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Today, a lot of business owners are worried about managing their online reputation. Also known as Internet reputation management (IRM) or online reputation management (ORM).
This is a fantastic digital marketing strategy businesses owners can use to maintain a clean image of their people, product, or services. It's definitely the reputation of a business which matters the most.
What's Online Reputation?
The online reputation of a business is actually what its customers (and stakeholders) have to say about its product or services. The views of customers and clients can have a major impact on your business. A good online reputation is vital for driving better outcomes and protecting the livelihood.
Whether you are selling a product, advertising service, or promoting a brand, the chances are that interested people are going to have a look at the online reputation of your business. These people can be consumers, stakeholders, marketers, clients, or business partners.
If you want to drive greater demand for your product or services and attract more customers, managing your business reputation on the social web is extremely important.
Results of Negative Online Reputation
Negative online reputation of a business can have a wide range of impacts. It can affect the credibility of your brand. It can affect your share price. It can affect your sells. It can even lead to a boycott of your products across the entire industry. Not only big industry players but even small businesses can become a victim of a negative reputation on the social web.
As you continue to grow your business, you need to keep a close watch on how you are building the reputation of your business. If searches for your name or company don't bring relevant results (i.e., results are not about you), you should quickly start to focus on building a good reputation online.
The actual problem arises when searching for your product, services, or company fetches negative feedback, complaints, or comments. If a customer or a visitor to your website lodges a complaint with a consumer complaints website, it's going to create potential problems for you.
Negative search results may include fake information, negative comments, bad news, competitor attacks, consumer complaints sites, etc.
Managing the Reputation of Your Business
If your business has an online presence, you can never stop people from discussing your products or services. You'll face both positive as well as negative feedback from consumers. Since online conversations can have a considerable impact on the growth of your business, it's important to make sure you do some planning in advance and develop a strategy to protect your livelihood.
Start Off with Listening to Your Customers
If you want to manage your brand's online reputation, you should start by listening to what your consumers or customers have to say. Active and careful listening makes you aware of the requirements of customers, what they like, and what they don't. Whether customers love your product (or services) or hate it, they'll share their feedback on one social platform or another.
Listening will help you know the following:
What your customers are saying What they like and what they don't What catches their interest Problems which you may not know otherwise
In a nutshell, listening prepares a business for interacting with customers.
By now, you must have known how you should interact or participate in the conversation with your customers. The real power of Online Reputation Management (ORM) lies in 'interaction with customers.' By joining the conversation, you can not only immediately respond to negative commenting, but you can also benefit from opportunities that can drive sales.
While dealing with a negative reputation, businesses need to be very careful. If you show an exaggerated response, you can immediately lose the credibility of your business. It's important to understand that even negative comments can sometimes bring you opportunities for driving more engagement among consumers. So, tread this ground with care and wisdom.
While handling negative comments, try to focus on the following:
Finding the root cause of the problem (so you can modify it) Being thoughtful while responding Replying honestly (rather than hiding the truth) to gain customers' trust Offering additional benefits to the customer as compensation
Use Online Reputation Management Tools to Fine-tune Social Strategy
There are multiple ORM tools that business can use to keep track of what's being said about their products and services. By analysing the buzz carefully, you can also keep an eye on your competitors' activities. As a result, you can fine-tune your social media strategy more to drive business growth. Google Alerts is a popular tool that you can use to track and analyse the buzz.
Start building your online reputation before it's too late. Use the above-mentioned tips to develop a well-planned strategy for managing your brand's credibility on the social web.