Reputation Management is More Than Just Reviews
Your online reputation is your business’s digital face to the world. As such, in order to present the best face of your business to the world, you have to consider more aspects than just the reviews that are found on online review sites. While monitoring and responding to online reviews is crucial, and you want to do everything you can to make sure you are getting great reviews, there are many more elements that comprise your online reputation. Become familiar with all of them!
Have a Great Website
Your website is often the first thing customers will find when they google your business. Therefore, you must have a modern looking and up to date website. You don’t need to have a lot of frills, as these can be off putting. Instead, focus on building a nice, clean, and easy to navigate site. Make sure that your address, hours of business, and contact information are up to date and accurate. Nothing is going to irritate potential customers more than finding information on a website and discovering later that it’s not accurate when they go to use it. Build a responsive mobile friendly site so that customers don’t grow impatient waiting for your site to load on their mobile devices if they are accessing your site while they are out. It’s very likely they may be checking information quickly to make a decision about taking action that day and you don’t want to lose them through a poorly designed website. Include links to any social media sites that are updated and remove any that you don’t use. If you’ve changed urls, make sure all your social media site links are accurate. For the most part, when customers see social media links they assume they are direct links to your own sites, so don’t include them in your header or footer for the sake of encouraging them to share the link to your website. Have all the information customers would be looking for in an easy to see and easy to navigate manner. This is the primary step of controlling your online reputation.
Have Accurate Business Listings
Accurate business listings are also essential so that your customers can find you. They are a crucial part of giving your business a professional appearance online. If someone searches out your business online and finds multiple listings that all have variations, it makes your business look unprofessional, and it sends confusing signals about where to find you, what your phone number is, what hours you are open, and other details. They are also an important boost for SEO. Check the photos on any listing to make sure they are up to date and reflect your business appropriately. Claim your name across social media sites to help present an unified and cohesive presence. If you aren’t using any of the social sites, you can direct customers to your website through the profiles of the sites you do use. Working to make sure your business listings are up to date and accurate presents a much better look for your business overall, helps your customers find you, and is a key part of online reputation management.
Watch Your Mentions
Your business is being talked about online in places other than the online review sites. Sometimes, consumers like to extend the reach of their words to their personal blogs or websites. You may be included in roundups or rankings of similar businesses or you may find yourself in the news for any number of reasons. It’s very important to stay on top of where your business is being talked about online so that you can respond to any negative feedback, correct any false information, or thank anyone for providing great feedback. Additionally, if anything pops up that a customer later mentions to you in a face to face meeting, it’s a good idea to know what they’re referring to. You can’t assume the only place where people are talking about your business are review sites. You want them to be talking about you everywhere in good ways as that will help spread the word about your business! Staying on top of what is being said about you is part of online reputation management. You might even discover that you love doing this when you realize how much your customers love you.
Listen on Social Media
Keeping an eye on social media mentions is also crucial as customers don’t hesitate to share their thoughts on social platforms. Not only do you need to pay attention the times when you are specifically mentioned or tagged, but you also want to monitor the more general mentions about your company or product. Customers may not always know how to tag you in the conversation but they still have something they want you to hear. You want to keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other sites to see what is being said. Keeping on eye on any mentions of key personnel is also important. Some disgruntled customers might make it a point to complain about specific employees online and not always mention your business by name. Consider monitoring your employees accounts to see what they are saying about your business. This way you can see if any employees are saying negative things about your business or sharing any confidential or proprietary information that they should not be sharing. If you do decide to monitor your employees’ social media accounts, you’ll want to keep in mind these best practices.
Monitor the Competition
While the competition might not be talking about you, it’s important to measure how you stack up against them. Monitor share of voice and social growth. See how you are growing and taking charge of the online space in comparison to them. You can get a lot of ideas from your competitors strategies as well and you can learn from their mistakes. It’s a good benchmark for judging your own success and what is happening with your online presence. You should never, however, intentionally sabotage them.
As you can see, online reputation management consists of far more than monitoring reviews. While monitoring reviews is a key part of managing your reputation online, there are other critical aspects to consider as well. Have any questions about how to do this efficiently? We’d love to talk with you more about our tools to help you manage your online reputation. Fill out the contact form below!