In 2020, there will be 211 million Americans using their mobile devices to search for new products and services. In mere seconds, each of these potential customers will be presented with multiple options and reviews about each one of them.
Reputation and customer reviews have always been an important aspect of running a business. However, times have changed. Now, business owners have to be concerned with their business’s online presence and how their brand is perceived online.
In this day and age, your online reputation defines your business.
But what is reputation management? Keep reading to learn more about reputation management and why it’s so important for every business owner.
What Is Reputation Management?
Reputation management is more formally known as Online Reputation Management (ORM). This is because most reputation management takes place online in our modern society.
ORM is a set of strategies and techniques that your business can use to promote your online presence in a positive light. An essential element of online reputation management is monitoring online reviews and feedback. The goal is to monitor for negative reviews and resolve any issues in a positive manner.
This includes ensuring false reviews are quickly removed.
Reputation monitoring involves auditing your business’ online reputation and controlling potential customers’ perception of your brand to the best of your ability. This is done by auditing reviews and ratings of your business on search engines, social media websites, and online business directories.
Once you have this data and have obtained some insight into the status of your business’ online reputation, you can create a strategy for improving and maintaining that reputation. Now, let’s take a look at how you can work to develop a positive online reputation.
Is Your Business Easy to Find Online?
The first thing you should do is to make sure that people can find your business online. This means making sure your business is listed on every social media site and all the major review sites. These include:
- Yellow Pages
Customers can’t leave reviews if they can’t find your business online. If you don’t have an online presence, you run the risk of losing potential customers. When potential customers are searching for a business, they will expect to find any reputable business online.
They will also base their decision on the reviews they find. Naturally, people will gravitate towards businesses that have a good online reputation. If they can’t find your business or you don’t have any reviews, you’re behind your competition.
You can use your online presence on social media to interact with customers as well. You can engage customers and promote your brand reputation. A common example of this is when businesses use loyalty and rewards programs that are social media-based.
Responding to Reviews
Responding to online reviews is an important aspect of reputation management. While some businesses only respond to negative reviews, it’s just as important that you respond to the positive ones.
Simply responding with “thank you” will go a long way when it comes to developing trust and relationships with your customers. You can’t underestimate the importance of repeat business.
Responding to reviews makes customers feel that their opinions are valued and that you are invested in their experience at your business. They are more likely to spread positive reviews in person as well.
When it comes to responding to negative reviews, you can use the opportunity to explain your viewpoint and convince people to give you a second chance.
The Importance of SEO
Building your business’s local SEO will help potential customers discover your business.
Customers are still reliant on search engines like Google for help in finding new businesses. By improving your local SEO, your business will rank higher in search engine results and will be more likely to be discovered and chosen by your target customers.
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Why Does Your Business Need Reputation Management?
Why does your business need ORM in 2020? Because you can’t afford not to.
Part of running a successful business is meeting the needs of your customers. In 2020, potential customers are searching for new businesses on their mobile devices. If your potential customers are searching for businesses online (usually with the intent to purchase) and you aren’t showing up or have a poor reputation online, you will lose business.
It’s never been easier for customers to review businesses nor for potential customers to access other customers’ reviews. Reviews are displayed prominently on mobile searches and are usually one of the first things potential customers see.
Customers expect more from businesses than ever before. If your competition is responding to reviews and you aren’t, you’re going to lose business. When you have a history of positive reviews and professional responses to negative ones, your brand image is improved.
Reputation management is a simple way to show customers that you care about their experiences. Chances are, you would do the same thing in person. Online reputation management is all about bringing traditional customer service principles into modern times.
Professional Reputation Management Services
Hopefully, we answered the question, “What is reputation management?”
Reputation management is critical to the success of any business in 2020. However, successfully managing your business’s online reputation can be challenging and time-consuming, especially if you’re not experienced with technology.
The need for online reputation management is a sign of the times. Even businesses that have been around for decades and have developed loyal customer bases need to market to new customers and adapt to changes in technology.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Many business owners turn to professional reputation management services so they can focus on what they do best – running their business.
Check our reputation management service options here to learn more about what we can do for your business.