Reputation management’s importance is often overlooked by brands that try to establish a strong digital presence and build trust among their customers. Local business listings make it easy for customers to review their personal experience with a brand, meaning that corporations must remain aware of how their firm is observed by the public. According to ICMediaDirect’s professionals, “what people say about your company has become the most significant reflection of your reliability and services. In essence, you are what people find about you online.” Companies must evaluate customer reviews and adequately address any negative feedback. 70 percent of buyers admit they are affected by negative online ratings before making their own purchase, with criticism deterring them from selecting the products or service offered by a specific company. There are many ways to handle negative reviews, and ICMediaDirect outlines the best approach for responding quickly to rectify any issues offline.
Fully utilizing dedicated social media accounts is a powerful way to effectively improve online reputation. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter rank well on Google; when potential customers search for a brand, service, or individual one of the top hits will likely be a focused social media account. Businesses can then push down irrelevant listings about their companies with a thoughtful and engaging social media presence, as well as provide a controlled outlet to increase interesting postings with excellent SEO. Another benefit of having a presence on these sites is being able to respond quickly to feedback, both positive and negative. Utilizing SEO within responses, social media platforms provide businesses a medium through which to efficiently respond to consumers, while also increasing their Google rankings. Companies gain from having relevant means to express the strengths of their brand and to address concerns voiced by customers. This is going to be especially important in 2016, as ICMediaDirect predicts more platforms will be indexed by Google so that individual posts will soon have the same value as standalone web pages.
While the results are applicable to all businesses, they focus primarily on local businesses. An incredible 92% of those in the study state they would only use a company if it displayed, at minimum, a four-star rating on review sites. The stats are broken down to display reliability (27%), expertise (21%), and professionalism (18%) as the most vital reputations for a local company to be associated with. After analyzing this data and other information, ICMediaDirect confirms that building up a solid online reputation is just as important for a company as maintaining a positive offline standing in the local community.
Managing information appearing around the web is a key pillar of online reputation management. The reputation management professionals at ICMediaDirect suggest claiming all online listings connected to the brand on various platforms, including local directories, Google Places, and any other sites that display business listings. Although companies have little control over the things people say on social media platforms, they can at least influence the conversation by incorporating proactive brand messaging. ICMediaDirect’s team advocates the utilizing the latest marketing technologies, such as storytelling techniques and videos, to create a coherent narrative. Innovative photography, alongside strong storytelling raises engagement and helps businesses to build trust and the right image.