Brands and businesses had to rely on customer feedback or word-of-mouth to build their reputation. Social media marketing has changed the entire game and everything now heavily depends on online reputation. Reputation management is all about how the audience perceives your brand on digital mediums. Online reputation management, on the other hand, is all about maintaining and improving that reputation on online platforms.
In this blog, we will help you understand the concept of online reputation management. Let’s begin
So, what is an online reputation?
Everything that concerns your brand and is posted online for everyone to see, i.e everything from your social media presence to the reviews your customers leave on your website comes under online reputation. It can be rightly said that the online reputation of your business is constantly evolving with every comment, online review, and blog post.
Why does a brand’s online reputation matter?
When it comes to growing your business, having a team for online reputation management is an asset you cannot afford to ignore.
Google is the first place people go to when they discover your business, social media platforms being the second. Online ratings and reviews help them make judgements and solid decisions on whether or not they want to do business with you or go for your products and services. In fact, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Needless to say, having a positive online reputation is a must. And let’s be real, no business is perfect. You are going to make some mistakes along the way, and those mistakes could tarnish your brand’s reputation in seconds. You might think there is not much you can do if a disgruntled customer decides to take their bad experience to a social platform, but there is in fact, a way to control your online image. The way you respond to negative comments, bad reviews, and criticism is also a part of online reputation management. This is why managing a brand’s online reputation is extremely crucial.
Steps To Monitor And Improve Your Online Reputation
1. Monitor your current online reputation
Trying to improve online reputation without knowing what your reputation is actually like, is not the most efficient way to do it. If you don’t know what is being said about your brand on the internet, you wouldn’t know which areas need fixing.
Monitoring your online presence means keeping track of all the conversations people are having about your brand – be it on social media platforms or other websites. It is the first step when it comes to online reputation management. Only once you know what your customers feel about your brand, you can begin taking control of it.
What results come up when you Google your brand? Are they relevant? Are they problematic?
If you are a restaurant or a hotelier you might want to keep track of review websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor or Zomato. Online retailers like Amazon, Flipkart or eBay are a safe bet when you deal in physical products. People are bound to talk about their experiences on such sites, or at the least leave a rating.
2. Keep your brand pages updated and consistent
Optimizing for SEO is the one thing you cannot ignore. SEO is what decides your rank on search engine pages. Make sure your content is keyword-rich and that you have a clear SEO strategy. Make official profiles on every social media platform possible. Social media is great when it comes to reputation management because you can use these spaces to share authentic, positive stories about your business, your products or service.
Create a blog along with a website to post relevant information about your business. This is where you can create maximum content that helps improve your online image. From the reputation standpoint, quality advice concerning niche topics can give you a lot of credibility. People appreciate free information. If you take time to do some research, you will find out that many businesses have built their online reputations on the grounds of quality information.
3. Interact with your audience on online platforms
Having a presence on social media platforms is advantageous because it allows you to interact and know your audience better. Be it through comments, live videos, social media campaigns, or simply asking for simple feedback, interacting with users can help you with online reputation management. Also, make it a point to respond to negative reviews because that will show the other users that you care about them as customers!
4. Be solution-oriented when your brand image is suffering
Every brand/business witnesses some amount of negativity when it comes to its online reputation. In such scenarios, it is important to tackle the situation smartly. Make sure you analyse the negative comment or review thoroughly before responding to it. Give the customer a solution rather than putting out already framed responses. This not only improves your brand reputation but also labels you as a reliable brand.
5. Implement influencer marketing strategies
Both established and new brands can go for influencer marketing to structure their online reputation. When brands make content involving big, significant influencers, people are bound to pay attention. This also helps in increasing the audience base. Users on social media might not be following your brand directly but they might be following influencers who belong to your industry/niche. Users consider influencers as industry experts and their opinions can influence your brand image. Collaborating with the right influencers and creating engaging content can do wonders for your online reputation.
6. Take cues from your competitor’s mistakes
Learning from your competitors’ mistakes can save you a lot of time and resources. Moreover, it also saves you from trial and error. Tools like Unbox Social help you monitor industry competitors and provide you with in-depth data that can be used to frame effective strategies. Keep a track of what is going wrong with your industry rivals and accordingly frame your online content.
The above-mentioned steps will help you with online reputation management but manually looking into these processes can be time-consuming and inaccurate. This is where online reputation management tools come into the picture.
List of Online Reputation Management Tools
1. Unbox Social
Unbox Social allows you to track your brand’s online presence. The tool has solutions for social media analytics, competition tracking, and influencer marketing.
This tool tracks your social media reach, providing you with all the necessary insights into all your social media accounts such as your engagement rates, follower demographics, reach and impressions of your posts. You can even create regular reports to track your social media performance to find out how well your strategies are working.
From a single dashboard, you can track your online performance and also manage your accounts, which makes your work a whole lot easier. Sign up for a free trial and start getting analytics for your social media handles instantaneously.
Mention tracks your brand mentions across all social media platforms, blogs and forums. It combines social media reputation management and competitor watch, so you can easily measure your brand’s performance. Mention also allows you to respond directly to reviews so that you can address any concerns as quickly as possible.
Reputology allows you to monitor your online reviews and manage them. You can respond to the reviews quickly, directly through the tool, which can help you save a lot of time. It also converts all the reviews into easily readable data so that you can analyse what the general customer sentiment about your brand is. Its analytics can help you gauge your online performance as well as the changes in it.
If you cannot invest in a tool just yet, The Brand Grader is one of the best free tools available to monitor online reputation. It gives you a quick overview of any company’s online performance, so you can analyse your competitor’s online reputation along with your own.
Sentione is primarily a social media listening tool but also has solutions for influencer marketing. The tool allows you to analyse statements regarding your brand from different sources. Additionally, Sentione helps you find relevant influencers for your marketing campaigns.
Hope this guide helps you with online reputation management. See to it that you make use of the tools mentioned! Here are a few more blogs to streamline your social media presence.