers are saying about us and our competitors—in steps online reputation management and social listening!

Sounds Cool. What is Online Reputation Management?

If your business is in the digital space, most likely many of your customers are as well. People are there, and they are talking (and listening). When people make purchases online, they often leave reviews—good and bad.

This is where social proof comes into play. Social proof is a principle that says “we view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it”. Think about a time you were on the fence about making a purchase. Then, you read a bunch of reviews from people who had already purchased that product, and they couldn’t say enough good things about it. Did that push you over the edge? Most likely, it did, because if everyone says it’s great, it must be!

Last year, 94% of people who shop digitally said that positive reviews increased their trust in a brand, while 89% of those same people lost trust because of negative reviews.

Online shoppers aren’t the only ones who care either! King Google’s algorithm rewards your business for good reviews and penalizes you for bad ones. It is estimated to actually be the second most important factor in your local Google rankings.

A big part of online reputation management is customer reviews. But also gathering general sentiment around ideas, topics or products. You can collect data about what people are saying on their personal social media accounts that might affect your business both positively and negatively.

With the right tools, you can get a handle on the online community. You can start running interference on crisis situations, benchmarking competitors and capitalizing on opportunities.

Sounds Important. How Do I Accomplish It?

Get the right tools.

Online reputation management can be accomplished with software that collects data from across the web and helps to put it into manageable and understandable reports. You can also utilize your social media presence as a listening tool! Social media is overflowing with customer sentiment about your business and your competitors.

One example of a platform for reputation management is Sprout Social, which has an add-on available to their plans that provides you with these types of tools. There are many other companies out there that provide software for this purpose and some that even manage your reputation for you.

Having a presence on social media is also important so that you can utilize social listening, and gather data via those channels.

Find out what your customers and others are saying.

Once you have the right tools in place, start gathering data. Decide what’s important for you to look at. Reviews, specific hashtags, topics, trending content and competitor sentiment are all areas where you could focus and gather data.

Determine how you can use this knowledge, and use it!

Once you’ve collected all of this awesome information, what are you going to do with it?

  • Did you find trending hashtags that are relevant to your business? Start incorporating those into your social content.
  • Did you find that a competitor was touting a specific feature in their product, and it received really positive responses from customers? Then build a campaign for your products that highlight that feature.
  • Did you find that your social didn’t really have much to look at as far as reviews are concerned? Create a plan to request, and maybe even incentivize your customers for their feedback to grow your reputation.

I Need to Do This, But I’m Not Sure Where to Start.

If you agree that managing your online reputation is important, but need some help with getting a strategy in place for how to accomplish this, talk to us to see how we can help!

Sources: Falcon.IO, Buffer, Oberlo