How to Develop a Reputation Management Strategy
Managing your online reputation is an important tool to have for any business. More and more people perform extensive research before making any kind of purchase in today’s world, so the information on the Internet about your company is crucial to your success. By integrating a plan for reputation management into your overall Inbound Marketing strategy, you are not only setting yourself up for success, but also gaining significant customer feedback.
An online reputation can reflect everything about a business, from the quality of your product to the level of customer service to the purchasing experience itself. With so many options available to people, it is imperative that you do your best to manage your reputation not just after an experience has occurred, but also before.
If you are waiting to put out fires that you find on social media or other forums, you are too late. The first step to creating an online reputation is to take precautionary measures to keep it under control before any reviews even appear.
The best way to create a successful strategy to manage your online reputation is by creating an accurate buyer persona. This will give you an idea of who your ideal customer is, what problems they need solved, and where they will look for answers.
Once you know where they will look for the answers, you will know where to focus on for your online reputation management. After you have built a buyer persona for your Inbound Marketing strategy, you will be able to successfully create a reputation management strategy to work in conjunction with the rest of your marketing strategy.
Get started creating your own buyer persona for your ideal customer by downloading our free Buyer Persona Template!
What Impact Does My Online Reputation Truly Have On My Business?
One of the main reasons to manage your online reputation is for the impact a positive or negative reputation can have on your business. As we’ve mentioned before, the way people make purchases has changed. No one makes a purchase without fully researching their options ahead of time anymore.
Because of this, people take into account the online reviews and mentions others post about your company. If you take the time to cultivate a positive reputation, you will have a better chance of gaining new leads and closing more customers.
Learn more about the impact reputation management can have on your company here.
How Do I Create a Positive Online Reputation?
The best way to create a positive reputation is to take precautionary measures to ensure your reputation is positive before it has a chance to be negative. By creating consistent strategies for how you present your brand and your customer experience will allow you to prevent negative experiences from happening.
Staying consistent with your brand and your message will also allow you to handle negative reviews or comments professionally. If you have a consistent strategy for handling negative reviews as well as positive reviews, you will be able to cultivate a positive online reputation both before and after any problems arise.
Learn more about being proactive about your online reputation through consistency here.
How Do I Handle Negative Online Reviews?
Even with all your hard work to preemptively take charge of your online reputation, it is a fact of life that negative reviews will happen. However, part of your online reputation is built on how you handle the negativity online as well as the positivity.
One of the best ways to handle negative reviews is to try to monitor where your buyer persona or ideal customer “hangs out” online. This way, you are aware of what is being said about you and where it is being said.
When you receive an online review, especially a negative one, part of your reputation stems from your response to the review. As best you can, you should never ignore or silence negative reviews. Instead, you should come up with a strategy to handle these negative reviews in a professional and respectful manner.
Learn more about managing negative online reviews here.
How Do You Get Feedback From Customers Before They Post Online?
In a perfect world, you would be able to hear from every customer about their experience with your company before they posted it online. The feedback you hear from every customer is crucial to learning more about what works and what needs improvement in your business.
While you may not be able to intercept every review before it is posted, you can take steps to gain information from your customers following a purchase or transaction. Using tools like Net Promoter Score surveys allows you to gain information from your customers on how their experience was with your business.
If their experience was positive, you can ask them to leave a review for your company online. If it was negative, you can ask them what you could do to improve in the future, which may alleviate the need for them to post negotiable online.
Learn more about using Net Promoter Score surveys as a tool for reputation management here.
Reputation Management may not be the first thing you think of when someone discusses a marketing strategy. However, online reviews play a large role in people’s purchasing decisions in the present day. Since these reviews are technically marketing for you, it is in your best interest to try to manage them to the best of your abilities.
Are you interested in seeing a comprehensive Inbound Marketing strategy at work? Download our free Case Study to see how we used Inbound Marketing in a wholesale fashion company!
Written by Amy Silberman
Client Success Manager