Proactively manage your online reputation
Today, access to real-time information is the number one driving force behind purchase decisions. Consumers trust friends and even strangers for honest feedback about products and services more than they trust the brands that sell them, and they turn to this public feedback (in the form of online reviews) before virtually every purchase they make, big or small.
Your online reputation can either happen to you or work for you. The good news is that you do have a good deal of control over when, where, and how people talk about your business online. If you want to rank high in search engine results and get chosen over your competitors more often, managing your online reputation is no longer optional, but essential.
There are three factors that determine the effectiveness of online reviews for your business:
- QUANTITY – the number of reviews available on review platforms for prospects to read
- QUALITY – the positivity of the reviews and, where applicable, the ratings
- RECENCY – as reviews age, they become less impactful
To manage your online reputation, it’s important to create a system to consistently request, monitor, respond to, and showcase online reviews.
CONTROL THE NARRATIVE
CREATING A SYSTEM
If the system is to be effective, it’s important to be consistent with your efforts. A burst of effort in the name of garnering online reviews may help enhance the quality and quantity of your total number of reviews, but unless you’re consistent, you’ll be missing the third factor in ensuring the effectiveness of your reviews – recency.
Steps for Creating an Effective Online Review Management System
The following are the steps for creating a consistent system for managing your online reputation.
Invite customers to write online reviews
Determine the best time in your sales process to ask for reviews. This will vary, depending on the nature of your business and how/where you make sales. In some cases, it will be appropriate to ask for feedback at the time of the sale. In other cases, it’s better to wait for a pre-determined period of time before making the request.
Monitor platforms for new reviews
There are myriad platforms that facilitate online ratings and reviews. Select the ones that are apporpriate for your business and monitor them for new reviews. Enable notifications so that news of new reviews end up in your email and/or SMS inboxes.
Respond to all reviews in a timely manner
An inadequate response protocol can leave readers questioning the professionalism of your business practices and validity of good reviews. Your responses are less for the reviewer than all of the readers of said reviews. To this end, it’s critical to respond to all reviews, nto just positive ones. In the case of negative reviews, be brief, be professional, and respond once.
Showcase new reviews
Leverage the undeniable power of user-generated content by posting it on your website, on social channels, in email campaigns, and in printed collateral.
READY TO DISCUSS ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT?
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