For business owners, the importance of having respectable online reputation is paramount. Regardless of the size of the organization, having a negative online reputation can lead to poor sales and the twisted customer perception of your brand and products. It’s not just about building a positive reputation among your local community; it truly is an effort that has worldwide implications. With the availability of information readily available online, today’s shoppers are now capable of researching and finding even the most obscure information about many different companies. Knowing that you have an established online reputation will give you the peace of mind to conduct business online effectively.
Typically this process shakes out over time and is separated into three distinct aspects.
First of all, you need to effectively build a reputation. This can be done through a number of different mechanisms and usually involves quite a bit of reactive and proactive marketing for that matter.
Once you have effectively started building a reputation, as this is an ongoing process, you then will seek to maintain the current level.
Lastly and one of the more unfortunate components of this process is to recover your reputation from any potential threats or negative reviews.
While the building process may be the most simple of the three, it generally involves employees formulating a positive brand image or delivering a consistent company message across the board. By creating these positive associations in the mind of not only your customers but your B2B clients, you can effectively build a positive reputation over time. It is important to understand that the process behind this will need to be maintained so it has to be something that is done on a regular basis. However, those individuals who do partake in actively managing their online reputation need to be wary of the potential for sounding insincere.
Never before has the growth of the Internet had such a tremendous impact on a company’s reputation. Traditionally it was built through customer word-of-mouth and positive client interactions. Nowadays, individuals have the opportunity to visit review sites and post their opinion about the service they received or the product itself. A perfect example of the product component is the way in which Amazon reviews are weighted in people’s purchasing decisions. Generally individuals will base their final decision-making process off of positive or negative reviews of the product.
Fortunately for organizations looking to get ahead of the curve, there are a number of skilled Internet marketing professionals that will be able to assist you in developing your own plan to manage online reputation. While some of the methods involve monitoring of several social networks, in addition to other review sites of the time. This can in turn become a labor-intensive process so it will be important to make a decision as to whether or not you have the resources to do it on your own. Remember, building a solid online reputation takes time and effort. Those individuals and organizations that understand this concept and take active steps towards improving will be setting themselves up to have a successful and positive image online.
ReachCast is ReachLocal's award winning solution for business owners who wish to outsource their web presence optimization (Search Engine Optimization, Social Media and Reputation Management rolled into one) to trained experts in the field of Internet Marketing.
Online reputation can make or break your business, what are your concerns about review sites? Please feel free to share any of your success or online reputation horror stories as well.
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 $2,200,000 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.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009128