The benefits of online reputation management (ORM) can hardly be overstated. Assuming you maintain any digital footprint whatsoever, you already have an online reputation. This is true whether you are aware of it or not. It only makes sense that you do what you can to manage how you and/or your business is perceived.
What Is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management focuses on helping businesses create a positive public impression. To achieve this, a company needs to counteract all the negative material there is online about their business.
We live in a digital age where audiences are increasingly active. Consumers will express their thoughts and opinions about a brand and share that content with an online community. User-generated content can either be extremely beneficial or significantly damaging, depending on what is said about a company.
If you think about it, internet users like you and me will only view the first page — or, rarely, a few pages — of a search engine results page (SERP). Why? Because search engines will rank results based on how relevant and trustworthy they are. So if a potential customer has searched for your brand and found negative material on the first page, they will view you in a less favorable light. On the other hand, if all the best results contain rich, positive content, you’ll make a great first impression.
Depending on what type of user-generated content there is out there about you, it will determine whether consumers conduct business with you or not.
Benefits of Online Reputation Management
People trust a company with a positive reputation.
However, we’re not just talking about how good your SEO is, but also what others are saying about you. Potential customers need “social proof” before making a purchasing decision. In fact, 88% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Showcasing this feedback can increase conversion rates by 270%.
This sales bump can happen because customers will trust online reviews as much as their friends and family. They will base their buying decisions depending on what others have said. Thus, having positive social proof will help you become more credible and trustworthy.
Approximately 95% of consumers will read reviews before making a purchase. Almost every shopper in the world will want to see past customer feedback before buying a product or service. So it makes sense that many people will be reluctant to shop with you if you hide or delete customer reviews.
User-generated content in the form of reviews can help build customer trust. Nearly 90% of consumers view reviews as an online version of word-of-mouth recommendations. This means that the more positive reviews you have, the more likely consumers will shop with you, generating more sales.
In fact, the more feedback you have, and the higher your star rating is, the more business you’re likely to get.
If the content found in search results is positive, it will generate more click-throughs and lower bounce rates. One way to achieve this is by “owning” or controlling the results that appear on a SERP. These may include your website, social media profiles, review platforms, and PR content.
If you think about it, the more results you have control over, the less likely users will find any negative content about you. By managing this flow of information, you’ll create a solid first impression and maintain a positive online reputation.
Helps Business Growth
Online reviews help you generate more sales and become more credible as a business. Not only that, but they can also help you grow.
This type of feedback provides valuable insight into what your customers really think about you. If the review is positive, great, you know you’ve done a good job. However, if the review is negative, it may affect your reputation, but only if you don’t act upon it.
Google says that businesses that respond to reviews are 1.7x more trustworthy than companies that don’t. Also, according to Small Business Trends, approximately 30% of consumers will change their negative reviews once their problem has been answered or solved.
The benefits of online reputation management are obvious. Business responses to reviews are an important part of that and extremely valuable in the pursuit of success.
The majority of consumers will read a business’s response to check how they react to positive and negative reviews. If you or your business gets bad feedback, that doesn’t mean your reputation is destroyed. On the other hand, you can always salvage it by replying to your customers and offering great customer service.
How to Get More Reviews for Your Business
This one’s easy. Just ask your customers.
You can invite customers to leave a review, via email, once they’ve purchased from you. You can also decide how long you want to wait for the invitation to be sent, depending on the type of product or service you sell. This feedback request will encourage more people to write positive reviews about you.
Alternatively, you can use review marketing tools to capture instant feedback from your customer in real-time.
With this type of unique feature, companies can turn their tablet or smartphone into a point-of-sale review capturing device, collecting real-time feedback from their customers. Every business has a unique capture link that can be sent through email, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, text message or even placed behind a QR code. By far, this is the fastest way to get reviews.
However, if you don’t have time to manually send invitations and reply to reviews, you can always automate the process. The Many Automated Feedback Request feature will help you set up everything so that you don’t have to worry about the feedback loop. You can even automate your replies by setting up different responses for each star rating, making the review experience for your customer more personalized.
At any time, you can log into your account and change the responses if you feel they have become repetitive. In this way, you can salvage your online reputation by making your customer’s voice your most important marketing asset.
Rich snippets increase click-throughs and decrease bounce rates. This is because rich snippets include more information than just the title, URL, and description. This addition makes it easier for users to find what they are looking for while helping you achieve extra traffic and improve your Google ranking.
Additions such as these will create a positive first impression to the audiences you want to attract. If they see a large number of reviews and a positive star rating, that will improve their perception of your company.
Offering potential customers a collection of user-generated content will help them better understand who you are and what they can expect from you. This is one of the most vital benefits of online reputation management. Transparency will win new customers every time.
Share Positive User-Generated Content
We’ve seen how powerful positive reviews are for your reputation. We’ve also seen that the more results you control, the better you’ll look in the eyes of potential customers. So why not use positive social proof on other results to further establish your reputation?
Using review marketing platforms will allow you to amplify your customer’s voice by promoting your best reviews on the most popular social media platforms. You even have the option to insert these reviews along with a topical, high-quality image that reflects your business and branding. Using this technique, positive material is not limited to one platform but can be shared and viewed on different channels to further reinforce your positive reputation.