If you believe what people say about your business online has no impact on your success or bottom line, you’d be wrong.
In 2015, it’s more important than ever to have a system of consistent reputation management in the online world. Your online presence is building trust, making a statement of your brand, and provides protection for your business online. To ignore this is like shooting yourself in the foot.
Customer reviews are POWERFUL – whether they’re negative or positive. 80% of consumers are likely to pay attention to and trust an online review. It used to be that personal recommendations were the standard “go-to” for figuring out with whom to do business, but that has changed.
Besides attracting potential customers to your business, managing your online reputation has many more benefits. Let’s take a look at a few of these benefits:
SEO Benefits – It’s a fact backed by much research – Search engines love fresh content. This probably makes you think of articles or blog posts, but actually, each new customer review, comment, “Like,” or mention is handled as fresh content. This means the more good reviews you get on sites like Yelp, Google My Business, Bing and Yahoo Local, the higher your business will rank. This type of ranking is much more likely to drive sales than simple blog posts, because it is focused on actual recommendations from people who have used your products or services, or visited your business.
Enhanced Customer Relations – We all hope it never happens, but if a customer says something negative about your products or your services, you have the perfect opportunity to shine. You can contact that negative reviewer, apologize, rectify the situation, or at the very least, tell your side of the story and ask further questions. You’ll most likely get positive strokes from the upset customer, but everyone else who follows the thread will see what happened, and probably be very impressed with how you handled yourself on behalf of your business. Win-Win.
Brand Monitoring – If you aren’t monitoring what’s being said about your business online, you’re letting less interested people do it for you. Bad idea. You can’t fix something if you aren’t aware it’s broken. A solid reputation management plan will ensure that you aren’t in the dark concerning situations or comments that could hurt you without your knowing it.
Proactive online monitoring is not an option any longer. You’re on the internet whether you planned to be or not.