If you believe web-based reputation management is just for large brands, please reconsider. With the rise in use of social media sites, and the popularity of user-generated review websites like Yelp, SiteJabber, Amazon reviews and even employer review websites such as Glassdoor, monitoring and managing your web-based credibility is more vital than ever before.
Responding to online reviews affects your online reputation
Essentially, reputation management is the process of influencing a business’ or individual’s reputation. In the last few years, reputation management has come to be synonymous with online reputation management; when the phrase is used now, it’s mainly utilized to refer to responding to online reviews, managing search results for brand inquiries and unfavorable critiques on social networks.
Reputation management and social networking sites
Power has indeed shifted away from companies and toward buyers when it involves voicing a company’s marketing message. Even though firms used to be able to very carefully craft their message and later sell it using conventional advertising tactics like billboards, radio and TV spots, nowadays social networking sites have greatly moved those controls to consumers.
This, of course, has made reputation management much more challenging for organizations. The large number of voices involved, and the scattered nature of posts, complaints and unfavorable responses make damage control a lot more difficult than it ever used to be.
How to handle your reputation on social media sites.
A vital first step in social networking site reputation management is recognizing what’s being said about your brand online and then responding to online reviews appropriately. To do this, you’ll have to identify and track keywords and hashtags connected to your brand, goods, employees and competitors to monitor conversations that are taking place on social networking websites.
There certainly are a number of resources you can utilize to monitor these keywords: Tagboard, Hashtagify.me, SocialMention and TweetBinder are some of our faves. These tools allow you to go through numerous social networks to look for keywords and hashtags connected to your company or brand; you can also establish alerts to make sure that you’re informed when your company is discussed. Google Alerts is another excellent, and complimentary, tool for receiving frequent alerts of new brand and keyword mentions directly in your inbox.
When you’re aware of exactly what’s being mentioned regarding your brand online, you’ll need to respond appropriately. That said, this is where you’ll want to tread very carefully.At times, simply learning exactly what people are saying will suffice to help guide and inform your customer service-based choices.
There will be occasions, however, when a response is a good idea and even required. For example, in the event that your business is being slammed or defamed, not taking immediate measures can have severe repercussions. Several really good general guidelines for answering unfavorable reviews on social networks include:
- 1. Responding quickly: Bad reviews or comments– mainly when left unchecked– can spread like wildfire on social networking sites. For instance, a particularly outrageous review on your Facebook Page could be witnessed by countless people within the initial couple hours. Responding immediately is the most effective means to minimize the harm caused by these posts, as it helps to ensure that your perspective is also viewed by anybody reading the initial review.
- 2. Never delete reviews unless absolutely necessary: Unless a post is racist, offensive, or otherwise in very bad taste, deleting an adverse piece of feedback or review is usually a bad idea. Deleting bad remarks could be viewed as concealing an issue or admitting guilt. There are also proven benefits to replying to reviews, rather than removing them. According to analysis by CRM software company Oracle, 1 out of every 3 users who get a retailer answer to their web-based complaint winds up reposting a good review. In addition, 34% wind up removing their bad review entirely.
- 3. Reply as a professional, and take it offline if needed: Simply speaking, this will not indicate that you are defending yourself against attacks or criticisms. Your best course of action is to instead take the conversation offline as promptly as can be, contact the consumer directly via instant message, email, or a phone call if you have the number, and deal with the concern one-on-one. The customer will appreciate this personal approach and the rest of the viewers won’t be witness to the discussion.
Hire a third party to manage your online reputation for you
The above are good ways to stay on top of your online reputation management, but it can still be overwhelming to manage while operating a business day to day. One solution is to hire a third party company to stay on top of managing your online reputation for you so that you can focus on running your business. Online reputation management is one of the many things that JHG Media Group can assist you with so that you don’t have to.