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Smart business owners know that online reputation is vital in today’s business climate.

Research shows that 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, and 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation!

What does this mean to you?

It means that online reputation matters. Not every customer is always going to be happy with your product or service.

Therefore, it is important to know how to improve your online reputation.

Consider Reviews

Ask for Reviews

Reviews not only let other consumers know about your product or service. Reviews give you an opportunity to build your online reputation.

What people say about your brand affect how others will view it. How you react to what people are saying will do just as much to build your brand, though.

By actively soliciting reviews, your satisfied and dissatisfied clients or customers will see that you value their opinions and are striving to improve your products or service.

How to Respond to Positive Reviews

While positive reviews are already complimenting your brand, you can still respond to them. Showing that you can take the few seconds to thank a customer for their time and review shows that each customer is important to you.

Your online reputation will only improve.

Make sure the responses are genuine and not repetitive, to whatever extent that is possible. The people who take the time to leave positive reviews will only have a better view of your brand knowing that you value their business and their opinion.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Negative reviews present a challenge for businesses, but they can also present a great opportunity.

Some customers will leave a negative review without even reaching out to the company. If you receive such a review, you have the opportunity to stand by your product or service.

Respond to the review by offering to get in touch with the customer directly to make things right.

Ask the customer to call and ask for the appropriate party or send a direct message.

Make the comment public so when other consumers see the review, they also see that you were concerned and attempted to rectify the situation.

Many consumers will go back and edit their original review when their particular concern is successfully addressed.

If your customer leaves the review after a failure of customer service, a “customer is always right” attitude in your response can speak volumes to your brand expectations.

An apology for a poor experience is a great start.

Going an extra step and assuring that is not up to your service standards goes even further. Potential customers who see your response are more likely to overlook a poor review when you go the extra step to assure an unsatisfied customer that you will keep working until it is resolved.

Again, your online reputation can improve, even though you’ve had a negative review.

The most vital part of responding to negative reviews is to take responsibility when you are at fault.

If you are not at fault, you can still sincerely apologize for the experience and work to satisfy your customer.

Always responding sincerely will clearly show your current and potential customers that you are working hard to earn your good online reputation.

cta

Get a second chance with unhappy customers

A simple system to proactively collect and use feedback from all of your customers.

- Activate happy customers to share the good word where it matters
- Reach unhappy customers before they bad-mouth your business
- Give your team the time and intel to turn a negative customer experience around
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Be Proactive with Content

Reviews are not the only things that determine your online reputation. Negative content can be posted online, whether it is true or not.

It can come from any of the following sources:

  • disgruntled employees
  • dishonest product comparisons from paid affiliates of competitors
  • competitors spreading false claims
  • news items that may involve one of your employees that are unfavorable and mention your company in passing
  • any number of other sources

The best way to be proactive about protecting your online reputation (preferably before any of the above is even an issue) is to produce quality content.

This content should be optimized for search.

This strategy will put your best content forward in online searches.

Often with an abundance of positive quality content, negative content (which honestly is typically lower quality) is pushed down in search results.

Most savvy consumers, if they ever get to that content to review it, will recognize there is a reason it is lower in result rankings.

What is quality content?

There are many ways you can produce quality content for your brand. The key is to produce various forms of content and to publish it using various channels.

Content marketing done right will always help your online reputation. Some ideas of content that can help build your online reputation are these:

  • White papers
  • Blog entries
  • Case studies
  • Video testimonials
  • Video product demonstrations
  • Comments and answers to questions in online forums
  • Infographics

Using the appropriate channels to publish your content will help spread the reach of your brand.

Furthermore, it will give you the optimization you need to keep your online reputation positive and growing.

In conclusion, using online reviews as a platform to further your brand message and producing quality content are the best ways to improve your online reputation.

Monitor your search results and social media profiles.

It is important to address all reviews and consistently update your content.

Taking these steps will help your online reputation continue to improve.

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Valerie Effinger
Valerie is a long-time social media and content writer at Visibly Connected with a bachelor's degree in Psychology, which has made her fascinated (and sometimes baffled) by how people think. When not writing, she is unsuccessfully psychoanalyzing her children and laughing most every minute of her crazy life with her hubby Jeremy and hilarious kids Corinne and Grey.
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