Your reputation matters………a lot! Improving it is well worthwhile and can pay dividends for a business. 97% of customers have searched for reviews of businesses online before they make a purchase – that fact alone means you need to keep on top of your online public image and should begin to improve that online reputation today.
If you take our advice and wish to do so – then the following guide will give you a good idea of where to begin improving your online reputation.
Essential Tools to Monitor Your Online Reputation
It’s important to know exactly when and where bad mentions are arising if you will be able to address them properly. Because social media channels and online review sites are the global repository for all complaints, praise or queries. It can be difficult and time consuming to try and monitor them all manually.
This is where a good set of tools and alert systems are the perfect solution to easily managing your online reputation. For a small business, there is a wide range of free software solutions that can keep you updated with all the mentions and reviews submitted on your brand or personal identity. Read on to learn more about the best tools for managing your online reputation.
Social mention will use a variety of search engines and social network searches to compile a read out on all the video content, images, microblogs and blog posts that are related to a keyword you mentioned. This is a great way to gain a bird’s eye view of what types of things people are saying about your brand.
You can use Google Alerts to see what types of things people are saying about you or your brand as well. By using the type of specific terms often found in news story titles you can receive updates on the mentions you receive from across the internet.
Synthesio monitors the web and can provide you with insights and information that will lead to more informed business decisions. Here you will also be able to track several mention streams simultaneously to keep an eye on the conversations most important to you.
This comprehensive monitoring system will allow you to track conversations in real time. This is an important asset to providing a well-timed response to all kinds of customer complaints and negative mentions in forums. A fast response can obvert these negative statements in time to do serious damage control.
This tool collects data from across a billion different online sources, including blogs, social platforms and more.
This innovative option applies 50 filters to monitor conversations across 150 million sources of data. Here you will be able to analyze brand sentiment, comments, reach and engagement.
What to Monitor when Trying to Build an Online Reputation
Now that you know what you will be using to handle the tedious aspects of monitoring, the next important point is to understand what you will be monitoring. There is a whole slew of important keywords to be monitoring beyond just your brand name. Getting the most from your brand monitoring will mean taking the time to know which keywords are important for you.
Branded Keywords and Common Variations
Naturally, the first thing you will want to pay special attention to will be the branded keywords you are using. This includes not just your brand name, but also your company slogan and any other catch phrases you use. If you were working for Audi, you would not only monitor “Audi” but also “ vorsprung durch technik”
Many people will not refer to your brand when mentioning your products. For example, your customers may only say “iPhone X” as opposed to “Apple iPhone X”. So, you will want to make sure you are mentioning the names of your products especially if your products are recently launched and you would like to see how they are performing in the markets.
A good way to track the progress of your marketing campaigns is by seeing what kind of online mentions it is receiving. Your campaign could be getting a lot of attention in the social media sector or in blog posts or various news reports. They could even be helping promote your campaign through social media and hashtags.
Not all of the discussions that are relevant to your brand will be actually discussing your brand or products. It will be equally important to monitor these conversations and gain insights into what your audience may be thinking. This is also a good way to gain insights into the trends at play that can help you exceed your customer’s expectations and much more.
C-Suite and Brand Public Figures
Larger companies will need to broaden their monitoring area and include executives who have had a place in the public spotlight. These names may even come up quite frequently in the news or in blog posts. If the mention is positive it will be important to engage the content for maximum efficacy. If negative, you will want to assess how big of a problem the mention will be and design and commensurate plan for damage control. This is how to improve your online reputation.
Broaden Your Internet Presence to Improve an Online Reputation
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have been called the “Big Three” that reign over the other multitudinous social media platforms. But, businesses will need to look into the many other platforms that provide specific benefits to their site and will considerably increase their online presence. The important thing to do will be to identify which social media platforms your target audience uses most frequently and establish a positive presence there before anyone else has a chance to come along and besmirch your reputation.
B2Bs will certainly want to zoom in on the LinkedIn Scene where they will be able to build a strong presence and valuable connections with other professionals as well as the entrepreneurs who will bring them business. B2Cs on the other hand, may want to consider a more visually pleasing option like Pinterest. Those with their attention devoted to younger demographics will need to hook up with their audience on some of the latest emerging platforms like snapchat, and act soon because these platforms have not yet become saturated with business accounts like the Big Three have. Expanding your prominence into all social media platforms will not only allow you to reach your target audience with greater precision, but will also give you better control of your monitoring efforts and better chance of reaction to negative publicity.
