When it comes to the online reputation of a business, there seem to be several different misconceptions. A lot of people think that to manage your online reputation, all you need to do is monitor what people are saying about you on social media. On the other hand, there are others who think that reputation management means dealing with public relations and then there are a lot of people who understand what reputation management means but then are unsure how it impacts your sales and the overall success of your business.
Throughout this article, we will speak about what online reputation management is and why currently, when we rely so much on technology it is so important to have a good reputation. We will also be providing some top tips on how you are able to protect your company and its reputation, as well as how you can create a better reputation for yourselves.
What Does Your Online Reputation Actually Mean?
An online reputation, or e-reputation, is the reputation of a company, person, product, service or any other element on the Internet and digital platforms. Your online reputation is the overall opinion that the public has about an individual or an organisation. Online reputation is made up of what comes up about a subject when their name is typed looked up on the internet. Naturally, the way that they behave and how trustworthy a business is, is incredibly relevant when it comes to creating a good online reputation.
There are a few different things that affect a brands reputation, and these include:
One of the most effective ways that the online reputation of your business can be impacted both positively and negatively is through online reviews and comments made about your business. Reviews are something you might think are out of your control but by offering good customer service and being approachable, you will ensure that people leave a positive account of your organisation.
If you receive a bad review at a poor time, then this can really damage your brands reputation and subsequently your sales. As such, it is important your business is keeping a close eye on feedback left by clients, whether it is helpful or not, so that you can effectively manage your reputation.
Not only does the feedback of customers matter but that of your employees does too, especially when it comes to seeking out future candidates. Before people accept a job opportunity, they will have a look at what people have previously said about your business to gain insight into your ethos and attitude. As such, you need to ensure your business is a good place to work.
If you get negative comment on twitter or a bad post on Facebook but these can be massively impactful on your business’s reputation. Comments left on a social media page are there for everyone to see and they can be hard to come back from so it is important you are staying on top of what people are posting so you can respond in a way which is effective and maintains your brands positive reputation.
If you run a business and your systems go offline or there is damage done to your organisation, then this can negatively affect your company’s reputation. This is especially the case if the business that you run has to support customers with a quick technological turnaround (a good example of these organisations is financial institutions or IT Support companies).
Thanks to how easy it is to post articles onto google and the accessibility of technology in general, it can be incredibly straightforward for individuals to produce false information about your organisation. This could be done by disgruntled customers but also your competition. Defamation of any kind is illegal and as such it is possible to take false information about your business down, but you need to know where it is in order to report it. You are going to be unable to do this if you are not carrying out a frequent search for your business and staying on top of the comments of individuals.
Why Is Your Online Reputation Important in Life?
The internet was a very different place a decade ago but now, our reliance on it has increased massively to the point it is a very important part of all of our lives. Companies previously didn’t need to speak with their customers online and instead were able to just sell to a passive audience. People were unable to create posts that allowed them to share their opinion in a powerful way but now, things are very different.
Sites are no longer static and instead, people can post onto different sites to share their opinion about a business. The visibility of such posts is available to the organisation but then also to anybody who will be looking up that organisation.
If people look up your business and they see that a lot of people are posting negative feedback about you, whether this is on your website, review sites, twitter or Facebook, they aren’t going to be interested in engaging with your organisation any further. Due to the clear importance of having a good online reputation, it is important your business is staying on top of trends, doing a frequent online search to see what your online reputation is like, checking social media accounts and using helpful tools to stay on top of what people are saying about you and understanding how you can improve your reputation.
How to Manage Your Online Reputation
There are several top tips you can take on board when it comes to managing yours or your businesses online reputation but the first thing your company needs to do is listen to what people are saying about you. The foundation of having a good online reputation is your company having an idea what people are saying and then responding to their comments in an appropriate way.
There are other times when a reaction isn’t even necessary and then there are other times where if your reaction is too late it could cost you a significant amount of money and customers. The best thing that you can do is keep an eye on any feedback you receive and generally stay aware about what people are saying about you, don’t just respond when some comments or a certain post is brought to your attention. So, what is the best way to do this?
