With a few solid online reputation management tips in your back pocket, your company can improve brand awareness, increase customer loyalty, and turn around negative experiences.
But what exactly does this involve?
We’ve laid out some of the most common ways companies manage their online reputation and provided you with a handful of must-know online reputation management tips.
How companies manage online reputation
There’s more than one way to manage your company’s online reputation. This being said, some ways are definitely better than others. Let’s break down the most common ways companies manage online presence.
Ignore it: It’s true. You could ignore your online reputation and pretend that it doesn’t exist. In some cases, this could work out just fine. In other cases, this could end up costing you big time.
Hand it off to someone internally: This job doesn’t usually involve a full-time employee, and it could be handed off to a pre-existing employee (like a sales or marketing manager). However, they will likely need some type of solution or tool for aggregating online content. On top of this, they’ll need to develop a series of processes for responding and handling situations - like negative comments on social media platforms and negative reviews on Google. (Check out these tips on creative ways to reduce labor costs.)
Hire a firm: Reputation management firms typically operate on a contract basis or a subscription-type platform. Either way, they’ll take on the responsibility of aggregating and assessing online reviews and customer feedback. However, they usually stop here and don’t actually do the work of responding to customers.
Use software: An automated and customized software solution can pull all your online reviews, feedback, search results, and online content into one place. This is usually used to simplify and improve internal efforts. For example, a marketing manager might pull up this dashboard on a daily basis and take a few minutes to analyze and respond to all reviews.
10 Tips on how to do online reputation management
There’s a lot of advice out there on how to do online reputation management; however, if you follow a few basic tips, you can probably do better than 99% of companies out there.
Let’s take a look at some of the most critical reputation management tips.
Don’t ignore it: Whatever you do, don’t ignore your online presence. There are easy (and free) ways to keep track of reviews and feedback. For example, you can set up Google Alerts, so you’re sent an email every time you get a new review. In other words, you don’t need to hire a fancy firm or invest in a new software solution to do the bare minimum.
Create a process: Even if you only have one person handling your online reputation, it’s always a good idea to create and document a digital workflow for responding to online content. Consider this part of your online reputation management strategy and use it to build and strengthen your brand.
Respond to people: Don’t let negative reviews fester and don’t let 5-star reviews go unchecked. Whenever you get a new comment, review, mention, or backlink, take the time to respond. Not only will the person who’s responsible for the original comment feel noticed and appreciated, but it may encourage others to leave positive feedback, as well.
Respond to all people: While we’re on the subject, respond to all people. Not just some. This is especially important if a comment or review is positive for your business. If you leave that person without a response, you’re giving off the impression that you don’t care. This can be a deterrent for future positive online content.
Set up alerts: Setting up online alerts is an incredibly easy and effective way to keep track of online mentions. This can be an email that’s sent to you every time someone leaves a Yelp review or a Google Review. It can also involve a social media tool that brings all comments and DMs into one platform (like Sprout Social or Hootsuite).
Use a tool: There are a million and one different tools out there that can help you better manage your online reputation. Reputation management tools can be free (like Social Mention) and can quickly give you an overview of mentions, comments, search engine results, and more.
Automate it: Using alerts, tools, internal processes, and customized software all at once, you can fully automate managing your online reputation. This way you’ll never miss a review, comment, DM, or mention.
Be respectful: Unless your brand likes to walk on the wild side of things, most companies should remain 100% professional and pleasant when interacting with online customers. Avoid snarky comments, sarcasm, and potentially confusing statements. In these times, it’s more important than ever to avoid online spats that can easily lead to online bullying and eventually, in-person harassment.
Personalize it: While something is better than nothing, customizing your responses is always a good idea. If someone quickly scrolls through your Google reviews and sees the same canned response from your company over and over again, it looks disingenuous.
Respond quickly: The sooner you can respond, the better. This will keep your company top of mind; it can make your customers feel appreciated, and it can also help you avoid fueling the fire brought on by negative reviews.
Need help managing your online reputation?
At Teamworks Group, we provide companies with a custom, automated, and fully integrated solution to help them better manage online reputation.
With the ability to integrate with top social sites (such as Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook, and the BBB), our software monitors and aggregates all online mentions into the same customizable dashboard. From here, your team can respond to reviews, create reports, and get a quick overview of how your company is looking online.
If you’d like to learn more about this solution, give us a call or contact us online.