Once you have gotten your online presence ship shape, it’s time to get to work. First you will want to visit domain providers and claim your domain name and keywords, SiteGround is an example of a decent domain provider. Ideally you will get the name you want with a .com (NameYouWant.com). If that options has already been taken, try adding an initial or placing a hyphen somewhere between the words to create and original name.
If you have some extra resources to invest here, the TLD (Top Level Domains) like .info, .net or .org are especially beneficial. These all represent valuable online real estate and you don’t want this falling into the wrong hands further down the line.
The idea is to have a website that will serve as the repository of pertinent information provided to those searching for you specifically. If they are searching for you, there is probably plenty of information about you online, this is your chance to control that narrative a bit and showcase what you want your audience to see and hear.
Not sure what to say about yourself? Well, you will want to begin with a bio, your professional experience, contact information, blog, awards and honors and even a press release page, if you happen to have one. If you still want some directions, I have some handy guides for building websites that you can look over.
Don’t forget to emphasize those social media sites. This is an important way to keep your information and online options in your audience’s attention and they are an important boost to your search results as well. Apply the same techniques here as you did when getting your domain. Choose a name as close to your name as possible and use hyphens, periods or underscores to make it unique but obvious. Finally, don’t forget to optimize your social media accounts for maximum SEO efficacy. This is how to improve your online reputation.
Pay Attention to Your Social Media Accounts and Improve Online Reputation
It is not enough to simply have a good stack of social media accounts connected to your business and call this managing online reputation. It will be essential that these accounts are kept alive and well-maintained if you hope to attract a following.
Do this by keeping your social media feeds filled with content your audience will find engaging and valuable. This will increase your influence, boost engagement and provide you the opportunity to interact with your potential customers. If you neglect them for too long, you may find that their capacity to withstand any negative postings is inadequate when you need it most.
Recognize that Online Reviews are a Company Asset
Happiness and enthusiasm surrounding your company presence is a good sign.
High amounts of positive feedback will begin turning the wheels of the search engines in your favor and will make you an authority in your local niche.
Then there is the awesome power of word-of-mouth advertising that are quite literally worth their weight in gold. If you have gone through the hard work and effort of building this valuable online reputation, reaping the positive reviews is the final reward and should be carefully collected and used to its utmost potential. This will be a good thing to keep in mind when you plan on selling the business.
Ask Your Customers for Reviews
This sounds obvious enough, but not everyone is doing it. Most consumers will make dozens of buying decisions each day, but how many of these businesses are asking them for a review of their work?
If you know that your customers have been satisfied with the service they received, ask them about it. “What was your experience with XX product and how did you like the services you received?”
After they have given you are positive response, ask if they wouldn’t mind posting something to the same effect on your website or a specific reviews site you use often. Many will do this no problem, and then it is up to you to finish the task.
If the situation is right, you may even ask them if they would review your business while you have them engaged in conversation. If the business or situation is not right, then you can always send them a follow up email along with a thank you note and here is where you can make your important request for a review –– the link to a review site might even be a good idea.
- Be sure you are asking for positive feedback on your social media posts or website, but only after you have already received a positive comment or feedback.
- A great time to ask for this review or feedback will be just after they have purchased as their goodwill and satisfactory experience will be fresh in their mind. Statistics show that over 68% of customers will provide these positive reviews when invited to do so.
- Remember that the way you ask will determine everything though. For example, most customers respond better to the terms “invite” and “feedback”, rather than “ask” or “review”. The way things are worded will be very important here.
- Furthermore, give them a reason to accept your invitation to provide feedback. Let them know that if customers don’t review good businesses future customers will think they are average businesses.
Make It Easy for Customers to Review and Improve your Online Reputation
If you take the time to make the process of providing reviews and feedback as simplistic as you possibly can, you will find that your products and services begin attracting more and more reviews and feedback.
The last thing you want is to make your customer feel burdened by the task of filling in a review form. According to a good blog post, the review forms should be completed as easily as possible and with as few clicks as possible. You will also increase your chances of many reviews by making them fun and interesting.
