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How Effective Online Reputation Management Saves (and Makes) Your Brand Money

Do you have a brand that needs saving? Are you worried about losing customers because of bad online reviews? Don’t worry, there’s a solution!

When people search for your company name on Google, they see the results that your competitors show up in their SERPs.

71% of consumers start their customer journey with a Google search.

But what if you could change those results? That’s where reputation management comes into play. A business cannot afford to appear untrustworthy and unprofessional when they want their site to be found by potential customers or clients.

Effective online reputation management saves your brand money
Photographer: Damir Spanic | Source: Unsplash

Online Reputation Management - Why it's important for your brand

It’s no secret that the Internet is a wild west where anything goes. However, this doesn’t mean that every company or individual should behave recklessly online.

As a business owner, your reputation matters. If you haven’t already done so, start monitoring your online presence. This could include things like reviews, ratings, social mentions, and more.

When something negative happens, reach out immediately to rectify the situation. Don’t let a bad review go unanswered for weeks or months. Respond promptly to keep happy customers happy.

A good reputation makes life easier when trying to sell products or services. It’s much harder to convince someone to buy from a company that has a poor reputation with a collection of negative comments following them around.

Why you need to manage your reputation online

Reputation management is a term that encompasses everything from managing your brand to curating your personal brand.

It includes things like responding to a negative review, ensuring your business appears trustworthy, and building trust among your target market.

All of this happens online, so it makes sense that we should cultivate a positive image.

However, it doesn’t mean that you can do it with a single click. There’s a lot of work involved in building and maintaining a good reputation online.

How to start managing your reputation online

It’s time to stop being afraid of online reputation management. If you’ve ever been asked by a potential employer what your online reputation says about you, you know how scary that can be.

While most employers are going to check up on your LinkedIn profile before hiring, they might not dig deeper into the rest of the internet.

So what should you do?

First, get a handle on where your bad reviews and negative feedback come from. Then, figure out how to turn them into a positive review – or at least a positive interaction. Finally, find a service that will help you manage your reputation and implement your online reputation management strategy.

Use online tools and platforms for online reputation management
Photographer: Blake Wisz | Source: UnsplashPhotographer: Blake Wisz | Source: Unsplash

How to use social media to build your reputation

Social media is a powerful tool for building your brand, creating awareness, and promoting yourself — especially when it comes to search engine optimization.

It’s important to remember that social media doesn’t work in isolation. When you post content on any given platform, you should always consider what else is happening on that same platform.

That means if you publish something on Twitter, you should also comment on relevant articles on Medium, Reddit, and other platforms. If you post on Instagram, you should check out your competitor’s posts on the same platform.

When you do this, you’re able to see how your content fits into the bigger picture. This helps you understand whether your efforts are working, where they could improve, and how you can replicate success elsewhere.

How to use social networks to manage your reputation

When it comes to managing your reputation, social media is your best friend.

Social media allows you to engage with customers directly, build relationships with potential clients, and even improve your brand image.

You can start by monitoring your mentions on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. Next, respond to any negative reviews, questions, or concerns. Finally, monitor your brand’s overall performance across all platforms.

Now let’s look at how to do each of these things in detail.

Monitoring social channel mentions

Each social media platform has a tab, or separate section that will show you all of the times you, or your brand, have been mentioned.

Whether its satisfied customers or random people latching onto a hashtag, somewhere in this mix, eventually, you'll come across unhappy customers. With these potential sources of harmful content for your brand just out in the open, its important to act quickly.

A response of, "DM us with your account email so our support team can get back to you" is better than no response, and shows a dedication to customer concerns to potential customers. Loyal customers are created by a quick response time and acknowledging customer feedback.

Respond to negative reviews

As much as you'll love and cherish a positive review, online review platforms are rife with trolls or people who relish in negative content.

Whether you collect reviews on Google My Business, Facebook, or one of the many other review aggregation platforms, response to negative content should be one of the key factors in your online reputation management strategy.

A disgruntled customer can derail an entire marketing campaign if not addressed. At that point, not only will your business reputation be on the line, but your marketing budget will go up in smoke too!

Monitor overall performance

The easiest way to collect and aggregate all information across all of your social channels is to use Excel or Google Sheets and keep a rolling tally of your most important tracked KPI's (key performance indicators).

Specific KPI's will generally be unique to your campaigns or business goals set for a particular time period.

Of course this is a huge time sink, that most business owners don't have the time for. That's why there are several tools dedicated to the pursuit of making data analysis manageable.

How to get started managing your reputation online

Reputation management encompasses everything from responding to negative reviews to posting positive feedback. If you want to improve your SEO, you must start managing your reputation online.

You can’t control what others say about you offline, but you can control what you do online. When you respond to negative reviews on sites such as Yelp or TripAdvisor, you’re giving the review writer exactly what they want—a response.

This makes them happy, and it makes you look good. That said, if you respond with a comment like “I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy our service, but we did provide excellent customer support”, then you’ve made yourself appear polite and helpful.

Start managing your online reputation with strategic choices
Photographer: Maxime Horlaville | Source: Unsplash

Effective Online Reputation Management Saves Money & Time

When it comes to managing your brand online, you want to avoid negative mentions. But, sometimes there are things that happen that you can’t control.

That’s where online reputation management comes into play. A good reputation tracking tool allows you to track mentions of your name across multiple websites, monitor competitors’ activity, and respond accordingly.

The key to any successful online reputation management plan is to start early. You want to catch these issues before they become problems.

There are many tools available to help you manage your online presence. Some of them are free, while others charge monthly fees.

It’s important to know that you don’t have to pay for every service offered by every company. Find the ones that work for you and focus on those.

Your first step is to identify the sources of information that drive your brand. Then, you can look for ways to improve your online image.

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