With the rise of social media, third-party review sites, blogs, and other digital platforms, your online reputation matters more than ever before. With over 95% of shoppers reading online reviews before making a purchase, your online reputation can be a significant business asset. But, unfortunately, many businesses find that it can also be a serious liability. (Make sure you aren’t doing these four things that accidentally put your reputation at risk.)
We all know people who seem to have the worst luck with purchases, whose meals at restaurants are always wrong, who somehow receive poor service more often than not—and who love to vent about it to anyone and everyone. With the internet, these unlucky consumers now have a global audience, and can wreak havoc on a company’s online reputation.
Almost every business has gone online and found that someone left them negative reviews or feedback. You’ve likely experienced it yourself (if not, it’s only a matter of time). And from one minute to the next, your online reputation takes a hit. It’s unwise to simply shrug your shoulders and move on, though, because 97% of shoppers say reviews influence their buying decisions. Those negative reviews directly impact your bottom line.
Once those unflattering things are out there, businesses can feel powerless to do anything about them. An online reputation management (ORM) company can help. They give you a voice in the online conversation and help you show the world all the great things your business has to offer, rather than be at the mercy of someone who may have been having a bad day.
Online reputation management has been a concern for business owners for many years, but a 2018 study from TripAdvisor shows just how essential maintaining a positive online presence has become, with 97% of respondents saying reputation management is important to their business. This isn’t just limited to the travel and hospitality industry, either. Businesses in every sector worry about managing their reputation online, and many are turning to reputation management experts for assistance.
What Does a Reputation Management Company Do?
Reputation management companies have a comprehensive toolbox of strategies to analyze, establish, restore, and protect your brand’s image. Some of the ways they accomplish this are:
- Search Engine Optimization and Management – Search engine optimization (SEO) works to improve your rankings in online searches and often includes techniques for increasing traffic to your site. SEO can be used to bring positive information about your company to the forefront and push negative results to the background.
- Content Development and Management – To build a good reputation and rank well in the searches, you need to have quality content. Reputation management services can help you improve your existing content as well as create new material to build credibility.
- Social Media Management – Most online reputation management services can determine how your social media profiles affect your reputation and help you clean up your social networks if needed. They can also strategize the type of posts that will get the highest engagement.
- Review Management – Many ORM services help businesses acquire and manage their online reviews to improve the ratio of positive to negative reviews.
- Third-Party Website Monitoring – There are also third parties that can damage your reputation. Negative reviews on sites like Yelp and Glassdoor can make a big impact, and it’s not difficult for people like former employees or unhappy customers to create a new website or blog to blast your company. Reputation management services can monitor the internet to see what is being said about you.