Why is online reputation monitoring critical to the success of your marketing efforts?
When a negative online listing appears, you need to be able to jump on it and respond to eliminate the threat to your reputation. When a positive review comes in you can thank and your customer for their feedback to let them know you appreciate them. You can also use online reputation monitoring to address issues before they become very public problems, adjust your marketing efforts, and gain useful information about your processes to stay ahead of the market. The bottom line is that companies of all kinds and sizes need to know and understand what people are saying about their brand and consistently work to improve your brand's standing.
Let's go ahead and set the record straight, having an online presence is not reputation monitoring! No matter how great your content, reviews, website, and online interaction is, you are bound to have a threat come along. The best-case scenario is that you have positive reviews, enthusiastic social media mentions, compelling blogs, backlinks, and your website has maximum search engine visibility. What we typically see is a presence but lack of engagement leading to a flood of defamatory reviews, negative news stories, BBB complaints, and malicious attacks from your competitors, and posts from disgruntled employees.
Online reviews have become the leading factor in a consumer's decision-making process. You can't control what people say, but you can respond and show that you are listening which goes a long way to prove your customer service and attention to resolving customer issues.
Reasons Why Online Reputation Monitoring is Important
Online Presence is Inescapable
We've had clients that tell us that they want nothing to do with social media or digital marketing because it's plagued with negativity- we can't deny this statement, but if you decide not to get online and engaged, you have zero chance at defending your brand, you also give the appearance that you don't care. People turn to a whole slew of channels to engage with, talk about, or learn about your business. There is a whole generation that won't even consider your brand or service if you aren't digitally present. Key takeaway- if you don't set the message for your brand, it is guaranteed that someone else will.
Responding Shows that you Listen
If a customer or prospect walks up to you with a concern will you walk off without even acknowledging them? When you fail to monitor what people are saying about your brand, you are doing just that, ignoring them. Responding to positive mentions will help strengthen your relationships and encourage more engagement. Responding to negative reviews is crucial for minimizing damage. With all of the value placed on online comments, reviews, and feedback, it’s important to be on top of them as much as possible.
Claiming Your Business
Listing your business online is overwhelming. The good news is that more than likely if your location is on a map, ala listing has ready been created and waiting for you to claim it. Unfortunately, claiming your business takes time, and there are so many listing sites, it's nearly impossible to go through each one without software. Online reputation monitoring is essential because it puts all of your listings in one place for easy verification and it can reduce the amount of time that elapses between the listing being created and your business claiming it.
Word of Mouth is Everything
The power of online reviews is undeniable. People trust other people before they will believe a single word that you release. Throw in the fast-paced nature of social feeds, and you can pretty much rule out any fact-checking on negative reviews. On the flip side, potential customers are eager for reassurance that your business is the right decision and will be highly encouraged to be your customer upon seeing positive reviews. The influence of what others have to say about your business makes online reputation monitoring extremely important.
Multi-Platform Registration is Unreliable
If you have ever published a website or social channel, you've seen directory services claiming to register your business across many platforms with one click. The downside of this service is that it’s a computer doing the automatic listing generation and information doesn’t always transfer over, or data shows up in the wrong section. This can lead to inconsistent or incorrect information about your business across the web, which can negatively impact your growth.
Negative Reviews will Happen
As mentioned above, people trust what others have to say about their experience with your business, even if it’s not true. There is no way of knowing how accurate a negative review or comment may be. Furthermore, customer experiences are all based on their perspective and knowledge. People perceive things in different ways, and sometimes you won’t win. For instance, if compliance standards regulate your business, you probably have to tell a customer "no" sometimes. Without proper communications of why you cannot perform specific actions for your customer, you are setting yourself up for negativity. With online reputation management, you can not only manage situations as they happen but prevent them.
Negative customer experiences are going to happen, no matter how great you are. Online reputation monitoring allows you to identify, keep track of, and resolve these types of miscommunications before they cause significant damage.
Reputation monitoring allows you to gain insight into your business and target audience. Knowing what people are saying about your business and employees can help you to identify what’s working and what’s not so that you can modify your strategies to produce better results.
Identify New Channels
By monitoring what people are saying and where they are reporting it, you may find a better-suited channel for your business.
Your online reputation is essential for business growth, improvement, and development. As long as you are monitoring your online status, you can use the power of the web to your business’ benefit.
Basic Monitoring Tools
Google Alerts + Bing Alerts
Receive regular updates whenever new search engine listings are published, your business is mentioned, or your keywords are trending allowing you to stay relevant.
If you are interested in an online reputation management package, we can help! Visit IdeaCreativeMarketing.com