Having a comprehensive strategy for online reputation management is crucial for any business. Given the wide variety of myths surrounding best practices, it’s important as a business owner or communicator, that you carefully examine your options.
Whether it be researching providers on a data-driven business resource site, or simply ramping up internal efforts, companies that invest in monitoring and managing how they are perceived and evaluated online will see a noticeable impact. They’ll also be able to avoid the negative effects of having an unfavorable or nonexistent image online.
So, with all of this information in mind, the question now becomes: is your business doing enough to track its presence on the Internet?
Here are three key reasons why businesses should have an online reputation strategy.
Reviews influence decisions
According to a recent study, 93% of people say that online reviews impact their buying decisions. This means that most of your customers will be swayed by changes in your online reputation.
For many companies, online reputation management takes the form of monitoring and managing customer reviews. For others, it’s about being active and engaging on social media. And for many, it’s both and much more. This is because potential buyers tend to stake their confidence in objective information.
By encouraging customers to share their experiences of buying from you or working with or partnering with you, you’ll be able to influence external people. The goal is not to keep people from accessing information. Rather, with a good online reputation strategy, the emphasis is on controlling and influencing the conversation that others are having about your business.
A good online reputation is free advertising
One of the struggles that many businesses face is allocating budget to support advertising and marketing efforts. Campaigns can be expensive, especially if you’re facing stiff competition within your industry. One of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors is by building and managing your online reputation.
If you’re fortunate enough to receive positive testimonials about your service, highlight them as much as you can. Instead of dedicating all your energy and resources to advertising, PPC and SEO, carve out time to create a plan for sharing evidence that doing business with you is worth it. It’s no secret that stories have power, and, even in the context of a business, subjective information will stick much more than objective facts. Build your online profile in a way that customers relate to and trust.
Trust leads to success
Building trust is one of the key elements of a successful online reputation strategy. Although trust can come into play preemptively with unbiased reviews, you should also consider the value in maintaining relationships and building rapport with customers – and leverage it.
By using social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, you can be creative about making your business accessible to users. Because these sites have already earned their trust. Take advantage of the publicity opportunities that exist within commonly-used digital apps and online services.
As one of the top online reputation management companies in the UK, we recognize the importance of online reputation strategies in building and protecting companies online. Our mission is to ensure that businesses and brands are represented fairly online. We deliver a high quality of work from audit and strategy through delivery and impact, to ensure that our clients really stand out online for the right reasons.
Head of Content at Igniyte – The Reputation Experts
Fiona is our resident content expert and award-winning business writer. She’s passionate about creating content strategies that influence and change opinions and behaviours. She regularly blogs about the latest online reputation headlines and best practice online reputation management for businesses, brands and individuals.