Avoiding a Bad Online Reputation - 8 Mistakes Every Business Must Steer Clear Of
What do people think of your company?
Your reputation makes a massive impact on consumers’ decision to buy from you. A staggering 67.7 percent of purchasing choices are affected by online reviews, and you stand to lose more than 20 percent of business if prospects come across negative coverage of your brand on the first results page.
Considering the sheer range of options customers have online, a bad reputation can make all the difference between securing and losing a conversion. If your business seems too much of a risk, buyers will just purchase from one of your competitors instead.
You have to protect your online reputation from bad reviews, poor feedback and anything else that could damage it. Join Reputation Mart’s experts as we explore the 8 online reputation mistakes your business must avoid …
1. Failing to Monitor your Reputation
Maybe you’re just not that interested in going online. Perhaps the prospect of Googling your own business and trawling review sites makes you want to gag.
Whatever the reason, your online reputation could end up getting wildly out of control if you fail to keep an eye on it. Even if people are leaving good reviews or sharing positive posts about you on their social accounts, they might not be getting full exposure without you sharing them.
Just because you don’t research your company doesn’t mean others won’t be.Fake accounts may be set up on social media too, possibly causing further damage.
2. Not Interacting with the Online Community
People will leave good reviews. People will leave bad reviews.
It’s vital to respond to as many of both as you can, regardless of their content. Apologize for poor service, thank customers for their kind words and offer to make things right if need be.
Interacting with people who have taken the time to post about your business will impact other customers’ views. Seeing how well you respond to the worst complaints can show you care about buyers’ experience and respect their opinion.
Simply leaving bad responses untouched and pretending they don’t exist will only do more harm. When responding to negative feedback or reviews, always be professional and courteous: never engage in a war of words.
3. Creating Fake Reviews
Always, always avoid the temptation to write fake reviews. Creating them yourself or asking employees, friends or even family to do so is a big mistake.
Why? Because if someone finds out, you could harm your reputation more than a single bad review ever would. Consumers will wonder why you have to cheat to make your brand appear better, and view you as being untrustworthy.
After all, if you’re willing to lie about online feedback what else would you lie about?
Prospective buyers will have more faith in you if they see you handling negative reviews in a professional manner than if they see lots of feedback sharing too many similarities to be coincidental.
4. Being Unsociable
Social media has a big impact on the business-consumer relationship. People will complain to companies directly on Facebook and Twitter, share good experiences with their friends and ask questions about products. It’s a key step in the research process.
Being active on social media and engaging with your customers is key to maintaining your online reputation. Users expect fast responses and transparency, whether they have made a complaint or thanked the brand for excellent service.
Avoiding social media is no way to try to minimize the harm of potential negative posts. People will still discuss you even if you have no account.
5. Never Showing your Human Side
Customers will feel a stronger bond with your business if you’re willing to show your unique, human side.
If you make a mistake, admit to it. Be sincere. Explain to your customers how and why it happened, and discuss what you plan to do to put it right.
Don’t issue a bland press release that skirts responsibility and leaves buyers cold. Just hold your hands up and present your solution. Prospects may be more forgiving if they see you’re approaching a situation as a group of people rather than as a faceless enterprise.
6. Ignoring the Power of Content
Good content is essential to keep your reputation in good shape. Well-written blogs and articles offering readers value will help you become recognized as a reliable brand with lots to say. This adds credibility to your business and can establish you as a thought-leader, though this may be easier in some sectors than others.
The better your content, the more likely it is to be shared and garner extra attention. Failing to create new content doesn’t just make you look unprofessional, it’s not great for your SEO campaign either.
7. Getting Complacent
You’ve built a good reputation. You’ve published a string of great content that attracts thousands of views. You’ve amassed more positive feedback than you can keep track of.
So, why not take your eye off your online reputation for a while and focus on other areas of running your business instead?
Don’t get complacent. If you stop responding to social posts and reviews, customers could lose their respect for you and assume you no longer care about their views. Never let success distract you from maintaining good relationships with customers.
Remember: they’re what keeps you in business, no matter how big your brand becomes.
8. Having No Reputation Management in Place
Every business should invest in solid reputation management. You have to know what people are saying about your company, identify the common complaints and find ways to put things right.
You need to know how you will respond to feedback and use it to help your business grow. This must be put together with care — just dashing off a comment at the end of an occasional review isn’t enough.
Our team of experts can help you stay on top of your online reputation, ensure brand consistency and avoid harmful mistakes. Want to learn more about our Online Reputation Management services? Just get in touch!
ReputationMart.com - passionate digital marketing team.