Your Online Reputation Needs to be Offensive

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Your Online Reputation Needs to be Offensive

By: Steve Raquel, president of IOV Media

“I can’t believe how much

[Insert Company Name] dropped the ball! They were so willing to pick up the phone then, but not when I have an issue?”

Have you ever received or seen one of these type of reviews online?  If it has happened to your business, you know the hair-raising feeling of both dread and frustration of seeing it.  It’s even worse if you didn’t realize it was online for months before you even saw it.

In today’s world, a company’s reputation has jumped offline to online in a big way.  People communicate their love or hatred of a company with just one click.  Unfortunately, many companies are not only slow to realize this paradigm shift, but also feel a bit helpless about what to do in light of it.

As Google’s Zero Moment of Truth explains, consumers no longer have their primary engagement with a brand or product at the point-of-sale, but way before that through review and reputation sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor or even Facebook.

As a business or non-profit organization, it’s important to realize that ignoring your online reputation is one of the worst defensive moves you can make.

Being Offensive

For my clients, I always encourage them to be offensive with their reputation management. Which means they need to be as proactive in managing their online reputation as possible, ensuring they are able to review and react to both positive and negative comments quickly.

How To Create An Effective Reputation Program and Process

One can get really overwhelmed with the amount of review sites available, and the thought of managing 10-15 sites can cause anyone to feel helpless very quickly.

However, we’ve broken a simple reputation program to these following steps:

  1. Facebook/Twitter/Google+ Accounts. These are the big three social media accounts for businesses today. Even if you can’t be completely active on them, it’s important to have an official place where consumers can find you.  Use smartphone apps to help notify you of comments or reviews when you can’t be monitoring it closely.
  2. In terms of review sites, make sure you claim your business on Yelp, which is free to do.
  3. If you are in a specific industry, claim and manage the review sites popular within that industry. For example, realtors should have a Realtor.com profile and Hotels should be active on TripAdvisor.
  4. If you are having trouble determining which review sites mentioned above you should use, Google your organizations’ name to find the various  review sites shown in the first couple of pages.

How To Manage Comments & Reviews

After establishing and managing these sites, it’s important to deal with reviews or comments as quickly they come in.  A recent report by Lithium Technologies found that 53 percent of users who tweet at a brand expect a response within the hour.

For many, that can be a little difficult and that’s okay.  Use notifications to help do the job for you, but when you do get that comment or review that needs to be addressed right away, here are our top three tips:

  1. Acknowledge The Customer First.  Many times, customers complain on social media because they don’t feel like they are being heard. By acknowledging their pain first, it helps start the conversation in a positive tone.
  2. Take the conversation offline as soon as possible. If at all possible, avoid an open discussion on social media about the customer. Take as much information that is necessary online, but make sure you let them know someone will contact them directly (via phone or email) to follow up.
  3. Look to leave legacy statements.  After you’ve resolved a potential issue, go back to the original post and respond with a summarizing statement so that others who look at it in the future will see you are responsive and have attempted to resolve an issue.

If you are looking for a robust program covering a multitude of review sites, we recommend using a review aggregator site such as Reputation.com, which provides a centralized dashboard, notification module and rating system all in one.

As more and more people shift to mobile and use recommendations from reliable sources, going from a defensive to an offensive reputation strategy not only will help you to improve your overall reputation, but give you an opportunity to quickly separate yourself from the competition when it matters the most.

Steve Raquel is the President of IOV Media, a social media marketing consultancy in Chicago.  For more info, visit his website at www.iovmedia.com.

By | 2017-01-03T23:18:05+00:00 August 21st, 2014|Social Media, Tips|Comments Off on Your Online Reputation Needs to be Offensive

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