Online reputation management is an area of marketing that exists to maintain a company’s positive image on the Internet. In today’s increasingly interconnected world and through the enhanced engagement through communication channels such as Twitter and Facebook, many individuals now have the ability to comment directly on brands and companies pages. In addition to these channels, many traditional brick-and-mortar businesses now have to contend with individuals utilizing applications like Yelp and Foursquare to voice their opinion about products and services. This is where online reputation management becomes highly effective. The service focuses around blocking or effectively removing negative reviews and comments from prospective customers. The last thing any organization wants to deal with is a barrage of negative comments that negatively influence customers’ decision-making. Through the use of various tools and platforms, companies now have the ability to take control of their online reputation and steer into a more positive light.
Some of the more common methods of managing an online reputation are fairly simple to implement. For starters, it’s important to get a feeling for what customers have to say about the business. If you cannot take the pulse of your clientele it will be impossible to address your services or products to meet their needs. For example, TripAdvisor is a website that is used heavily by individuals seeking information on resorts, hotels, and other travel related services. If an organization is not active on this emerging social media channel, they will not be able to manage the fallout from a cascade of negative reviews. More importantly, they won’t be alerted to possible lapses in service or quality. Blogs can be a fantastic way to allow customers to engage further in online discussions with company representatives. This will help foster a more positive environment and elevate your brand. Through this promotion mechanism you can highlight recent achievements or new product features. Many organizations engage in blogging as a way to keep their customers updated as to new developments or service changes.
Far and away the most utilized platform for disgruntled customers is social media. Online reputation management is put to the test when social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are utilized to provide a sounding board to upset customers. Thankfully there are many software applications available online today that provide monitoring services specifically targeted to these networks. A business can employ these tools to keep track of any time their service or product is mentioned. From there, they will be able to take action and responds to these individuals accordingly. Organizations must not look to social media as a pain point but as an area that will allow them to further engage with their clientele and boost their online reputation. A firm understanding of how these services impact the company is an essential component to any business operation in today’s economy. Nothing influences buyer decision making more than encouraging and positive customer reviews about a product or service. Businesses must understand the importance of online reputation management and take action to ensure that they are managing and maintaining a positive brand image.
Does managing your companies online reputation keep you up at night? What tools are you using to monitoring and manage your reputation?
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $2,100,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.
To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://www.webpronews.com/yelp-rolls-out-check-in-comments-2012-05