6 Online Reputation Management Tips for Small Businesses




What is Reputation Management?

Online reputation management is the act of monitoring, influencing, growing and managing what people are saying about your business online. Consumers are now the ones who sculpt your company’s reputation collectively by providing real-time feedback online.


Today, you may say that your business is the best at what you do, but nowadays that is not enough. It doesn’t matter if you say your business is the best in your industry - modern consumers, whether in the B2C or B2B marketplaces, look to others to confirm what you say.


Reputation Statistics


60% of consumers look at online reviews at least weekly and 93% say online reviews do impact their purchasing decisions. Customers trust and engage with online reviews regularly and these reviews remain very influential when making purchasing decisions. [1]


How can Reputation Management benefit your business?


For local businesses, having a good reputation management strategy is hugely important in growing your customer base. Reviews have become a critical part of the customer journey and should not be ignored by businesses that want to survive and thrive in the digital era.


Just think, have you used reviews to help you decide on a car, computer, restaurant or a new bike for the kids? Businesses across all industry sectors are realising the importance of reputation management in staying ahead of their competitors.


It’s clear that customers are sharing their opinions online. 72% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal referrals, so whether it’s a testimonial, a detailed article on someone’s blog, or an off-hand comment on Twitter, people are now chatting 24/7.


Local business owners need to be paying attention.


The key benefits of Reputation Management are:


· Improves your brand awareness


· Builds authority & trust


· Fosters stronger customer relationships


· Understand your customers experience of your business


· Discover any shortfalls in your service delivery to customers


· Improve customer retention & repeat business


· Tackle any negative experiences before you lose them as customers


· Attract better employees


· Generate more traffic to your website – improved SEO


· Drive more sales.



Top 6 tips to manage your online reputation


1. Monitor your online reviews


2. Make sure your category is correct


3. Filter your mentions


4. Accept feedback constructively, not negatively


5. Review Requests


6. Automate



Let’s unpack these in more detail.


1. Monitor your online reviews


It takes time to build a positive online reputation which is why taking a proactive approach to reputation management is essential. Platforms like Yell, Yelp, Facebook and Google are teaming with customer activity.


Monitoring what is being said about your business on these and the many other online review platforms is important for managing and maintaining your online reputation effectively.


Businesses that don’t monitor customer feedback on these online reviews platforms can miss marketing opportunities and damage their reputations. Why?


Modern customers often base their decisions on who they are going to give their business to by online reviews.

Customers are looking for reviews, both negative and positive. They are looking for feedback and star ratings.


Where they find ‘no reviews’ or even ‘badly responded to’ reviews, these can have negative impact and often result in customers going elsewhere with their business.


2. Make sure your business category is correct


Categories are used to best describe your business and connect you to customers looking for the services you offer.


You should choose a primary category that describes your business as a whole and don’t add multiple categories to list all of your products or services. For example, if you were a bookshop with a cafe, the ‘bookshop’ is the primary service. The operator of the cafe should have a separate listing under ‘cafe’.


You should also be specific when selecting a category. For example, choosing ‘Beauty Spa’ instead of ‘Spa’. If this information is inaccurate, your listing score will be inaccurate as your listing will compete with other businesses in the same category.


Be as specific and accurate as possible.


3. Filter your mentions


Mentions are sites that are not covered by review responses and include Twitter, blogs and online newspaper articles.


Mentions are a great way to keep tabs on what people are saying about your business online. It is a good idea to filter your closest competitors’ mentions too, which often highlights insights and opportunities for your business. You can also monitor what employees are saying about you.



4. Take feedback constructively, not negatively


Review sites are regarded as a safe place for your customers to leave their comments about their experience. Of course you want positive reviews and nothing but positive reviews. However, occasionally someone may feel that have had a negative experience.


42% of negative experiences are caused by customer service issues, which can be corrected by the business – if they are known. Reviews are a great way to review your own company performance and improve it to reduce customer churn and ensure long term relationships with loyal customers are nurtured.


On average, loyal customers will spend 67% more than new ones [2]. You don’t want to lose them unnecessarily.


85% of consumers churn because of poor service that could have been prevented.


67% of customer churn could be avoided if the business resolved the customer’s issue during their first interaction. [3]


Only 1 in 26 unhappy customers will actually complain – the rest simply churn. [4]


Reviews are a good early warning strategy to understand what they are feeling about your business, make efforts to retain them and correct any internal service related issues that could cause further churn. Churn can increase by up to 15% if businesses fail to respond to customers over social media. [5]


The way your business handles negative reviews is crucial, as remember that reviews platforms are in public view. The best way to deal with negative reviews is to respond with empathy and encourage further contact offline as they last thing you want is a back and forth conversation.


5. Review Requests

Reaching out to your customers individually or in bulk is a great way to get more customer reviews. The more review and responses you have, the more active your reputation building pages are – which shows increased activity online.


Why is this important?


- Improves customer relationships


- Let’s you understand how your customers feel about your business


- Improves your SEO.


Many businesses we speak to are really concerned that to ask for reviews - may attract bad ones - so instead just avoid the issue all together.


However, we use software that allows reviews to be collected in an envirnment controlled and only visible to you. If reviews on this platfrom are good, an automatic request to share the same review publically will be displayed - and with a click the good review will go straight to your Google Reviews.


Filtering reviews in this way gives you the control to manage your online reputation in a better way for increased peace of mind.


6. Automate the process


Due to the amount of mentions about your business across the hundreds of review websites, blog forums and social media platforms, manually managing your online reputation is hugely time consuming and in truth, nearly impossible to achieve efficiently.


Instead businesses can take advantage of our “Reputation Marketing” software solution that automates the process allowing us or our clients’ own team to track and manage everything from a single dashboard.




Our “Reputation Marketing” software platform will give insights into what the online community is saying about your business, will give automated alerts when new information is found and will generate weekly reports about the status of your online reputation.


If you would like to find out more about how we can help your business to get on top of its online reputation management, please get in contact with us >



 


Warren Arthur has 25 year+ experience in leveraging digital marketing strategies and implementation to help local businesses survive & thrive online. He works with businesses of all different shapes and sizes across the UK, US & Europe - and is passionate about empowering his clients to find their success in this digital age we all live and work in.


Find out how our talented team can help your business thrive online - contact us




www.warrenarthurconsulting.com









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