Online reputation management strategy
Your brand reputation is everything when it comes to acquiring new customers, increasing customer loyalty, and driving your company’s overall bottom line. That’s why establishing a solid online reputation management strategy that bolsters your brand image and strengthens your brand name is a critical cornerstone of any digital marketing strategy.
Negative feedback and unhappy customers are inevitable. No matter how hard your company works to deliver a top-notch customer experience, it’s impossible to please everyone.
We’ve entered a new era with the advent of social media and review sites, where even a handful of negative comments or just a few bad reviews have the power to reach thousands or even millions of people. This type of feedback, if left unaddressed, can hurt your brand reputation and even cause enough damage to influence customer purchasing decisions.
You have the power to take charge of what customers see about your brand name when they take to Google Search, starting with building out your company’s reputation management strategy.
Why is brand reputation management important for your online business?
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Studies from sites like BrightLocal and eConsultancy show that 87% of customers say they take a look at customer reviews and 84% say they trust customer feedback as much as personal recommendations of friends.
When customers see you respond to reviews, they are more likely to leave their own review. This can be essential for raising your local SEO ranking. It may also help get your company featured in Google’s Local Pack, allowing your business to appear above the fold when Google senses that a potential customer is looking for a local business.
Monitoring what customers say about your company and responding can help you grow your customer base and your business.
What is online reputation management (ORM)?
Reputation management is not simply about responding to negative reviews. It’s not a public relations crisis management strategy.
Online reputation management (ORM) is an ongoing process of gaining the trust of your target audience and responding to both negative reviews and positive comments in a timely manner to attract new customers, influence purchasing decisions and have a positive impact on your company’s bottom line.
An effective online reputation management strategy involves monitoring and managing your online presence to ensure what shows up in search engines and on review sites is a reflection of your brand name, brand values and overall desired brand image.
Next, we’ll go over the four main steps involved in online reputation management.
How online reputation management works: How to manage your brand’s online reputation
Here are four best practices you can put in motion right away to elevate your brand reputation.
1. Listen to feedback about your brand across channels
By listening to customer feedback online, you can monitor problems in real-time, understand how customers feel about your brand image compared to the competition, and understand the customer experience. You might even get inspired or see who else is promoting your products. All of this can really help boost your company’s growth over time.
Here are the key channels where you may come across customer feedback, customer reviews and content that reflects on the overall customer experience individuals have when interacting with your business.
Monitor your company’s word-of-mouth marketing—both negative and positive reviews—on platforms such as Facebook, TripAdvisor, Amazon and Google My Business. Pay attention to how your overall star rating changes. Using an online reputation management software like Broadly can help automate this process for you.
Search engine results
Set Google Alerts to receive notifications for mentions of your brand name or employees across Google Search. Be sure to include common misspellings. For example, if you have a common name, then you can exclude mentions of keywords outside of your organization.
Forums and message boards
Keep track of mentions or reviews on community platforms with online reputation management software.
Social media channels
Check your social media posts daily on channels such as Facebook, Linked In, Instagram and Twitter. With a social media monitoring service like Broadly, you can ensure you won’t miss any positive or negative reviews across key social media sites.
If you have a strong content marketing strategy, it’s important to pay attention to your readers’ comments on your blogs and articles.
2. Analyze customer feedback across channels on a regular basis
By keeping track of brand mentions and reviews across the channels above, you’ll find trends that will help empower your company to improve customer experiences, both online and offline.
Here are other methods of gathering customer feedback your business can start using now.
3. Create a response strategy for addressing feedback
A high-quality customer responsiveness strategy involves thinking through how you will respond to positive, neutral and negative comments.
Positive reviews (4-5-Star Rating)
Start by thanking customers for their positive reviews. Next, find a way to build a personal connection with the reviewer by telling them about a special promotion or offering them more information about a product that might be of interest to them.
Whatever your response, be careful to sound authentic and have your words reflect the brand image you want to project.
Neutral reviews (3-Star Rating)
Anything less than a four-star rating can hurt your business unless you respond professionally and promptly.
Start by thanking the customer for their feedback and for the chance to improve the customer experience. Repeat anything positive they’ve shared, as this will be the first thing potential customers reading your answer will be likely to see. Provide your phone number and email so they can contact you if they would like to discuss the matter further.
Negative reviews (1-2-Star Rating)
Negative reviews can cost your company new customers, so you must respond and take care of any issues raised as quickly as possible.
The great news is when you respond professionally and promptly, most customers will give your company a second chance.
Start by thanking the customer for bringing any issues to your attention and explaining how you will consider their feedback to improve the customer experience. Then, acknowledge the problem and offer your sincere apology for the inconvenience. If the customer has said anything positive, be sure to repeat that in your response.
Share your phone number and email so that you can make things right.
4. Metrics to measure your brand reputation
Here are key metrics across channels that your company can use to track your brand reputation over time.
Customer reviews and ratings
Customer reviews can make or break your business, especially when it comes to purchasing decisions. According to Harvard Business School, boosting your company’s overall star rating by a one point increase on Yelp could help you generate a 5 to 9% increase in overall revenue.
Not only that, customer reviews influence your local Google Search rankings by as much as 11%. That means the better your customer reviews, the stronger your Google My Business brand reputation will be.
Social media followers
As your online reputation grows, you can expect your number of followers on social media channels to increase as well. Keeping track of this KPI over time will help you gauge your online popularity.
As with social media followers, you can expect your online traffic to grow in line with the overall growth of your brand reputation. The more people trust your company, the more they are likely to visit your website and physical location.
The true measure of brand reputation, customer experience, and loyalty comes down to your financial bottom line. If your sales and revenue aren’t growing, it’s time to rethink your brand reputation management strategy.
Top 4 types of online reputation management
As discussed earlier, listening to what your customers say about your company is one of the most important steps of online reputation management. When considering where to start listening, here are the top channels where your customers are likely mentioning your brand by name.
1. Facebook Brand Reputation Monitoring
2. Google brand reputation monitoring
Of all of the online review platforms, Google has the greatest visibility. If you own or operate a small business, you need to claim your Google My Business account to respond to, manage and grow your company’s number of Google reviews.
3. Yelp brand reputation monitoring
With millions of customer reviews submitted to Yelp, chances are very strong that customers already have or will yet share feedback about your company on the review platform. Listening to what’s being said and responding is key to building a strong Yelp profile and attracting potential new customers.
4. TripAdvisor brand reputation monitoring
With hundreds of millions of monthly visitors, TripAdvisor is a must-join platform for companies of all sizes within the travel and hospitality industry. As you get started, be sure to check out our guide on How to Delete TripAdvisor Reviews to set your page up for success.
How Broadly can help with reputation management
Looking for reputation management software to keep up with your customer reviews? With automated social media monitoring software like Broadly, you can keep tabs on mentions of your brand name across key channels in real-time.
We are a trusted reputation management company that partners with local businesses to strengthen their brand reputation online and offline.
Want to see how Broadly can help you with review generation workflows and automation, cross-channel media monitoring and social listening capabilities?
Watch your online reputation transform with Broadly