All business owners need to worry about their reputation online and offline. With today’s growing technology, their online reputation has become even more important. We all know 1 bad review can affect a business, but did you know not having any reputation online can be just as bad?
70% Of On-line And Off-Line Shoppers Trust Reviews
Before making a major buying decision, most people will look at 6-10 reviews before making a final buying decision. 70% of on and offline shoppers – trust an online review second only to a personal recommendation.
Local Reputation Marketing
Smart business owners understand that a good reputation is one of their most valuable business assets – and one that takes years of hard work to earn. However, they also recognize that it can be destroyed in minutes with one or two public complaints – deserved or not.
Additionally, most understand that stellar reputations are among the most important assets for businesses to achieve and some of the easiest to destroy – especially in today’s freewheeling and often-anonymous Internet world.
Today with rise of social media, it’s never been quicker or simpler for Internet users to broadcast their opinions about products, services, and companies to millions of people worldwide. There are simply hundreds of thousands of venues – online directories, blog postings, discussion forums, social media sites, and more – where people can rate, review, and/or comment positively or negatively about any business they like…or don’t like.
What’s more, ever-growing numbers of consumers are checking out – and listening to – online rating before they purchase products and services, patronize restaurants, plan their vacations, choose their healthcare providers, hire consultants, and more.
That’s why it’s increasingly important for companies of all sizes to pro actively market their online reviews and actively monitor what others are saying about them online, and do everything in their power to ensure that what’s being said is accurate, and most importantly, positive.
And while the concept may be simple, the process for doing so is far more complicated.
What Does The Term “Reputation Marketing” Mean?
At its most basic level, “reputation marketing” is a process that companies, people, and organizations use for marketing, monitoring and influencing what others are saying about them.
Since the beginning of time, savvy businesspeople have quietly – and slowly – tracked their word-of-mouth reputations and most have done whatever it takes to mitigate damage caused by unhappy customers.
It’s essentially the same today with one few key differences: disgruntled – or happy – customers don’t just tell their family members and friends what they think; they tell the world, and they can do so in the blink of an eye.
So, if you’re implementing a reputation marketing program for your business, your first step should be to ensure that your prospects and customers say nice things about you and your products and services. This means you’ll need adopt a whatever-it-takes attitude and deliver on your promised experience 100% of the time. As we say in our book, The Procrastinator’s Guide to Marketing, “if you’re going to tell people how great you are, get great first.”
Next, you’ll need a system that monitors what others are saying about your company, and a pro-active strategy for reacting to it. Obviously, your goal would be to “broadcast” your five-star reviews across search engines, social media sites and directories, and address and/or remove unfavorable ones.
Every business is one customer away or one disgruntled employee from a bad review. By daily monitoring of a business’s reviews across the web a business can proactively deal with any review that doesn’t meet their 5 Star criteria. Once discovered it’s important they take a pro active approach to deal with the review and turn it into a positive win –win for everyone.
Remember there are always two sides to a story. If the business does what it says it’s going to do and makes good on their promise then most consumers will take it into consideration and react accordingly. It’s not reacting to the review that hurts business and for most they just don’t know. Again it’s why it’s so important to have a reputation marketing plan in place that develops the systems to monitor their online reputation and develop an in house 5 star reputation culture.
A reputation for a thousand years may depend upon the conduct of a single moment.” Ernest Bramah
A company’s reputation has never been more important than it is today. Anyone doing a search on line can find a business’s reputation with a couple of mouse clicks – and reviews are everywhere online.