Boosting Online Reputation
You may love your brand and think it’s fantastic. And maybe your girlfriends, your parents, and your dog agree. But none of that matters unless your market is just the guestlist for your Thanksgiving dinner.
You hope your customers feel the same as you do about your brand. But that’s rarely the case.
Your brand’s online reputation constantly evolves and is re-defined by every social media comment, review, and blog post. When someone discovers your business, they make judgments and buying decisions based on this content online.
So if you want to stay ahead and keep your business afloat, you need to proactively manage and improve on all the feedback you receive from the internet.
As with everything, there are practical steps you can take to improve your online reputation proactively. In this blog post, we’ll talk about five things you can do to make sure your brand is always presented in the best light possible.
Monitor your online reputation and presence
Monitoring your brand online helps you find out what your brand image looks like right now. That’s the first step if you don’t know what’s working and what’s not; it’s challenging work trying to improve anything.
What you monitor depends on where your brand is present. Do people talk about you on social media, forums, or review sites like TripAdvisor or Amazon? Do you even know?
If you’re a restaurant, bar, or tourist attraction, you need to at least monitor review sites. If you have a physical location, you can bet that people give their opinions about you on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google. If you sell physical products, you also need to watch Amazon, eBay, and other online retailers.
On top of these critical review sites, you also need to think about blogs. You also have forums, blogs, news sites, and social media to worry about. And it would be best if you tracked all those conversations to have a clear grasp of your online rep.
But people talk about your brand all over the internet, all the time. Trying to monitor all these conversations on your own is a losing battle.
Luckily, there are tools to help.
We recommend you do your brand tracking with Mention, where you can track any conversation of your brand anywhere online and generate analysis and reports with a few simple clicks. A good media monitoring tool lets you track the whole lot from a single dashboard, so you don’t have to go looking.
But if you’re starting, not ready to invest in a tool, and want a quick pulse of your online brand, you can try this free tool, the Brand Grader.
The Brand Grader gives you a quick overview of a brand’s online presence in seconds. Choose the company or product you’re interested in, and you’ll see:
- Their biggest web influencers: influential blogs and news sites talking about them online.
- Their top sources: see whether most mentions come from forums, images, or news sites.
- Brand sentiment: whether people speak about them positively or negatively.
- Location of words: where are people talking about them geographically
The results are pretty powerful for a free tool that takes a few seconds to use.
Have an online review strategy
Online reviews are becoming omnipresent. They are the first thing people see when Googling your business. It would help if you had a solid strategy to manage your online reviews to improve your online reputation.
Because most of the time, people don’t bother leaving you reviews unless they’re super mad and can’t wait to vent online and ask all their friends to do the same. Like my friend, Melissa, who was so annoyed at a shop that after leaving one bad review herself, she asked five other people to do so as well.
And you don’t want to leave your online reputation in the hands of these angry customers.
You can start by actively asking for a review after a transaction or after a customer has used your service for a while. For example:
- After a customer has purchased from either your physical store or your online shop, ask that customer to take a moment to provide you with feedback about the products purchased and the service provided.
- If you’re in B2B, customer success or account managers can encourage customers to leave a review after a catch-up call or after helping the customer with something.
At Mention, we have an in-app pop-up that asks our users how happy they are with our tool. If they put a score higher than 8 out of 10, we ask if they’d like to leave us a review on a public review site.
Most of the time, if customers are happy with your service or product, they’ll agree to leave you a nice message if you ask nicely and tell them how much it would mean to you.
There are many other ways you can actively improve your online reviews, like building your official profiles, responding to reviews, monitoring online review sites, etc. None of it is rocket science, so give it a go!
Work with influencers with excellent online reputation
Influencer marketing has been a marketing trend for a while now. In the B2C world, big brands generate significant ROI with beauty and fashion bloggers, and the B2B world loves to hear from experts and industry influencers who’ve made it.
Working with great influencers boosts your online reputation in these three ways:
First, it expands your reach. I haven’t heard of you, but I’ve heard of them.
Second, it gives you credibility. I don’t know you or your brand, but I trust them.
Third, it allows for cross-promotion. I like them; maybe I’ll pick you, too.
Knowing this, we decided to bring B2B marketing influencers in our videos when we started our video marketing campaign.
These videos have generated a lot of views, shares, and engagement in our social media channels and led to multiple syndications, notably on Convince & Convert and Social Media Today.
Both articles now rank on the first page of Google for the search term “content marketing predictions 2017:
This brand visibility and recognition wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the influencer’s participation in the video.
The key is to find the right influencers that speak to the same audience you’re targeting and have an excellent online reputation of their own.
When we started our expert series, we found marketing influencers by looking at Mention’s influencers dashboard for big guns already engaging with our brand. We also looked at their interests to ensure a market/audience fit.
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