Building a strong online reputation is one of the biggest challenges for any business. Even newbies want their online reputation to match that of a“brick and mortar.” It takes years for an organization to build their online image and seconds to demolish it.
So, what are the major sources of creating online reputation? Social media platforms and online review sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc. are your online reputation builders that are visited by millions of people before making any decision.
Many people misuse the power of online reviews in making or breaking a brand/business, known as review spam. It can be done by an individual or an organization. But thankfully, review sites have setguidelines that help in pulling down such reviews if identified as fraudulent.
What can you do to establish an impeccable online image for your business? Simply put, you need to take control of your online reviews and ratings.
Let’s see how:
Your website is your online identity. Anyone searching about you would expect to see your website. The searcher wants to see genuine information and contact details that are presented in a legible manner. Tell all about you and your services/business that would help your target audience to trust and approach you. Remember, anything too static or too jazzy can turn off the visitor. Also, your website should be mobile-friendly, as most people prefer browsing the Internet over their mobile devices.
Conversion is the first step inbuilding a strong relationship with your customers. This can be done through blogging. Start your own blog, as around 81% of people read and trust blogs. It also helps you deal with rumors and misconceptions. Blogs are a depiction of your knowledge and highlight your thought leader personality. Theygive you space to discuss your products or services in detail and let your audience know how you are better than your competition.
Today, everyone is on social media. It is the best relationship-and trust-building platform. Sharing quality and valuable content acts as an engagement tool. Social media platforms help to portray you as a knowledgeable person spreading positive vibes with thoughtful content.
Citation is mentioning your business over the Internet on popular web pages related to your business or your locality. It includes your business name, business phone number, and complete address. It is necessary for you to have exactly the same citation details on every website for Google and your audience.
Today, more than 80% of people do online research before purchasing a product.Thatnumber is good enough to make you realize the importance of SEO. Properoptimization can help your business rank high in the search engines and grow your business. For SEO, you need to choose the right keywords that are used the most in searches. Google Keyword Planner can help you select the keywords. Your website and blog should be optimized with the best keywords.
Monitor your online reputation regularly. Check and maintain your profiles on various review platforms. Even if you receive jerky reviews on your business, reply professionally with a solution or apology. Ignoringnegative reviews makes your audience believe the reviewer.
With the help of Google Alert, RSS reader, and related services, get updates on the mentionsof your brand on various blog sites, review platforms,andsocial media channels. Enter the mentionsonan Excel sheet to track the good and bad opinionsof your business and target reputation management activities as appropriate.
In addition to posting your content on your website, blog andsocial media pages, and dealing with reviews, you need to build your brand repo by leveraging the relationship with other influential platforms.
Let’s understand this with an example.
Supposing there is a webinar on cardiovascular diseases, and you work as a cardiologist. Participate in the webinar and come up with problems or solutions to letpeople know your knowledge and experience level. Also, you should do guest blogging or hire a marketing agency to haveyour blogs posted on relevant sites with high view results.
It is not necessary that you always get positive feedback, because you cannot satisfy everyone on this earth. But you can request your happy clients to post good reviews for you. Ask them to share their great experience with the world and help your customers understand how motivating it is to hear good words from them.
One of the oldest and most popular ways to approach your target audience and build strong relationships is email marketing. Segregate the recipient list on the basis of age, gender, etc. and send personalized and focused email to each group. Also, keep a check on the frequency of emails sentto restrict the receiver from labeling you as a spammer.
Last but not least. You are done with half of the job, but the next half totally depends on your products or services offered. You need to please your customerswith what you are here to offer. Their firsthand experience is what will lead to word-of-mouth marketing and help your business grow exponentially.
Shortcuts are wrong cuts, so never make the blunder of presenting a deceptive imageor deleting negative reviews without replying. Fake things can bring happiness temporarily and won’t last for long. There should be transparency and authenticity in all your online and offline conversations.
Now that you know the importance of online reviews and building a strong online reputation, follow the aforementioned tips and make your business reach new heights. Take your negative reviews as feedback and work toward betterment. To expand your business, you need to build a chain to trust and quality, and this chain will only grow with your good online reputation.
Without wasting any more time, to win over the ever-growing competition, work on the principle by Mark Twain, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”