34% of people who left reviews in 2019 wrote 2-3 reviews for local business
85% of consumers are willing to leave reviews
60% have written reviews for positive experiences, while just 25% have written reviews for negative experiences
Now more than ever, people are using the internet to find what they need. Word of mouth isn’t dead. It’s just transformed into something much faster and impactful — online review sites and social media.
What people say and think about your business has never been easier to see. Let’s take a look at why your online reputation matters for your company, and even some ways you can manage it.
Do I Really Need to Care About My Business’ Online Reputation?
Did you know that 85 percent of people trust reviews from strangers on the internet the same as they would someone they personally know? Online reviews have become so popular because they give people an outlet to express gratitude (and grievances) after an experience.
How many times have you gotten an excellent recommendation from a friend who’s a regular at a restaurant and thought to yourself, “I wonder what it’s like for the average person, though?”
This is why online reviews matter. If you look up that same restaurant and see a couple of bad reviews in the past few months, you might be less open to trying it. If you find a business and notice there hasn’t been any activity on any of the pages for months or even years, it isn’t going to look like an active business. All of this plays a part in your online reputation.
How Can I Manage My Online Reputation?
Managing your online reputation might seem overwhelming and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Like anything else in life, if you want to be good at it, you have to work at it a little bit every day.
Closely monitoring your online presence and consistently updating your social media pages will allow you to take things on as they come and not be overwhelmed when managing your digital footprint.
Actively Monitor Your Social Media
Social media is a great tool that connects people all over the world. It’s also something that can make or break your business. If you want to manage your reputation online, the easiest way is to be active on social media. This doesn’t mean just checking every day and replying to comments or messages, but also maintaining your page by posting regular updates too.
Facebook and Twitter are great platforms to get an idea about what people are saying about your business. You can use their search function to look for any and all posts that have mentioned your business directly (through linking to your page or @-ing you) or indirectly (by mentioning your name or products in a post).
If you find posts complementing or showcasing your business or product, you can elevate or acknowledge the post. This helps create an online community of people that want to talk about your brand. On the other hand, if you find negative posts, you can’t and shouldn’t ignore them. Complaints that go unanswered lead to issues that fester and can be damaging in the long run to your business.
Respond to Negative Reviews
Whenever you get feedback, positive or negative, responding quickly and professionally is key. Replying to someone’s comment on Facebook or Twitter is not just for them to see, but the whole internet world. Every interaction online is an opportunity to show someone, directly or indirectly, what your business is about. And how you treat your customers.
The same things go for reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, or Tripadvisor. You might be tempted only to acknowledge good reviews, or reply harshly to someone who unfairly criticized you. The best way to handle these reviews is to answer all of them in a calm, timely, and polite way.
Replying to reviews as they come in not only makes you look like you have excellent customer service, but it also gives you a deeper understanding of what people think about your business.
Ask for Online Reviews
Reviews influence potential customers early on in their buyer’s journey.
That’s why having just a few, or a catalog of old ones, can be just as damaging as having bad reviews. So how can you best tap into this segment of the market? By asking your current customers to review you.
It might seem awkward to ask your customers or clients to review you. Still, businesses that do ask for reviews actually get them. In most cases, people won’t know where to go to review your business online, so direct them to your social media or other online directories.
If you’re a business with a large customer base, create an email marketing campaign that encourages people to leave online reviews. If you’re still struggling to get them, you could incentivize it with a giveaway, coupon, or some kind of promotion.
Encourage Online Interactions Through Your Content
One of the most important things you can do to manage your online reputation is put out engaging content. Creating good digital content can come in many forms, including:
Social Media Posts
Encouraging people to interact with your business in a way that doesn’t directly relate to a sale is an excellent way to help people get familiar with your brand and who you are. And giving people experiences is the best way to create a lasting impact, so you can turn them into loyal customers.
Create Brand Loyalty & Start Managing Your Company’s Online Reputation
Now more than ever, your business’ online reputation matters. Creating trust and credibility with customer reviews gets you big brownie points when it comes to building your customer base.
And while managing your online reputation can seem overwhelming, Digital Resource has the tools and experience to help you be successful. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help manage your reviews with social media maintenance, content marketing strategies, and much more!
Alexandra is a content specialist, graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She has a passion for literature and writing, and has extensive experience in content writing for digital marketing.
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