Over 85% of consumers read online reviews of a business or product before engaging with them or making a purchase. Another report says that over 40% people find “something” in a Google search that impacts their purchasing decision, and often causes them to do business with a different company instead.
It’s fairly obvious from the above that a business’s online reputation has a major role to play in the business’s success or failure. How much influence a brand has on potential customers depends on its goodwill among users. Reputation matters in the digital age, when it’s quite easy for people to share thoughts and opinions instantly with others on the web. Happy customers can give glowing reviews, while not-so-happy ones can unleash a torrent of harsh ratings. The fate of a brand is entirely dependent on how people perceive it.
In essence, online reputation management (ORM) involves monitoring, identifying and influencing your digital reputation and credibility on the web. By tracking what people say or write about your company, your online reputation can be managed.
Why is online reputation management important?
A positive reputation has a major role to play in the success of a business. Online reputation management is important for many reasons, including:
Credibility: A business with favorable reviews and ratings has enhanced credibility. Customers will have more trust in it.
Positive branding: ORM ensures that your brand is talked about in positive terms across forums and platforms on the web, creating more prospects.
Favorable information: By managing your reputation, it’s more likely that information you put out or posts you make will be received favorably.
Increased sales: Sales go up for a business whose ratings are good on the web.
How to manage your reputation online
Allow reviews: Reviews are a natural reaction from consumers in response to your website, product or services. Not all reviews will be positive, and it’s important to face criticism with an open mind. Open your website to receive comments, opinions and thoughts to learn and then work on what ails the business — which will result in more positive reviews.
Social media: Respond to bad reviews quickly and directly. Connect to dissatisfied customers personally on social sites to address their issues.
Blogging: Run a blog and provide detailed information to users. A blog is a wonderful way to connect to your user base in an interactive way.
Community engagement: One of the most effective ways to counter bad reviews is by engaging with your community. Post videos, connect and share photos to make them feel engaged on a regular basis.
Online reputation management is an integral aspect of business strategy. It’s time to turn the tide in your own favor and curtail the negativity on the web.