The increasing importance of online reviews and ratings is more than enough to conjure a paradigm shift in the way businesses manage their online brands. The fact that consumer reviews are trusted 12 times more than product descriptions impels companies into repairing their online reputation to prevent losing potential customers to any negative content.
As a business owner, you must be worried about a one-star review, misinformation, or waves of bad press surrounding your business. These backlashes spur a growing, uncomfortable itch on your side to quickly obliterate the defaming antics. Good thing the industry of online reputation management (ORM) has broadened its methods of shielding a brand against negativity. However, there exists a good and bad approach to online reputation defense.
Here are some of things you need to consider in fixing your online reputation:
• Seeking professional help—Your business can easily turn on a dime once bad content circulates the Internet. Before you succumb to fly-by-night ORM services, you must know that not all ORM firms are legitimate. Some may promise you unrealistic results while others may risk your brand because of black hat methods. The key here is to find the right ORM services provider that uses appropriate methods of removing unwanted online content such as “proactively publishing useful, positive information,” as per Google.
• Getting rid of fake reviews—This isn’t the way to go if you want a successful online branding campaign. You risk a lot by having your company or someone write fake reviews for other businesses, a practice known as astroturfing. With Yelp, Google, and consumer advocacy organizations such as RipoffReport.com on a heightened alert against false reviews, you can no longer bank on sneaky image building schemes. Your best bet? Confronting the issue head on. Reach out to your consumers in the most courteous way possible and look into the validity of their reviews. Make them feel that their concerns matter to you and that the company is doing everything to give them the product/service that they deserve.
• Monitoring and vigilance—The Internet goes live every minute, every second of the day. Anything can happen and your brand is at constant risk. Your best defense is to always stay alert. Monitoring your brand involves active participation in online media and regular posting of fresh and relevant content. Not only will this help suppress negative reviews, but it also boosts the image of your company in a legitimate manner that could transform into increased ROI and an expanded consumer base.
As an entrepreneur, you must take the high road when it comes to repairing your online reputation. How your business looks online influences consumers’ buying decision and you can’t afford to lose revenue just because a negative review is neglected and not addressed immediately. However, overhauling your brand doesn’t stop at managing how you’ll look online. Quality services and products are still proven ways to win the trust of your consumers.