In 2020, a business is obsolete without a website and a robust online presence. With the spread of COVID-19, being accessible to your customer base online is more critical now than ever. Having a stellar online reputation does not happen overnight and is not a one and done solution. Maintaining a strong online presence requires expertise and diligent management. Read on to learn the five ways to improve your businesses’ online reputation management system.
Social Media Presence
Social media has become the most important digital marketing platform, allowing you the potential to reach millions of customers worldwide. Social media is an excellent way to engage with your customers, and it is cost-effective as signing up for social media accounts is free. Customers tend to trust brands more that have a social media presence. If they can see you regularly interacting with your customers, replying to comments, and posting unique and relevant content, they will be more likely to do business with you.
Ask Customers for Reviews
Your past customers are an excellent network for you to expand your online presence. Asking satisfied customers to leave you a 5-star review is especially important if you have one or two negative reviews. If you only have three reviews, and two of them are negative, your business will seem less legitimate.
Send out an email to your past customers, asking them to write you a positive review on Google. You may consider giving out an incentive such as a free gift or a discount on their next purchase. Encourage customers to upload photos of the products they bought and be as specific with their reviews as possible. Oddly enough, a lot of positive reviews with one or two negative reviews mixed in actually can make your brand seem more authentic. You just need to make sure the positive outweighs the negative.
Showcase positive reviews on your website in the form of testimonials. Studies show positive testimonials on the home page of a business’ website can significantly help a brand’s online conversion rate. Testimonials give customers a sense of personalization; it makes them believe you care about their unique needs- which is hard to do online.
Publically Respond to Negative Reviews
It may seem counterintuitive when your instinct tells you to ignore negative comments, but you must address concerns from an unsatisfied customer. As frustrating as it can be, the first rule of business is “the customer is always right.”
You will appear honest and trustworthy if you can handle a negative review with grace and humility. Start by thanking the reviewer for leaving a review and expressing their concern. Tell them customer satisfaction is essential to your business and offer them contact information to reach out to you privately (use an email address, not a phone number). Empathize with a customer’s negative experience and remember always to apologize even if you do not feel that you are in the wrong.
Share User-Generated Content if it Helps Your Reputation
A customer who makes a positive Instagram or Facebook post about your product or service is essentially free marketing for your business. It means a customer was so happy with their experience that they wanted to share it with their network. Share these posts on your page for free marketing and to show appreciation for a customer promoting your brand.
Also, followers who see you sharing user-generated content will feel incentivized to make their own posts and tag you in them for the chance to be featured on your page. Everyone is looking for more exposure!
Partner with Influencers
Social media influencers are an excellent way for you to build brand authority. Social media influencers are considered experts in their particular niche, such as wellness or fashion. They are the trusted “gatekeepers” of the communities they represent and, therefore, have credibility with their followers. You should pay an influencer to post about your brand and the products or services you offer, exposing your brand to a large group of people who may not have known your company existed.
The reason influencers have such robust purchasing power is because their opinions are valued. Studies show 71% of people are likely to buy a product based on a social media referral. Create an agreement with an influencer who can represent your brand and start building a working relationship.
Building an online reputation can seem like a daunting task, but breaking it down makes it more manageable. Create a plan and stick with it. Building a robust social media presence, Asking past customers for reviews, responding to negative reviews, sharing user-generated content, and partnering with influencers are all great ways to build up your brand’s online reputation. You cannot expect to see results overnight, but with regular work and patience, you will see more online traffic and an increase in sales.