There was a time when having a social media presence was something just those “cool kids” down the block did. It was seemingly started as a medium of free gossip. But looking at the staggering numbers, 2.95 billion people have logged into some social media platform or another. Clearly, social media has won over hearts in its decade-old presence.
Over the years, social media has grown to become something far more than rating your friend’s pictures. It has now turned into a giant database of customers. This database is targeted by industries worldwide based on their likes and dislikes. There is a development of an endless number of algorithms that sort out potential customers. This helps companies target their audiences in a more streamlined fashion. This is to say that more efforts are put where they matter so as to reap maximum benefits.
Quite naturally, one’s online presence is more than just a webpage where you post pictures and posts you would like the world to see. It is now tool companies use to gain profits and the way you go about with your online presence impacts businesses and sales in ways you could have never imagined.
Online reputation management as a term may not have meant quite a lot in the past few years. They now, however, are making all the waves these days, when it comes to sales and consequent profits that result from them.
Owing to the vastness that comes with a social media account and the immense exposure to global citizens, even though virtually, one comes to the realization that one’s online reputation is no longer in their own control. Imagine a worst case scenario where someone is hell-bent on soiling your reputation online has all the means to do it on a social media platform. To prevent from this happening, you have people who go by the designation, Online reputation managers.
These are tech experts who specialize in remedying one’s online reputation in the best and the most optimized manner possible. They provide, what one could call, an online makeover. How is this done? When you do not have much to praise for, it comes handy to bury all that is bad. That is precisely what happens in online reputation management.
Experts manage to remove the world’s visibility on negative results. In parallel, they promote content that pushes a better image of you in front of people who matter. Basically, giving control over to companies and letting them decide how they come across potential clients and customers is what an online reputation manager does.
The internet surely has emerged as a digital channel where fortunes are made. There is little doubt about the fact that a kind word or two said about the services you provide travel faster through the electronic medium. It does not entirely sound feasible for the reputation of a company to depend on the hands of people you cannot easily trace down; people who perhaps have not even used your services and are probably just trolling for fun.
In many cases it has been noticed that vengeful ex-employees take up to the internet to tarnish the reputation of the company. This is when they take their tiff with the company way too far. These things happen to impact a company’s positive online image in a drastic manner. Subsequently, this starts showing up on the sale charts and it overall is not a very pretty picture to present to your authorities.
How online reputation can be harmed?
Places you would like your business to stay adrift of over the internet are many, but here are just a few basics your company has to avoid showing up at:
The whole review system is a company’s approach to reach out to its customers. This is a move made by several companies to increase customer interaction. It is also to get suggestions from them about the changes they look forward to seeing. Enhancing customer service through this is all fine and dandy.
But all will not fare well if you start getting in a regularly consistent amount of negative feedback. That is the thing with online reviews: good or bad, they show up nonetheless. And too many bad reviews showing up the moment someone looks up your brand is publicity your brand could do without.
Though you may have heard this phrase going around far too often that “there is no such thing as bad publicity”, it is not entirely true in terms of business. It may hold true in terms of a glam icon or a pop-star, but definitely not the case with profitable turnovers. Negative feedback hits sales in a bad way. For a thriving business, keeping out of the negative spotlight is important.
A place for people to collectively shade companies, industries, and services for reason or no. Hate sites are an in-thing these days. Staying ashore these treacherous waters is a wise call for the health of your business.
Understanding the importance of online reputation management is essential if you think in the best interest of your company. Knowing is the first step towards action. Once you know, you act in that direction and implement what could serve you right in the long haul.
An online reputation manager would scrutinize your brand’s website and look out for plausible causes for your issue. It could a certain individual spamming hate emails to all your customers, conditioning them to resent your services over time. Or it could be a certain service that is not entirely faring well for your brand and could do with some better tweaks. This would also show that you take the feedback from your customers seriously. It helps you retain your client-base all the same.
Case in point, last year WhatsApp inc now owned by Facebook, rolled out an update that made “status updates” strictly pictographic as opposed to the traditional textual statuses. This met with an online rage of many a million customers from around the world. The app soon apologized for this. They rolled out text status updates almost immediately.
How did it serve them? They not only acquired more users, but they also gained their users’ trust that there is an app that listens. Gaining customer’s trust by implementing change that they desire is something that helps put a good word for your services online. And you know the general rule of thumb in this digital era: what is of the net, stays on the net.
If your brand is online and there is something going wrong, that is not the end of it all. Negative feedbacks will pour in, no matter what you do. What you do with them makes all the difference. So in case you have managed to garner enough hate, there is honestly nothing to worry about. Here is how you can deal with it:
The classic way to go about with online reputation management: take those out which do not serve your purpose well. If a user has posted something offensive or bad about the services which you provide, wherein you are evidently not at fault, then using legal means to get those reviews removed may come in handy. Before it starts affecting you in ways that stand beyond repairable, it is always beneficial to deal with it at its very early stages.
SEO is all about coming in the good books of a search engine algorithm. It concerns itself with displaying only those pages who have a lot of good things being said about them. It considers such “good” sites are relevant to a customer’s search. Online reputation management is about portraying your company in good lights so that more and more people visit your site.
This way, the algorithm notices that a lot of people have good things to say about the services you provide. Thus, it shows you on the first two SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). This gives your business a boost like no other. And in all its essence, reviews are a chain reaction. If a lot of people are speaking good about the services you provide, then more people will join the bandwagon.
If your company is facing serious online problems, then it is necessary to hire professional help. Let expert online analysts investigate the matter, and narrow down on potential threats and attackers.
In the digital era, marketing online is easy. But it is a tricky endeavour nonetheless. Not all brand mentions and communication appearing online are under your control. Getting your digital perception right on all major influencing channels is the right step to take in this regard. Putting efforts to this activity with the help of online reputation management would work out in your favour sooner than you realize.
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