Online Reputation Management 101 [INFOGRAPHIC]
Many people don’t realize online reputation management can be a major factor in encouraging new first time customers to pull the trigger. They think “well, we are careful not to post anything negative about our company online” and leave the concept at that.
Small businesses are often unaware of things like bad reviews that may be costing them money. When they do become aware the react is often knee-jerk, and attempts to skirt the system can lead to even more long term trouble.
Take for instance the existince of a few negative yelp reviews. Often business owners are not really aware of what yelp is or does until they find a review of their business showing up in google. In the case of negative reviews many business owners immediately jump to the conclusion they should get friends and family to write something nice on their yelp listing to help even out the bad. While encouraging more positive reviews on a site like yelp is in fact a good strategy, yelp is very wise to this tactic. In fact if you encourage people who are not yelp members to go and post on yelp pages with positive reviews it can throw up a red flag for yelp. They will assume these new “yelpers” are likely spam accounts (which in this case would be true) and they will set a spam filter on the yelp listing in question. What ends up happening because of this, is the bad reviews stick, but future good reviews often don’t. So a page with a few bad yelp reviews can turn into a page incapable of combating the bad reviews with good ones. This can be even more profound a problem in small towns and cities where there are not a lot of yelpers around.
Yelp is not the only service capable of detecting spam. Spending money on fiverr (another common approach by web design agencies) for reviews on google, facebook, yelp, and other sites is a really bad idea. These services are capable of spotting these spam accounts and the business listings in question can suffer from it.
The internet is also a new place for people to slander each other. A determined ex-wife or former employee can do real damage to an online repuation of a business or individual. In a world where the yellow pages have been replaced by the internet, being slandered in the phone book is nothing to take lightly. Online reputation is the new frontier of marketing and more businesses today should be spending money managing online reputation instead of trying to get more facebook fans.
Reputation management should be a first class citizen in an integrated marketing approach. People still trust word of mouth, and the new word of mouth is a star rating followed by a review. Does your marketing team have a reputation management solution in place for monitoring the web?
A few quick tips for online reputation management:
- Have a solid strategy for encouraging more positive reviews
- Have a technology solutio
- n in place for monitoring your company reputation
- Do a “secret shopper” style review of your customer service. Sometimes bad reviews and justified.
- Outsource your reputation management to a firm you can trust with a track record of success.