Social Media Monitoring
A lot of people think that social media is specifically only used by young people, but this is not the case. Sure, young people are certainly more active on social media than the older generation, but the fact of the matter is that social media is used by everyone. This means that complaints, feedback, and all things in between will be posted on social media sites.
You can search social media to stay on top of what people are saying about you but a much more effective and time conscious option is to set up a google alert. This is a good example of web monitoring as essentially it means that you will be notified every time something makes a post about your business. This is a great way to support your online reputation needs.
Looking for Attacks on Your Business
Of course, when it comes to creating negative content that can affect your reputation and acquisition, there are a lot of people who will go above and beyond to create harmful content. This goes a lot further than a negative tweet about your company, which is reasonably management, but instead it takes on much more serious methods that can cause your business genuine problems. This means that the minute prospective customers go online and search for your business they are going to be met with a plethora of negative comments. Different forms that this bad press can come in includes:
Review sites are frequented by old and young people alike as they allow people to express what their opinion on a brand is. These sites tend to have good visibility as google priorities them on searches. Too many negative comments can massively affect the way that potential customers view your company, negatively impacting acquisition and conversion as a result.
When customers are particularly furious, they will go beyond merely posting a bad review and will instead create whole websites dedicated to voicing their opinions. A lot of the time the content contained on such websites is illegal as they will use insults and false information rather than an honest review of a product or service which has been done in public interest.
Negative coverage in the media
There is a famous saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity, but unfortunately there absolutely is. When your business or someone associated with your business receives particularly bad coverage, this can have a very detrimental impact on how people view your brand.
How Yoono Can Help with Reputation Management
As seen above, there are a few different platforms that you need to stay on top of in order to properly assess your businesses reputation. This is naturally quite difficult at times and as such, you may be wondering what tools and software can make the whole process easier. You will be happy to know that Yoono are on hand to provide all the support that you may need.
Yoono is a piece of software that can scour the different corners of the internet in order to put together a report that paints a clear picture on everything that is being said about you. You can view this report to have a proper understanding about what people are saying about you and generally what the public’s perception of your organisation is. When you have this full image, you are able to have a better idea as to how you would like to approach improving your businesses reputation.
How to Improve Your Online Reputation
Once you have used tools such as Yoono to understand what people are saying about your company online, you are in a better position to improve your online reputation. There are a few different ways you can do this so if you need assistance be sure to consider the below tips.
Ask Customers to Write Reviews
One of the best ways to combat negative reviews is by obtaining some positive reviews. If you have a customer who is happy with their experience, then you should be sure to ask them to leave a review about their experience. You could even provide incentive to leave reviews such as a discount off their next purchase. In doing this you are not only improving your reputation, but you are also taking steps towards client retention.
Share Positive User-Generated Content
Have good SEO and strong content marketing can be very effective when improving your reputation. If you are uploading blogs that use keywords that will rank highly when people search your business, this means that these articles are the first thing interested clients will see as opposed to negative comments. These articles should have with them a sense of what your business about and give clients genuine advice. In doing this you will establish your company as a voice of authority that ensure people who search for you will be more likely to trust your business and want to do business with you.
Seek Help from Professionals
There are also a number of different businesses out there who specialise in reputation management. As such, if you are struggling with painting your business in a positive light then it may be worth reaching out to the pros and asking them for some help. They will be able to consider your business, who your target audience are and what they can do to appeal to that audience, old and young people, to ensure people are happy to engage with your organisation.
The Importance of Reputation Management
In the modern age of the internet, having a good online presence is incredibly important for businesses everywhere. If your organisation does not have a strong online reputation, then people will be hesitant to engage with the products or services that you offer. Possible business partners may decide to go elsewhere because of your reputation. As such, it is incredibly important that you are making staying on top of your reputation part of your job.
There are a few different ways you can do this, but the most important aspect is to have an understanding what customers are saying about you. Yoono can provide good software that will help you do this as a report will be compiled which contains everything that people online are saying about you. If you would like more information on how Yoono can help your company, then do not hesitate to get in touch.