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Why Your Business Needs Online Reputation Management

Online Reputation ManagementWhen the internet first started, most businesses that came online didn’t think they needed reputation management but like their brick and mortar counterparts, bad reviews can kill a business by word of mouth.

Many businesses thought the need to manage their online reputation was strictly a bad business decision and something they didn’t need to invest in.

Many of these businesses went about their daily business completely unaware of the power that the internet had given to the average consumer.

Recoverreputation [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

With the advent of Twitter, consumers began to demand things of the businesses that they bought from. Large corporations were forced to become more transparent in their customer service dealing and small businesses were given the opportunity to prove themselves based on merit alone.

When review sites like Yellow Pages and Yelp hit the internet scene, those companies that continued to ignore the need for online reputation management services began to suffer. More and more clients, customers and consumers filled these review sites with nasty, negative and revealing testimonials of these companies. The consumer empowerment revolution had started and those businesses caught ignoring the need for reputation management services suffered the most.

The Power Of A Good Reputation

Why should you care what people say about your business online online? If you are busy running your business, why do you need to worry about what someone said about you on Yelp? The answer to these questions lies in one of the most powerful selling tactics known to modern industry: social proofing.

Most consumers buy what their friends buy. This has been a long known fact in the business world, but what is it that makes it true? Without delving too much into the psychology of selling, let’s examine the why behind purchasing decisions.

We all know that human beings are social creatures. It is the social nature of our species that has allowed us to adapt and overcome many obstacles. Deeply ingrained in our natures is the need for social affirmation before we do anything. This need for social affirmation extends far beyond our friendly encounters with others, human beings make large life decisions, sometimes without regard to rationality, based solely on this aspect of social affirmation. The same holds true for individuals making purchases and interacting with businesses online.

The average consumer wants to “see” that others are socially affirming a business before they proceed to take out their wallet and spend their hard-earned cash. Just taking a look at the popularity of sites like Yelp shows you just how real and powerful social proofing is.

Managing Your Social Proof

One of the most powerful and easily recognizable examples of social proofing can be found in the restaurant industry. How many times have you been to a restaurant simply because your friend said they liked it? Now think about how many times you have avoided a restaurant simply because of the reviews that you either read or heard about from your social circle. Multiply this same example by the power of the internet and mass connectivity, and you can begin to see the trouble that your business might be in if you start ignoring online reputation management. Imagine running a business successfully in the offline world only to be run out of business simply because a few negative reviews were left on Yellow Pages.

Managing your online reputation requires more than just having a profile on these review sites. Aggressive reputation management includes the act of collecting and updating positive reviews. It means building your social brand and starting a stream of positive reviews that can enhance your reputation and overcome any bad review that comes your way.

To compete in today’s market you need the added edge of being online. In order to make sure that your online presence is one that builds your business and not one that tears it down, start taking action to managing your online reputation today!

How To Get The Most Out Of Reputation Management

As a business owner, you want everyone to like what you are selling. But for those consumers that have problems with your service, you need to be able to head off bad reviews by knowing how to head off problems before they rear their ugly head.

Since word-of-mouth can now travel at the speed of light, businesses must understand and acknowledge that there may be some weaknesses in their process that needs to be addressed quickly or bad reviews may start to add up.

Many business seem to be immune to what a bad review can do and in the process are pushing their clients off to their competition. This is the worst-case scenario but if you have a system in place these things can be avoided before they start.

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Here are 5 things all business can do to enhance their reputation and avoid bad reviews

1- Always Be Transparent – A business needs to be transparent in everything they do. This means upfront pricing (everyone hates added charges after the fact), upfront rules (customers should be able to see the rules and regulations of a business whether printed inside your storefront your or found on your website) so that customers know what they are getting themselves into, and be transparent about criticism and it’s eventual feedback. The idea here is to react quickly and politely to quell the problem.

2- Monitor Your Social Media Accounts – This means both your business and individual accounts as they can bleed onto one another and can explode if not taken care of immediately. Build out all your social media profiles ans stay active. No one likes your last post from 2 years ago. According to sproutsocial.com, “Social media reputation management is the process of tracking, monitoring and ultimately eliminating negative social media material about your brand to improve your name or standing. If done properly, social media reputation management builds your credibility to customers, which strengthens their trust in your brand.” Your job is to you maintain full control over your social media presence. If you allow others to get control it could be a death knell for your business.

3- Know What’s Going On With Your Brand Name – If you know what is being said about both you and your brand on social media, word-of-mouth and in the news you can safely monitor anything that comes your way. It’s about being proactive. To find out what is being said about you online, set up a Google Alerts at https://www.google.com/alerts and put in both your name and your business name. This way you can keep up with online reviews, service problems and tackle them when needed.

4- Build Relationships With Your Customers – Nothing beats a good relationship with your customers whether they are first-time clients or come to your business on an ongoing fashion. The idea is to create and continually build your brand that people love what you do, love what you sell and want to come back and buys your products and services. One of the best ways to build your brand is to connect with people on a personal level. When they get to know the real you and trust who you are, you will have people fighting for you if they feel your business has been threatened, Most local businesses need this type of connection to build their presence both on and offline.

5- Publish Good Quality Content – No matter what niche you are in, content is your best friend. When you post informative information on your blog (What? You don’t have one? – Better get one quick!) you enhance your reputation, both for what you say and how it comes back to you from links to other sites. You must schedule content a few times a week and post it to your blog, your social media accounts, youtube as well as guest posting on blogs within your industry. The idea is to show authority which leads to a better online authority.

Want to take your Online Reputation Management to the next level?

We never charge for a consultation. Why not call us today to find out what we can do for you?

If you are trying to attract more clients, call us today at 1(848) 218-9677. Not only can we help you with your  Online Reputation Management, but we can also help you establish very effective Online Marketing strategies to help you grow your customer base even faster.

See what we can do for your Reputation Management at https://outtasitemarketing.com/yelp-commander/

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Barry Ferguson is the owner and President of Outtasite Marketing LLC, a Local Business consultant who puts the best interests of his clients first by treating them with honesty, respect and care. As a small business owner himself, he knows exactly what business owners need and helps them to boost their bottom line by getting more customers in the door and making long-term sales goals a priority. With 12 years of experience in Website Building, Search Engine Marketing and Reputation Management for local businesses, he is always at the forefront of new technology so he can help his clients stay current and focused on growing their business.
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