Your online reputation is said to be a reflection of you and your business. According to Forbes, 97% of online business owners stress the importance of online reputation management. ORM is considered a very important SEO practice. The better reviews you have, the higher you’ll rank on search engines.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management is the process of promoting and protecting the reputation of your online business with the help of marketing, public relations, and search engine optimization strategies. Your online reputation refers to the image that people have about your company based on their online searches. Some businesses look to a social media agency that provides social media services to manage it.
Factors that Influence Your Online Reputation
Essentially, three things affect your online reputation. These are:
- Social Media
- Online Branding
Search engines tend to prioritize businesses that appear more reputable based on reviews. If someone searches for a particular business, they are bound to choose the one with the highest reviews. Therefore, responding to customer queries and reviews makes your business more trustworthy and shows that you care. This includes replying to bad reviews and dealing with them in a manner that shows your target audience that you’re doing more than just providing them with a product or service.
You should be aware of what social networking sites your audience uses and maintain your presence on them. Social networking sites are a great way to get customer feedback and address customer queries. Many social media services stress the importance of social listening to see what is being said about your brand online.
Your reputation is also dependent upon online branding. The image you portray needs to be consistent; this means that your tone of voice across social media and your website should be the same. Online branding builds credibility for your brand.
Why Is Online Reputation Management Important?
In this digital age, online content shifts continuously, which means that people’s perceptions of your brand can change anytime. A single negative mention can prevent people from purchasing a product or service, and if that negative mention goes viral, then you could lose a lot of business, and the image of your company can be tainted forever.
Benefits of Online Reputation Management
While ORM helps maintain a positive image of your brand, it also has several other benefits such as:
- Greater Sales Volume
- Higher Brand Equity
- Improved Visibility
- Better Business Insights
All these benefits are interconnected. When you focus on building your brand image in customers’ eyes, your brand equity automatically goes up. This, in turn, generates a greater sales volume as higher brand equity means good credibility in the eyes of the customer.
When you have more customers, you build on brand loyalty which then gets people talking more positively about your brand. These positive reviews then lead to improved visibility on search engines. In addition to this, the insights you get from ORM help increase brand awareness and find ways to improve your business.
What Can You Do to Build Your Online Reputation?
You always have the option to consult a social media agency or opt for social media services. Still, you can do some basic things to build and maintain your online reputation.
Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
Find creative ways to get your customers to leave reviews, such as through the use of a hashtag on social media or through email newsletters. You can also create a pop-up for your website to remind them to leave a review.
In addition to this, incentives are always a great way to encourage customers. For example, you can offer a discount to the first 20 people who leave a review on your social media. This also helps build engagement.
Develop a Plan of Action
- Set up a plan where you prioritize tasks, define limitations, and develop specific goals.
- Make sure to have defined policies and company-wide guidelines to avoid ambiguous situations.
- Be sure to have a strategy in place for crisis management, as you never know when you might need it.
- Create content that isn’t just promotional or visually pleasing. Create content that also conveys an important message to your consumers and keeps them updated. Consumers want more from brands; they want to know not only how you’re helping them but also how you’re helping the world at large. Giving them insights into what you and your brand are all about builds brand loyalty.
It’s impossible to ignore the importance of online reputation management, and so businesses must devote their resources to it. However, devoting resources to ORM should be considered an investment as it sets businesses on a clear path to financial success. Contact us today to start building your digital reputation!