Online Reputation Management will be among the most important marketing topics of 2016. For both individuals and companies, encouraging customers, clients, and associates to disseminate accurate, positive information will be critical in building an Online Reputation. Here are four proven strategies to build your reputation in 2016.
Participation is Key
Reputation needs to be a priority for every person in an organization. This is especially true for client facing employees. Negative reviewers have a tendency to focus on the most negative part of their experience. For example, a great restaurant with a bad hostess can suffer poor reviews despite serving tremendous food. For this reason, every employee should be motivated to earn great reviews.
Keep Visitors on Your Site
It is important to allow visitors to check the validity of reviews by including links to review sources, but the best practice is to keep visitors on your site while consuming and creating reviews. This is because large review websites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google all generate revenue by selling targeted ads. A customer who is considering doing business with your company who leaves your site to read reviews on Yelp will likely be exposed to paid advertisements from your competition. By including review capabilities on your site, you ensure that you demonstrate the value of your company without interrupting the sales funnel.
Close the Loop
Effective communication is always circular. If someone takes the time to review your company, be sure and respond. Genuinely appreciate positive reviews, and professionally respond to negative reviews. Regardless of the content of the review, responding ensures that current customers know that their opinion is valuable and future customers know that your company genuinely cares about customers service.
Reviews are still the best thing to happen to marketing. While reviews are notoriously difficult to control for business owners, they are still demonstrably among the most effective forms of advertising available today. Best selling Author of Everyone’s A Critic: Winning Customers in a Review-Driven World, Bill Tancer writes “every valid negative point in a review has the potential for helping improve your business. Think of it not as criticism, but as data.” (Tancer, 59) Indeed, reviews create a massive opportunity for strategic analysis of both your company and your competition. Tancer continues, “It’s not unlike having access to customer satisfaction survey responses for your closest competitor.” (Tancer, 59) Adopting an unbiased attitude often allows business owners to leverage reviews to improve their business.
Reviews are continuing to gain popularity with consumers; yet review platforms are still underutilized by many businesses. Rarely in the history of marketing have we seen a more effective way to demonstrate value and conduct counterintelligence on competition. To successfully build an online reputation in 2016, businesses should encourage participation by every member in the organization, strive to have website visitors consume review content without leaving your site, be interactive with reviewers, and utilize all available reviews to improve their business and customer service.