Online Reputation Management Tips For Local Businesses
Most brands that provide products or services in certain local areas like towns, regions, cities or states, understand that their bottom lines are significantly controlled by bad reputation or negative reviews. While local businesses are categorized as small industries with limited selection and lesser advertising budget, they still have controls in the market with effective reputation management practice.
Today, there is no doubt that most internet users, mainly experienced online buyers are very particular with reviews when purchasing products from a website or merchant. In fact, market stats justified that most online and offline customers trust comments from other people on the web than rely of their personal choices. Moreover, large numbers of consumers are voicing their opinions and feedback about a certain product or business regarding their experience especially if they are not satisfied.
That’s why, it’s extremely necessary for any companies, whether big or small local, to pay attention with the status of their online reputations and actively monitor what their previous customers or clients are saying about their offers. They have to do whatever it takes to ensure that the information about their company is true and most importantly, positive. While it sounded like an easy breezy thing to manage, the overall efforts is far more complex and sometimes, frustrating. Many companies often use SEO companies that offer SEO services for reputation, but in this article we will catalog what you need to do.
But don’t fret, there’s hope. In times like this, you have to be prepared with any negative interactions and learn to face the problem with confidence and professionalism. You don’t need to be an expert to create and maintain your online reputation. You just need to make an effective plan, be honest and find out how you can be able cope up from a bad situation.
Understanding Online Reputation Management
Online reputation management is the process of monitoring any contents or mentions about your business and the ability to deal with them through effective response associated with some internet marketing strategies.
Whether you like it or not, your local customers are talking about your company, and can leave a feedback about you any time and any where they want to. They can tweet on twitter, share their personal thoughts on blogs, reply on discussion boards and post their comments on facebook about their experiences and concerns. If you think you can escape from it without doing anything or without dealing with those who post negative content about your business, you better think again.
If you are new local company, it can be difficult to assess if people are talking about your products. But as your business grows, more and more people will be talking about your brand and most importantly, search for other people say about your company. Online reputation management is giving you the opportunity to overcome these challenges.
Now that you already know the importance of online reputation management for your local business, let’s get closely with various ways on how to effectively manage your online reputation;
Tip 1: Have an online presence on social media platforms
I assumed your local business has already setup a page in social media platforms such as Facebook, Gplus, Twitter, Instagram or other related sites. If you are in a competitive niche, you certainly need to have a marketing plan to effectively promote your business. Check your page or accounts from time to time to check if there are new responses, chat for concerns or negative reviews from your followers.
Tip 2: Develop your audience and interact with them daily.
The social media pages you’ve developed for your business can be a powerful tool to boost your online reputation. But, it should not end there. You have to build up your followers, make relevant posts, answer their questions as quickly as possible and interact with them daily to gain their trust and increase your influence. Search engine results definitely count your effort and when someone searches for the keywords directing your niche, there is a huge chance that your social media pages will appear.
Tip 3: Build content for your products or services.
You should not just rely on your company name or domain name when managing your online reputation. For example, if you are an e-commerce business with 5 or more products that you sell online, you can promote those products using their individual brand names or categories. Product promotions can be done through online materials, social profiles and content marketing.
Tip 4: Establish authorship.
Authorship is essential for both your company reputation and search engine performance. To build an authorship is to establish your identity. Google authorship provides a system to protect your identity and content. It should be individualized in a legit profile and not a business page. Developing a web authority enables your business to become more genuine and what’s more interesting about this service is that, content with Google authorship has a huge possibility to rank higher than those that are lacking an appropriate authorship markup.
Tip 5: Blog more
Having a blog with quality and relevant content on your website is one of the effective ways to justify your brand as an expert in your niche. Blogging allows you to share helpful tips, deal with your customers’ concerns and post updates regarding your new and upcoming offers. Moreover, Google favors websites with updated and naturally written blog content. So the more relevant your posts are, the better search engine rank and traffic you’ll get.
Tip 6: Be open minded.
When you respond to customer complaints or negative feedback, be open minded and deal with the issue patiently and professionally especially if you are receiving them repeatedly. Be flexible by providing others options for your customers to be able to address their needs without creating an argument and putting down an unsatisfied customer.
Tip 7: Make a genuine apology.
Apologizing can minimize the damage on your company reputation. Websites or social media business pages receive thousands of posts and messages each day about the feelings of people towards products, services or brands. Some days are negative and some days are positive. But it’s the polite and professional responses to the negative content that a business can win even more customers and followers. So the mistake is made by the customer, apologize sincerely and make reconciliation.
Tip 8: Get as many positive reviews and testimonials as you can.
80-90% of customers rely on positive reviews before they purchase anything from a company. Online reviews are as powerful as your marketing campaign. From local search to word-of-mouth, it creates branding and becomes one of the most important strategies to build an online reputation. So aim to get as many online positive reviews as possible from your satisfied customer, be it for your own website or for business listings.
Following the above online reputation management tips may help to put your local business in a solidified position even if someone attempts to discredit your name.