With the rising need to establish an online presence, your business’ online perception has never mattered more than it does today. Despite sounding like a simple task, managing a business’ online reputation takes more than being active on social media. If you slip up, you’re likely to jeopardize your company’s future.
This article will offer some insights into online reputation management and how to properly maintain a positive webutation. Additionally, we will also include several tips for choosing the best online reputation management service.
What is Internet Reputation?
An internet reputation comprises users’ perceptions towards a company, a person, a product, or a service on digital platforms. In the business sector, a company’s online reputation contributes greatly to developing brand trust and visibility.
With 88% of online customers relying on reviews to make buying decisions, your business must always maintain a positive rapport.
While there are plenty of ways to improve your business’ reputation online, the easiest way to do it is to hire a webutation or online reputation management (ORM) service. Their primary responsibility is to establish and manage their clients’ digital footprint.
Despite having a similar role to public relations (PR), ORM uses different strategies in creating favorable brand impressions.
While PR works in the limelight by building customer relationships in person, ORM maintains the business’ professional appearance from behind the scenes. For this reason, it would be ideal to use both services.
Here are several business elements that a webutation service generally oversees:
- Online reputation investigation and analysis — monitoring brand reputation and analyzing key risks before launching an ORM campaign.
- Content creation, publication, and promotion — overseeing the making of high-quality content and promotional effort.
- SEO – optimizing content’s discoverability on search engines.
- Monitoring, collecting and managing reviews — managing and devising strategies to encourage comments and customer reviews. Additionally, the ORM service processes both positive and negative reviews and forward the analysis to the company as part of the customer experience improvement program.
- Harmful content suppression or removal — pushing off reputation-harming content of search engines’ first pages or, in some cases, taking it down completely. Despite so, the latter is a rare occurrence due to its legal complications and difficulty.
- Social media management — monitoring and improving social media engagement. This includes handling reputation-harming content and strategizing the best content and time to post content.
How to Choose the Best Webutation Agency
As there are various webutation agencies in the industry, choosing the right one might be a bit challenging. If you’re not careful, you may end up paying more than you should for mediocre services.
Here are the factors you need to consider when picking a webutation agency:
- Company needs — specify your goals and do your research beforehand. Cross-check whether or not the agency’s scope of specialization is what you need. Seek the one that offers personalized strategies and assistance.
- Budget — make sure that the agency’s pricing plans are within budget. Keep in mind that there might be additional costs depending on the size of the project.
- Experience and reputation — knowing the agency’s track records is a good way to measure their capabilities in meeting your needs.
- Customer service — having reliable support at the ready helps you tackle issues that appear along the way.
- Transparency and communication — assess the agency’s integrity and honesty. Avoid picking the ones known for creating fake reviews, keyword-stuffing in content and spambots. Consider it a red flag if an agency refuses to let you preview the content before posting.
- Brand promise — be wary of agencies that give a 100% satisfaction guarantee as it is unrealistic and often misleading.
Recovering from an Online Reputation Crisis
If your business is unlucky enough to attract negative attention, it’s not the end of the world. Besides hiring a webutation agency, there are several measures you can take to reduce the impact.
This step involves mitigating the damage caused by harmful online exposure. It comprises three phases: investigating the extent of the damage, regaining control over public channels, and planning reputation restoration measures.
The first phase includes tracking brand mentions on various digital platforms to gauge the level of awareness threshold. By identifying all media coverage involved in the crisis, it is easier to come up with an effective recovery plan and get maximum exposure.
Another critical aspect you need to measure is public sentiment. If the general response is overwhelmingly negative, it is essential to take immediate action.
Meanwhile, the mixed response indicates that the damage is likely to resolve on its own with minimum intervention. Be sure to identify the similarities of customer complaints to effectively address the issue.
After pinpointing your customers’ common dissatisfaction, address the matter on public platforms. After apologizing for your mistakes, make sure to keep the public and stakeholders updated regarding the actions you have taken to remedy the situation.
The final phase requires you to devise a comprehensive plan to restore your image. To do so, you have to handle negative opinions with tact and grace instead of sending canned responses or dismissing them altogether.
To top it off, you can craft positive and evergreen content to put your company in a good light. If there is a data breach, make sure to handle it accordingly and prioritize your customers’ safety.
Best Practices to Build a Positive Online Business Reputation
Instead of waiting for a crisis to happen, it would be better to establish your online reputation from the get-go. Here are some of the best practices to improve your business’ online credibility.
- Blogging — update your blog with useful content that displays your expertise in the industry. By doing so, you appeal to 94% of consumers who are more likely to visit websites that provide informational content.
- Online presence expansion — diversify your reach on various platforms by creating business accounts on major social networking sites. You can also submit your listing on Google and collaborate with influencers or industry experts to gain even more exposure.
- Brand tracking — monitor brand mentions, the company’s name, and primary executives’ names. You can do so using content detection tools like Google Alert, Buzzsumo, or Talkwalker to gain insights into the latest trends. Additionally, be sure to monitor reviews, address complaints, and be open to criticisms.
Bad internet reputation can be damaging to businesses. Depending on the cause, recovering from an online reputation crisis may be challenging. Thus, it is best to take proactive steps to build and maintain a positive image on the web.
This article has provided you with insights into the importance of online reputation and how to preserve it. If the worst happens, we hope you can mitigate the damage and rebuild your brand swiftly. Good luck!
I am a passionate blogger and the chief editor at my own content marketing company PRable. Since college, I was interested in break-through technology and technical writing about innovative products and services that change our everyday lives for the better. I am also interested in web design and photography.