Regardless of your industry, managing your digital reputation is critical for success. In fact, 97% of business owners say digital reputation management is essential for a strong business.
Your digital reputation is your online behavior. It includes everything your brand does online.
Business owners must be in control of their online presence. It shapes how present and future customers perceive your brand. Your digital reputation has a tremendous impact on your business and its potential growth.
A few benefits of a strong online reputation include:
- Generating more leads and sales
- Increasing brand value
- Lowered marketing costs
- Attracting better talent for your team
When it comes to your digital reputation, focus on your website, social media, and online reviews.
Your Website Leads to Sales
If you’re not interested in growing your brand, then you don’t need a website. But if you’re looking to generate new sales, a well-functioning website is critical.
First of all, having a website isn’t just for selling your goods or services. Its purpose is to provide potential customers with something of value. That could be goods or services, but it also includes helpful information.
Provide Immediate Information
People have grown accustomed to accessing information quickly online. When we can’t get the answers we’re looking for, we get mad.
According to the American Marketing Association, 60% of customers expect online information. Over 50% of consumers rely on brand websites to learn more about a company’s products and services.
When they can’t find what they want, customers look elsewhere. That means navigating away from your business and checking out your competitor’s website.
A useful website makes it easy for potential customers to learn more about your business. It allows them to hop online at any time and find what they’re looking for. In turn, it leads to new sales opportunities for you.
Control What Customers See
You can’t control Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews. But you can control the content on your website.
Your website is a platform for you to paint the image you want your customers to perceive your business as. It allows you to explain your company’s mission, goals, and background.
A company blog is one example of an excellent tool for boosting your digital reputation. It allows you to highlight business achievements and shed spotlights on community involvement. Incorporate social media icons so customers can share through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Feature hand-selected reviews on your website to enhance your reputation. Pick a few noteworthy client testimonials and sprinkle them throughout your website.
Controlling your digital reputation through your website is a key advantage of online marketing. Without it, you’re missing out on sales, better brand awareness, and business opportunities.
Beat Your Competition
Does your competition have a website? If so, you should be familiar with what they’re doing. This way, you can beat them.
When consumers start researching new products and services, 72% go online. They primarily seek out educational material and read online reviews.
This isn’t new information. Every year the number of people relying on Google to learn more about businesses increases.
If your competitors have fast, mobile-friendly websites with great content, they’re beating you. Simple as that.
Check out your top competitor’s websites and see what they’re doing. Then work with marketing professionals to beat them.
If your competitor has a blog, design a better one. Improve your website’s SEO so you rank higher in Google. Claim and manage your online business listings to increase your overall website traffic.
Go through the motions a customer would do on your website and compare it to your competitors. Which one is easier to use? The answer should be yours.
Boost User Experience
The better the user experience of your website, the higher your digital reputation. A well-functioning website allows users to access information as quickly as possible.
The website instantly loads. It adapts to the user’s technology. It has clearly-written content.
Simple ways to enhance user experience on your website include:
- Protecting user identity with an SSL certificate
- Increasing website load time
- Providing clear and concise content
- Incorporating site maps and navigation arrows
- Adding call-to-action buttons (call us, email us, visit us)
- Providing contact forms
- Using images wisely
- Hosting your website on a responsive (mobile-friendly) platform
An improved user experience makes it easy for customers to get what they’re looking for. It raises the likelihood of them returning to your website in the future, leading to more sales.
Social Media Builds Relationships
Social media sites provide platforms for opinions, recommendations, and sharing interesting tidbits. As a business owner, you need to capitalize on its opportunities.
Embrace and own your digital reputation on social media platforms. Key outlets include:
Find out which social platforms are the most active for your industry. Make sure your business is represented there.
Be a Responsive Business
Social media is extremely public. This means you better be monitoring what people are saying about your business. While you can’t delete what others post, you can respond.
Responses show customers you care. It alerts the customer who left the comment that you care about what customers say online. It also shows potential clients that you take customer service seriously.
When customers post photos of product, comment and share the post. Online engagement makes customers more likely to use your business or recommend you to a friend.
In fact, 93% of people who follow small and medium-sized businesses on Twitter plan to make a purchase.
As a business, you should engage with all online mentions of your brand. This allows you to build new customer relationships and increase sales.
Build Trust Online
In 2014, Proctor & Gamble spent $4.6 billion engaging with customers on social media. Why? It grew their business.
A social media following allows non-stop interaction with clients. Speak directly to your customers, answer questions, increase consumer trust, and build relationships. All of this enhances your digital reputation.
How should you engage with customers on social media?
Use Facebook messenger to chat one-on-one with clients. Post tutorials of your products on Instagram Live. Respond to customer feedback on Twitter.
