“Our reputation is more important than the last hundred million dollars.”
Reputation matters, whether it’s for an individual or a business. With online presence follows online reputation. In today’s world, our solution to everything is – “Google it.” Search engines have an overload of information. You cannot shy away from the prying eyes of the digital world. Users have access to your online reputation. It’s important to maintain a positive identity. Almost 80 percent use search engines to get information on local businesses.
Online reputation management (ORM) is crucial as it can make or break your business. There are various factors involved in ORM. It includes reviews, forums, media, social networks, competitors’ websites, and blogs. Manage every aspect efficiently to ensure your good image stays intact. Here are a few factors stating the importance of ORM.
Ø SEO rankings: If your brand has too many negative reviews, it will lower your SEO rankings. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. You must encourage positive reviews. Flag off inappropriate reviews and address issues with proper care. Publish valuable and relevant content to boost SEO rankings. Consumers feel higher-ranked websites are more reliable. Only 5 percent of users browse past Google’s first page.
Ø Credibility: Users form an opinion looking at what’s published and from testimonies. Positive news can enhance your brand image and gain trust from consumers. Negative reviews might drive away existing customers. A single star can alter your revenue by 5 to 9 percent. Three out of four customers trust a brand that has good reviews. Negative reviews put off around 60 percent of users.
Ø Revenue: Good trust will easily translate into sales. It will thereby increase your revenue. It’s important to establish a reliable brand image online. Also, ensure there’s no misleading information about your business.
Over 90 percent of users go by online reviews globally. A survey by Findlaw and Super Lawyers reveals that 87 percent of Americans blindly go by online reviews.
Steps to take:
1. Monitor - To ensure there’s no harm to your online reputation, monitor it regularly.
2. Reviews - Keep a tab on all reviews posted about your business on social media, review sites, and search engines. People tend to get carried away by reviews and ratings. Do not neglect negative reviews. According to a survey, an individual complains more about poor service. He tells it to 15 others. When it comes to good service, he only tells it to 11 others in comparison.
3. Respond - Deal with it at once to prevent any further damage. Interact with your consumers regularly through emails or social media forums. This will help you maintain a good rapport with the customers. It will also clear misunderstandings if any. Sprout Social report reveals 45 percent of users post positively about complaints resolved on time.
4. PRO - Appoint a Public Relations officer to professionally manage your reputation online. They say, “Seeing is believing.” Make sure your users get to see more positives than negatives. A famous global sports brand doubled its revenue by introducing an exclusive customer support handle. This sounds trivial but it made all the difference to their online reputation. Their competitors missed out on huge sales by not taking this initiative first. Little things matter most.