82% of people read reviews about a business, product, or service before making a buying decision. But did you know that reputation management is more than just answering your online reviews? Learn about the other components of reputation management and why they are important to your small business in this podcast episode.
We invite you to listen here on our website or from your favorite podcast player. Scroll below for episode summary and other resources.
Episode 12 Summary: Reputation Management 101
- Reputation management is the monitoring of your business name and business profiles, what others are saying about your business, and if someone is mis-using or mis-representing your brand name, logo, domain, etc.
- Reputation management crosses over into a few different, more specific categories. For example, you might monitor use of your brand’s name or hashtags across one or more social media platforms. You might monitor mentions of your brand’s name or signature products or services on Google. Or you might monitor and manage reviews left for your business on popular review sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, OpenTable, Airbnb, etc.
- There are a couple reasons why you want to care about reputation management. First, it’s always going to be important to know what people are saying about your brand, both positively and negatively. This allows you to acknowledge and appreciate positive mentions and address negative ones. Second, you might find out that someone is using your brand name or logo or URL to make money for themselves or in hopes of pulling off a scam.
- The good news is: you can monitor these mentions for little to no money, or you can pay a service to handle this monitoring for you. Google Alerts is an example of a free tool to monitor web mentions. If you’re using a social media management software, most have a feature that allows you to brand monitor sentiment and brand mentions, or other important keywords related to your small business.
- Understand that people are talking about your small business online no matter if you have a profile or not. So you can’t really avoid the “bad reviews” and it’s better to be there and be able to respond than trying to hide from anything potentially negative.
- Consider joining local groups as your brand in order to be able to “socially listen” to what customers are saying about your local business.
- Some common questions we hear are: Can I remove a bad review? (No). Should I respond to positive and negatives reviews? (Yes, respond to all of them). Can I hold a contest to gain reviews? (Yes, but you need to include a mention that with the review). Can and should you use positive reviews in your marketing and advertising? (Yes).
- Customers and algorithms like seeing replies from businesses to both positive and negative reviews.
- Consider implementing a paid software or an internal system for following up with recent customers and asking for reviews.
- If you find someone else using your brand name, logo, content, etc., conduct a WhoIs search to determine what company hosts that offending website, and then contact that hosting company so they can remove the stolen/misused content.
Episode 12 Takeaways:
Liz: Reputation management isn’t a sexy topic. It’s not fun, either. But it’s pretty important and every small business can spend a few minutes to set up free searches using Google Alerts to implement some foundational elements of reputation management.
Ronda: Protect your assets. Claim ownership to critical online profiles and review sites. It’s definitely worth the effort and cost.
Resources: Hosting Checker – https://hostingchecker.com/
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