Today’s world is full of peer reviews and thoughts about one brand or another. Experiences expressed on social media, review sites, on blogs, or in the media can make or break your business.
Studies have shown that your business needs reviews to attract customers. Two-thirds of consumers are more likely to buy a product with reviews, and peer reviews are more trustworthy than brand content to other customers.
Other research has found that positive reviews can increase sales by 18%.
Reviews are also great for improving your brand’s SEO visibility.
Not Just Reviews
It isn’t just reviews where positive comments are needed. Social media and news outlets are also influencing platforms where positive conversations about your brand need to be encouraged. These can be harder to manage. You need to monitor social media for mentions of your brand, and then interact with those who are mentioning your brand.
On social media, people can mention your brand negatively, without verifying a purchase or any interaction. This has led to some industries suffering from fake reviews or fake news, and this can damage your business.
One good example of this is the ‘pizzagate’ incident in New York during the 2016 Presidential Election. Not only was negative news released about the small Pizza company, but staff were issued with threats and attacked by a gunman.
Anyone with a negative opinion of your brand could share their details and their negative opinion on social media or in the news could completely ruin your business. Restaurants in the UK and US have both experienced this.
Controlling The Conversation
To ensure that you have the mentions online to boost your reputation – you need to control the conversation. This can be done very easily with the right strategy across all your marketing platforms. Here are several tips to support you:
1. Collect Feedback
The worst thing to experience is a negative review that is a surprise. This can be avoided by continuously collecting feedback from your customers and seeing where they think you can perform better.
If they are asking for something that you can’t provide; either because it is impossible or they don’t pay for that service, you need to explain that. This should be done constructively and for your customer.
2. Highlight Your Positives
Another thing to do is to talk about what people love about your brand constantly. Are you the brand that loves to give away free gifts, offers lots of free advice, or has the best security? You need to promote this not only to new leads but also to existing customers.
Then your current customers will be more likely to mention these positives in their customer reviews and on social media.
3. Ask For Reviews
Customers are unlikely to leave reviews unless you ask for them. So regularly ask for reviews from current or past customers. Sometimes it can take numerous asks to get the reviews you need.
4. Create A Community
Creating a community on social media will encourage more positive interactions and mentions of your brand. You should also respond positively to all mentions of your brand.
Should your brand have a negative comment on social media, it is best to respond to the comment and ask the customer to contact you about their issue.
5. Be Authentic
Stop thinking about your sales pitch and consider more about the customers’ needs. Talk to them about what they need and how you can provide a service to help. By concentrating on their needs, you’ll make them feed important and more inclined towards positive conversation.
Positive conversation is an important part of your brand’s growth. However, you shouldn’t hope for positive conversation; you need to strategize a way to generate those mentions on social media, in media and on reviews. There are several ways this can be done, but it all counts on you focusing your solution on the needs of the customers.
How do you create positive conversations about your brand? Does it have an impact on your sales?
Let us know in the comments below.
Your online reputation is important. A bad reputation can have several negative effects on your business’ success and can lead to its financial failure.
Research in 2015, found that bad reviews were costing the average business £30,000 ($36,000) a year.
While the major focus of this report was on fake bad reviews and malicious trolling; the impact of genuinely negative reviews must be similar.
Reviews are some of the most trustworthy sources for customers to learn about products and services. Therefore, getting good reviews is important as it can completely change the perception audiences have of your brand.
It Isn’t Just Bad Reviews
It isn’t just poor reviews that can affect your brand’s online reputation; negative news stories, social media updates and associations can really damage the reputation of a brand.
During the recent US presidential election, a pizza shop saw how a poor online reputation could make business difficult. It was claimed, though found to be fake, that the shop was the centre of illegal activity. The bad reputation even resulted in an attack on the business’ premises.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
The trouble is, if you are only reactive to bad decisions and negative comments, you are never going to achieve what you want online. Your business’ reputation will always be at risk, and you might face criticism whether it is justified or not.
If you want to be proactive, here are seven tips to consider to prevent a deterioration of your online reputation.
1. Good Grammar And Spelling
While it is almost impossible to be 100% perfect with spelling and grammar, you should try to be as accurate as possible. Use grammar checkers like Grammarly or Grammar Check to help you out. These are free and there are also premium versions available.
2. Don’t Spam Audiences
One of the major complaints against brands on social media is that brands tend to sell too much on social media. Social media should be used for conversing with your audience and demonstrating your knowledge and expertise – not products and services.
3. Respond To Comments
Another major issue is when your brand fails to respond to comments. Whether the comment is positive or negative, via email, phone call or social media, a customer contacting you is a marketing opportunity. Many negative comments can be turned into a positive marketing moment. So be sure to take advantage of them.
4. Poor Content Decisions
Brands are always getting into trouble on social media for publishing content that could be offensive. The London Dungeons and DiGiorno both have suffered from negative backlash after publishing insensitive updates on their Twitter profiles.
5. Not Having Control Of Your Online Content
Employees who are disgruntled but have sole control over an aspect of your online profile can damage your reputation. Therefore, it is always important to have an authorisation step in your publishing strategy where senior management sees updates and authorises them before publication. At the very least, keep your login details safe and secure.
6. Not Checking Your Online Reputation
You should always be aware of the latest online reviews. So regularly check with Yelp and other online review sites to see the latest thoughts on your brand. Not being aware of bad comments that have been made about your brand is no excuse.
7. Breaking Digital Laws
There are lots of laws regarding digital marketing. Some include not buying email marketing addresses; others include cookie warnings on your website. Breaking the law can lead to substantial fines but more importantly, plenty of negative press for your brand. Be sure you are aware of, and understand, digital communication laws for every country you operate in.
What are your tips for a good online reputation?
Let us know in the comments below.