The more you engage with your customers, the more trust you build in your business. Customers will feel comfortable and familiar with your brand. This leads to better sales and business opportunities.
Amend Client Complaints
Mixed in with the positive customer feedback will be a few negative complaints. Use social media to amend discrepancies and improve customer relationships. Actively working with customers online strengthens your digital reputation.
Monitor your digital reputation through social media outlets. This means you’ll be one of the first ones to see a negative review or comment.
Once you find something, act immediately. This shows your business takes feedback seriously and quickly addresses customer complaints.
Leave a public comment addressing the issue and offer potential solutions. Include a phone number or email address the customer can reach you at.
Public comments are ideal for managing your digital reputation. They provide feedback for the customer and any other customers following the thread.
Use public comments to your advantage. Address the complaint as well as display to new customers how important customer care is. Be professional, concise, positive, and polite.
Consumers expect businesses to address their concerns online. Research shows 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to online reviews within one week.
If you can, after leaving a public comment try to take the conversation offline. Customers are more inclined to share information and work with you privately, one-on-one.
Mending online customer complaints saves you from dropping lifelong customers. It prevents the bad press from spreading. It stops you from losing future business.
Dominate Through Online Reviews
Consumers depend on online reviews as much as personal recommendations by friends. Recent consumer reports found 74% of potential customers trust businesses with positive reviews.
Google is the number one review resource for consumers. Six out of every 10 customers rely on the search engine for reviews. Facebook is number two.
As for negative reviews, 94% of consumers say poor online feedback deters them from a business. A customer is 21% more likely to leave a negative review over a positive one. This makes it imperative for companies to monitor their digital reputation.
Reviews through platforms like Yelp, Google, and Facebook impact your sales. Internal reviews from employees on Indeed and Glassdoor affect your ability to recruit talent.
Stay active online and manage your digital reputation. Keep it under control or your business will suffer.
Respond to Reviews
Managing your digital reputation is frustrating because you cannot control online reviews. You cannot delete a review on a third-party website. At most, you can report the review to the site for further evaluation.
Only if the review violates that site’s terms will it be deleted. This includes foul language, threatening speech, and being written by a competitor. Otherwise, the review is there forever.
Your best course of action when it comes to negative reviews is to issue a well-thought-out response. This relays to the customer that their feedback is valued and gives you the chance to mend the situation.
Businesses find 33% of the time, positive responses lead to better reviews. Customers change negative reviews to reflect their positive experience with the business. After interacting with the business online, 34% of customers delete negative reviews altogether.
On Google, responding to reviews increases your SEO. This is the rank your business appears in search engines. The higher your rank, the better your website traffic.
According to Google, high-quality and positive reviews increase your business’s visibility. They raise the likelihood of other potential customers visiting your business.
Respond wisely to online reviews and your digital reputation will improve. This leads to better visibility, new customers, and an increase in sales.
Find Your Review Niche
It’s no secret customers rely on online reviews, so much that 90% of consumers check out reviews before making a visit to a business.
Therefore, not having a digital reputation is just as damaging as having a poor one.
Encourage customers to leave feedback and testimonials. Software programs make it easy for satisfied customers to leave feedback. You should be posting links to review sites on your social media pages, website, and in emails.
Find out what platforms customers are most likely to use for your industry and make sure you’re on them. For example, businesses in the hospitality industry should be on Yelp and TripAdvisor. Home contractors need to be on Houzz.
Find your niche and start building your digital reputation there. Growing visibility on these platforms increases your reach. It connects your brand with prospective clients, leading to new business opportunities.
Encourage New Reviews
If you can’t turn a negative review into a positive one, your best tactic is to hide the poor review. This is only done by getting more positive feedback.
If your business consistently receives new reviews, old ones get buried. This makes negative reviews harder to find.
While they’re still out there, users most likely won’t find them. Customers typically skim a company’s top 10 reviews and form an opinion.
Regardless if it’s negative or positive, the more online reviews you receive, the better. They increase your SEO, build trust in your brand, and lead to new sales opportunities.
Start Managing Your Digital Reputation
A strong and well-managed digital reputation is essential to your business’s success. It leads to:
- Increased visibility online (for new and existing customers)
- New prospective customers
- Better brand awareness and recognition
- Improved customer relations
- High sales and business growth
- Great talent wanting to become a part of your team
Crush your competition by dominating digital marketing with a strong online reputation. But in order to have a solid digital reputation, you have to manage it.
A clear and useful website attracts more online traffic than ever before.
Actively engaging with clients on social media builds strong relationships with customers. It also increases trust in your brand.
Having a plethora of online reviews attracts new customers every single day.
So what are you waiting for? Get started building the best digital reputation your industry has ever seen.