Whether we like it or not, reputation matters. Anyone that has ever had to deal with untrue or damaging things said about them, or someone they care about undoubtedly knows this. The same is true in business. That’s why online reputation management (ORM) is such a huge part of running a successful business in the digital age.
Why Online Reputation Management Matters
In the past decade, what people are saying online has impacted a business’s performance. Several negative comments online and your reputation can change quickly. A rude or unprofessional employee can have people gossiping about your business in no time. Chatter about poor quality work or services that don’t meet expectations can cause your company or practice to lose existing clients as the word spreads.
Online Reputation Management is something every business needs to include in their marketing plan. Yes, Marketing Plan. Several different items fall under the broader category of Online Reputation Management. Let’s take a look.
ORM and SEO
Where does your website rank when you search for similar businesses? Are you in the top five? Are you on the first page of search results? You ideally want to be in the top five because those people searching online will likely research a little bit more. If you are not ranked in the top five and not on the first page, you need to invest some time in growing your SEO.
Things that grow your SEO are a website for speed, regular content posting, and being a trusted and reliable source in your business category.
ORM and Social Media Platforms
Do you have a presence on social media? If you don’t, you should probably get one. You should at least have a Facebook or Instagram account and make a point to post regularly on them and interact with your customers. You will have to decide which types of social media accounts fit your needs based on the type of business you have. Starting with Facebook is always a safe bet. If you have existing accounts on different platforms, make sure all the information matches. Location, hours of business, even your handles should be the same or very similar across the platforms.
Google My Business falls under this umbrella too and is a perfect transition into…
I think we all know how critical online reviews are, and most people rely heavily on Google for these. People also commonly leave reviews on Facebook and Yelp. Positive feedback and reviews can add sales to your business, just like negative ones can take business away.
If you are managing your own reviews, two things are essential. The first thing is that you want to make sure you are responding to the reviews regularly. You acknowledge and say thank you for the positive, and you address any negative comments in a non-confrontation manner. If the complaint needs further conversation, request that people reach out to you directly via phone or email to find a resolution. Sometimes you can’t make customers happy no matter what you do, so the best course of action is to apologize and say you will improve moving forward.
The second thing you want to do is solicit reviews. The more you ask, the more you will get positive reviews. Yelp will not allow you to request reviews, but all other platforms will let you ask your customers to leave a review for your business. You can do this at checkout through follow-up texts and emails or even by putting QR codes at the table or on the door.
Does all of that seem like a lot of work? Or very time-intensive?
It can be. That is why a lot of businesses reach out to an agency for these services.
At TargetMarket, we can manage your Online Reputation Management and work alongside you. We can write your blogs, build your SEO through proven strategies, manage your social media and even help you with your reviews.
The TargetMarket ORM Review Plan
TargetMarket can help you solicit reviews from your customers where it is as easy as a click for them in their email or through text messaging to provide feedback. Any negative or low reviews will also be sent directly to you when they use the link so you can address any concerns before they make it to Google or Facebook.
TargetMaket has tools to help gather your reviews in one dashboard where we can respond to positive and negative reviews on your behalf. We work with you on the appropriate responses to the negative comments to ensure your reputation shows authenticity and care for your customers.
Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you grow your business through our reputation management services.