Just a few years ago, the Internet was very different. Companies were not engaging customers but just selling to a passive audience. Obviously the situation has radically changed over the years and the social web has promoted that change. However, marketing’s goals have remained the same as they have always been: to attract and retain customers. To do so, companies have to make sure that they properly manage their online reputation.
Today, with the Internet, you have to think of customers as transmitters of your brand reputation. Indeed what customers and potential customers talk about is deeply connected to your reputation and your position as a brand in the social media world. That is why you have to take into account people’s voices, opinions, and reviews. Managing your online reputation is consequently vital to your business. In this article, Egluu provides a clear outline of 6 main concepts of online reputation management that could benefit companies of every size.
1. Search yourself.
Start by simply searching for your company’s name, products and services on Google, Yahoo and Bing, and see what types of information come up. In addition, search for your brand’s name in the image section of those search engines to get a visual idea of what your company looks like on the Web.
2. Install a Google Alert
Set up a Google Alert on your name to be notified when relevant new web content is published about your products, services and those of your competitors. These real-time and free email alerts are automatically sent to your email address when mentions about your company or the competitors you want to track occur online. In order to gain a competitive edge, it’s just as important to monitor your competitors’ online reputation, as it is to stay on top of your own.
3. Mirror your actual business through your website
Being your first line of defense, your company’s own website should contain captivating content and valuable information about your products or services to make your business more accessible to your customers. Indeed, without a high quality website that attracts visitors and provides you with a way to capture information, you are not using the Internet’s power to its full potential.
4. Be easily accessible
Consumers should be able to quickly find you online. Acquiring an exact match domain name is therefore mandatory! The domain name should be cleaver, memorable and short. But most importantly it should help brand your business and give customers an association to who you are. Therefore, your company’s website URL should directly mirror your actual business name.
5. Participate in online conversations
Consumers are already having conversations with one another about your products on social media, thus it is up to you to ensure that your company participates in that conversation and convinces community members that you care about what they think and say about your brand, products and services. To do so, we recommend you to log into each platform your business has set an account for on a daily basis to track customer questions and comments and to respond to them individually in a timely manner. Keep in mind that 43% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it on social media (Nielsen).
Nowadays, “word-of-review is more powerful than word-of-mouth”. It is consequently fundamental to analyze and understand what people are saying about your company on review sites that are relevant to your specific line of business. For instance, if you are operating in the tourism industry, Tripadvisor will be an invaluable tool to manage your online reputation.