How to Counteract Negative Information With Online Reputation Management
BY: BORIS DZHINGAROV ON FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2017
You don’t need to be an international corporation with billions in annual revenue to benefit from online reputation management. Even the smallest businesses can profit from this service. No matter what your size, your company is at risk from negative online comments that can impact your brand/image, as well your finances. Smart businesses of any size can reap the advantages of an active plan that monitors and neutralizes unfavorable online information.
About Online Reviews
Online consumer complaints are a very public matter, and very popular as well. Everyone’s a critic, and in a country that celebrates individuality, we love to give and get advice about everything from books and movies to the state of the world and how the president is doing. We follow threads from our favorite news sources, companies and bloggers, and we jump right in with our comments whenever we feel the need. Beyond that, there are several review sites for everything from restaurants to handyman services and so much more.
There may be several factors influencing a consumer’s bad review, and businesses are vulnerable in many ways. For example, a restaurant may receive a poor rating because the food is slow or the waitress makes a mistake. Or the floor is dirty, the bathroom is out of toilet paper, the steak is too rare, the bill is too expensive, or maybe the customer is just in a bad mood. Reviews are not always fair, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an audience.
When consumers search for your company and its products, what will they find? If it’s harmful information, you may find it affects your ability to draw new customers. In a survey by technology market research company Dimensional Research, 86 percent of respondents said their buying habits were influenced by bad reviews, while 90 percent said their purchases were affected by good reviews.
A Nielsen survey finds that 68 percent of those responding admit to trusting online posts of consumer opinions. This survey also finds that 48 percent believe the information in the ads that turn up in search results, as well as online video and social media ads. However you slice and dice the information, it all means the same thing: A majority of consumers admit to first, reading reviews and second, basing their buying decisions on those reviews.
Gaining Insights Into Your Company
Taking control of your online reputation can benefit you in many ways. One of them is that you may gain some insight into how well your company takes care of consumers. Customer service has always been king, and it hasn’t changed over time. In the Dimensional Research survey, the focus itself is customer service and how those issues are resolved, or not. Nearly three-fourths, or 72 percent, of respondents, felt that having to repeatedly explain a problem to a number of people at the company is bad customer service. And 51 percent said their bad review was due to the company’s failure to resolve the issue.
Control Your Reputation
Reputation control is a necessary part of online business and always will be. As long as there are people, there will be negative comments, and the Internet is only going to continue expanding. An online reputation management company such as Reputation Defender can help you create a strategy for monitoring and controlling unfavorable information.
How it Works
The goal of reputation management is, simply put, to bury any negative comments by creating and posting a wealth of positive information. This strategy takes into account the way search engines work, which involves rankings and page visits. It’s important not to click on anything negative because search engines see that click as a point of popularity, and the more you click, the more credence you lend to the negative information. Instead, you should counter with an expanded online presence that cancels out the bad comments and promotes your company in a positive light.
Additional benefits of actively managing your reputation in this way can include:
- Consumer trust: Earn the confidence of consumers and potential customers.
- Transparency: You will have a great opportunity to explain company policies and procedures.
- Online presence: Expand your online presence and reach new audiences.
- Endorsements: Other customers are encouraged to endorse you with good experiences.
- Word-of-mouth: By expanding your online presence, you can help start some positive buzz about your company.
- Change perceptions: Take the opportunity to show customers that you value them.
Page Rankings Matter Too
Along with publication of your new information, Reputation Defender offers techniques to raise important content about your company and/or its products to the top of the search results. This can help push any misinformation down the page and into the less-read results pages.
It is crucial for companies to focus on reputation management if they want to compete in the online marketplace. With an ever-growing online population, you can’t afford not to.
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