How Your Online Reputation Can Make or Break Your Business

February 2019
 minute read
woman in group of people looking at smartphone

Have you ever heard the saying, “It takes many good deeds to build a reputation, and only one bad one to lose it”? Even though this traces all the way back to Benjamin Franklin, businesses today should still take heed. With the growing presence of social media and website reviews, it’s becoming harder for companies to hide customer complaints about their mistakes, or “bad deeds.” Luckily, an increasing number of agencies in Pittsburgh have begun investing time in reputation management.

Read on to learn how properly using reputation management can help you grow your brand and keep your customers happy. Here, the experts of content marketing in Pittsburgh - Responsival - will outline:

  • Why you should care about your online reputation
  • What to do after a nasty review
  • How you can use social media as an advantage, rather than just as a defense against negative reviews

Why Online Reputation Management Matters

Online Reputation

Have you ever purchased a product or service without researching it first? Probably not. You, along with most other consumers, are likely going to conduct a Google search on it first. And you’re also likely to be among the 91% of people who take what they see in the results seriously.

What customers find will form an indelible impression in their minds. And depending on what they find about your business, they will either go to you or your competition. This is because social media profiles and customer profiles not only shape your reputation, but they also influence consumer behavior and decisions.

This is where online reputation management, or ORM, comes in. In its simplest form, reputation management is, well, managing one’s reputation. This involves monitoring and responding to customer reviews while also keeping track of the company’s online reputation. When done properly, businesses can build a reliable reputation for themselves, keep customers happy, and recover from negative reviews or publicity.

Dealing With Negative Reviews

Negative Reviews

If companies could erase negative reviews posted online, ORM would be much easier to deal with. Any “reputation management” companies that claim to have the ability to do should be dismissed. However, that doesn’t mean that you are totally powerless when it comes to dealing with them.

Be Proactive and Responsive

It’s no secret that people can get pretty nasty online. And even the most prestigious of companies fall prey to them at times. But rather than taking their negative comments personally, think of them as a learning experience and point upon which your company can improve. Then, after taking a deep, long breath—apologize. It may be tempting to just ignore the review, but doing so may agitate the customer further and make it seem like your company is not concerned with your customers’ satisfaction. Remember, “no response” is still a type of response to the customer.

In your reply, make sure you take responsibility for what happened while also offering to compensate the customer. You can even try to resolve the issue offline by giving the customer your contact information and encouraging them to reach out to you. Taking the high road isn’t always the easiest, but it will help your company in the long run.

Monitor What People Are Saying

If you are looking for a more basic set-up, you can sign up for Google Alerts. Our experts in content marketing in Pittsburgh swear by it. Simply type in a phrase or a keyword, and Google will email you whenever it shows up in a Google search. For more advanced monitoring, consider consulting with a marketing firm to help manage your online reputation. A staff member will dedicate part of her his or her day staying on top of online reviews using sophisticated software. It is critical that you are aware of when reviews are made so that you may respond at an appropriate time.

Using Reputation Management to Advance Your Business

Reputation management isn’t all about dealing with negative reviews. Engaging in it allows you to determine the needs and wants of your customers, build your brand, and post relevant content.

Find Out What Your Customers Really Want

reputation management

By taking the time to read customer reviews, you can determine what features of your business customers want more of, and what aspects they could do without. Doing so will allow you to quickly adapt to their changing needs and desires while staying innovative and relevant.  Not only that, but consumers will appreciate you taking their feedback into consideration. In turn, you will gain happy and loyal customers for your brand.

Have Fun

denny's responses

Interacting with your customers doesn’t have to be confined to only responding to negative reviews. Depending on your businesses company persona, you may even be able to have a little fun with them. Take this Tumblr post for instance. Denny’s tongue-in-cheek response to a user admitting to thinking about iHop gained a high amount of traction and publicity. By reaching a certain demographic (Millennials) in a social forum, Denny’s was able to interact with users while also subtly promoting their brand.

As social media becomes more prevalent, your customers’ abilities to rant or rave about you online grow as well. Whether they are saying positive or negative things about your business, they should be taken into consideration and addressed. With proper ORM, your business can continue to grow and expand.

For more information on how ORM can boost your business, get in touch with one of our team members at Responsival.


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