How do you take a buying decision?

Whether you are planning to buy a home or software, there are great chances for you to first dig into the information available online, isn’t it? It’s not about you merely. Buyers in all industries rely on digital content and online search for their purchasing decisions.

Online Reputation Management

This is the reason why 97 percent people say that online reputation management is important to their business.

It is here when Online Reputation Management (ORM) comes into play. Derived from the term ‘reputation management’ which was originally used in the public relations sector, it is about influencing the public’s perception for an individual or a group’s reputation. To simplify, ORM refers to media relations, i.e. the way the information is available about a brand or person across different platforms.

Moreover, it focuses on managing the search results of products and services. Now while monitoring, there will be negative or potentially damaging content, which needs to be addressed. 

Some of the examples include:

1. Submitting authentic and positive social media pages with positive customer reviews.

2. Publishing online press releases to suppress negative feedback

3. Turning down negative feedback by improving tagging and SEO

An ORM expert is required to address those negative customer feedbacks in a professional way, in order to avoid damage to the brand’s online reputation. So, you can say that a major part of online reputation management comprises of suppressing negative feedback and highlighting positive feedback.

Now do you know how many customers are reading online news, or using search engines to make purchase decisions? The list will be endless. Therefore, online reputation management is more important than ever. Know why.

How ORM Impacts Your Business?

As stated above, your online reputation will determine how the viewers perceive your business while they stumble upon it online. Consequently, it influences what information people find, proactively.

In this process, there will be number of techniques and strategies which will help you push the damaging and harmful content further down the search engine results. While the top five listings in Google’s search results are said to receive about two-thirds of all clicks, it turns out important to maintain a positive reputation.

Remember, it is not just about managing content in the search engines. But also it includes managing the negative business reviews, meanwhile encouraging happy clients and getting more positive feedback.  You cannot overlook the significance of positive remarks. Reason being, 85% of consumers trust online reviews equivalent to personal recommendations.  In fact, 49% of consumers seek for at least a four-star rating before choosing a business. Learning about these statistics, you might have got a clear idea how significant ORM is to your brand.

How Can Your Business Make Most Out of Online Reputation Management?

Tips to be followed to get best out of online reputation management

1. Tracking will help

 These days review platforms come in all shapes and sizes. From customer-facing platforms such as Yelp and Google to employee-facing review platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed, you must track each of them. With the passing time, keep a tally of things including both positive and negative. If more and more people are mentioning a similar problem related to your product or services, within the same period of time, you probably have a problem. Instead of fretting over it, take the same as an opportunity to excel.

2. Publish valuable content

 75 percent of decision makers say that they choose vendor on the basis of the significant content posted. Hence, businesses without a strong digital content strategy are at a risk of losing buyer awareness, and sales opportunities. The best thing you can do is to test different styles, formats, and media, to let the data be a guide to your customers.

3. Hire an online brand manager

 It can be really challenging for a non-professional to handle things. You need to look for an expert who can regularly monitor your major review sites and other relevant platforms. From checking the most active review sites each day to managing your company’s social media accounts and setting up Google alerts, there will be a lot to manage.

4. Respond to the earliest

 Don’t be surprised to know that ‘Same day’ is the standard. Around 40 percent of all online reviewers expect this. Even if you aren’t ready to give a detailed answer, make sure to post something such as

i) Thank you for your review!

ii) We’re looking into it promptly

iii) Thanks for your time and we’ll update your shortly

5. Don’t avoid a bad review

 Remember; never ignore a bad comment or remark. In order to neutralize the damage, start with a prompt and professional response. It can be best to thank the user for bringing the matter to attention. If there are chances, you can mention how you will be addressing the problem. To prevent harm to your reputation, handle a bad review in a diplomatic way.

6. Remember your clients are watching

From the first time visitors to your regular buyers, it is perfect to assume that your consumers are going to use your reviews to gauge your quality. Hence, the promptness and quality of your responses on your website or social media channels will reflect on your business reputation.

7. Don’t mess it

 Avoid getting caught up in the back-and-forth. It is better if you reply only once or twice to each bad reviewer. Later you can ask them to contact you via phone or email. Getting into public battles with your critics makes you look petty. Regardless of the fact, how right you are.

8. Active social media presence

 With social media turning into one of the most effective tools for creating word of mouth buzz and sharing information, active posting of pictures or links can help you. It has to be done across all popular social media communities including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.

9. Ask feedback

 You can encourage your loyal customers to do this for you. If they feel comfortable, you can look forward to some positive reviews. The most perfect time to ask for a positive review is after the delivery or completion of an order.

10. Report abusive reviews

Do you know review sites have terms of service? In many cases, the reviewers are found violating them. So, here is a good chance. You can eliminate some particularly negative reviews with the help of platform’s reporting process.

11. Don’t create fake reviews

 The worst thing you could do is to post fake review, passing too many compliments at your brand. If you think fooling your audience will help, you need to work on your strategies. When overdone, people can clearly see through it. Secondly, resist that temptation to repost positive reviews on multiple platforms. You might end up hurting your visibility in search results and your credibility as well.

To conclude, the earlier you begin cultivating your online reputation, sooner you will start seeing positive results. Follow the above stated tips and handle online criticism effectively.

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