When building a successful business, you soon realize the enormous significance of your company’s online reputation. Particularly in the millennial era, your online reviews are crucial. In one of our recent articles about online reputation management we talk about why reputation management is so important and explain the power of online customer reviews.
Some powerful statistics — including the fact that 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars — show how positive comments about your business and good ratings can improve your sales. But what do you do if you’ve struggled and have bad online reviews and a negative company reputation?
Our BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey showed that negative reviews make 40% of consumers not want to use a local business. With all the hard work that goes into improving traffic generation and getting people to your business, no company can afford to be negatively affected in this way.
So how do you fix your bad online reputation?
Online reputation management is tough for one main reason. Negative reviews or comments are public on the largest stage of all — the world wide web. This means that every negative comment, every stone launched at your brand leaves a digital scar that other potential customers can openly see.
Rather than waiting and being reactive to potential reputation management issues, the best approach is for your business and marketing plan to include ways to get positive reviews from your happy customers. The goal: get more positive reviews and those good reviews will eventually push the negative reviews down and out of view.
Online reputation management is about continuously offering amazing products and services so that your positive reputation grows organically. Don’t wait to repair the cracks that appear. Here are some tips:
- Ensure you are set up and active on all major social media platforms with regular positive posts and interactions with your audience.
- Set up and monitor the top online review sites and check these sites daily to see what your customers are saying about you. There are several reputation marketing software packages out there that can alert you when reviews are left about your business online
- Get a PR plan in place and follow it through. PR is a year-round activity not the occasional one off.
- Publicly display and be proud of your positive reviews on social media, your website, newsletters, print ads – anywhere you can to show that you’re a top-rate business.
- Provide a forum or feedback mechanic for your brand or business so that those with complaints or grievances have an easy and effective way to air them to you personally.
Reputation management online and offline is about creating positivity around your company’s reputation and gathering good reviews 24/7. If you have a torrent of incoming positive sentiment, any bad reviews or negative comments will be buried by the good ones over time.