You can even use an online review platform that will automatically send out review requests after a customer has bought your products. The idea is to convince your customers that you are truly interested in their feedback and how they like their products. This can even be accomplished by a short survey on Facebook or some other social channel.
Ask Again if Needs Be
You might not get an answer from your client the first time you request, but that’s fine. Including another request in your email marketing campaign will allow your client another chance to write up a review. This can be done with a customer feedback app at the point of purchase as well so that customers can share a quick review. The easier you make this task, the better your chances of generating a good review for your brand.
Respond To Every Single Review
It may seem like a lot of work to be out there responding personally to every single review that people leave, but in the long run this will ensure that more reviews are left. This improves conversion rates and will ensure a better connection to your loyal customers. Your clients will also receive a notification that their review has been responded to, this further improves the personal experience.
Share glowing reviews.
Another good way to ensure more reviews will be to begin sharing the best reviews you have received. When others see the great reviews you have received and proudly displayed, thy will be more inclined to leave their own reviews.
Respond to Negative Reviews
All businesses will eventually get a negative review and when this happens there are some important things to do:
- Take a deep breath
- Prepare to respond quickly
- See if you can resolve the issue privately
- Respond publicly with how the issues was resolved
- If you have sorted things out ask the client politely to update their review
- Read our post on responding to negative reviews.
Get Editorial Coverage
Positive editorial coverage is notably important when it comes to improving your online reputation. Getting featured on websites, in newspapers and on videos gets your brand out there in a positive manner and can really help a business. We’ve a great selection of premium editorial advertising and advertorials we can help get businesses and clients on – see here.
What is “Editorial” Content?
Editorials are a category of writing called “opinion articles” in the newspapers. Because most blogging content comes from opinion, “blog editorial content” refers to posts in blogs that were made out of personal interest and nothing more. A person who has bought a new pair of shoes or astounding coffee maker will be inspired to share their experiences with readers. This is editorial content.
Why Editorial Coverage?
Editorial coverage is that publicity produced by third parties, this could be a magazine, newspaper or journals. This is very customer-centric information that is highly valuable to your target audience. In addition to being a formidable promotion for your products or services, you get something truly profitable in return: more customers. Being published in third-party outlets will radically accelerate your reader’s perception of your business or products, as opposed to regular advertising that is only self-serving information.
Editorial Content Stands Out
Editorial content is a great way to attract your audience’s attention. This can include a wide variety of informational topics to fill your editorial section. You can write how-to’s, new product descriptions and even topics that are currently trending. This editorial content shows your audience you go out of your way to provide them with something valuable and can set you apart from your competition.
Benefits of editorial coverage
Using editorial content is a great way to attract and educate your target audience on the merits of your goods or services. Here are some of the value editorial content supplies to your readers.
- Expands your reach
- Boosts brand and name recognition
- Helps you establish and maintain a competitive edge
- Demonstrates thought leadership
- Builds credibility
- Increases visibility
- Leverage your editorial coverage
But there are more advantages to getting editorial coverage in third-party media outlets. IT also provides opportunities to maximize its usefulness. Here are some ways businesses can enhance the effects of their editorial coverage.
- Announce the coverage by sending emails to a targeted list of customers
- Create link to the editorial coverage from all platforms in your online presence
- Get some reprints to use as promotional material in your press kit and trade show plan
- Share the coverage via social media
- Repurpose the content in as many ways as possible. Use it in webinars, infographics and anything else.
Create the Right Content
Getting editorial coverage from third-party media is not always the easiest task. Editors are looking for very specific qualities in their content and must be suited to their reader’s interests. Furthermore, the content must also follow the agenda of the publisher which sets which subjects should be included in which issues.
To be perfect for publication your content must reflect the needs and focus of your target audience, rather than the message you would like to send them. So start studying what it is that makes our audience tic, and what troubles them. Focus on specific problems and the solutions you can provide for them.
Of course, even though you may be an expert on the subject matter of your audience, your in-house staff may not have experience to face the challenges of writing masterful content. This is where it can be beneficial to outsource this task to a professional who can transform the information and knowledge you have collected into engaging content media outlets will be likely to publish.
All of the above will help you improve your online reputation and grow your business in the best and most sustainable possible manner.
Talk to us today if you want to improve your online reputation.