Curating a good reputation in the digital age has never been so important. What is said about a company online can make or break it’s business. Customer service has gone wireless making it easier for customers to voice their delightful experiences and the not-so-great ones. Not only are customers looking to see what a company does in an effort to fix a mistake they are looking for their stance on current economic and social conversations. Companies now have to choose how they want to present themselves for the entire world to see rather than relying on word of mouth or loyalty. One misstep online and the digital footprint of a company’s failure is on display.
While SEO agencies are becoming one of the most important tools for a company’s growth in the age of the internet it’s important to remember a company has to look at their online reputation with equal concern. Throwing millions at agencies to create online ads, social media posts, and online shopping doesn’t do anything if a company has a one-star rating online coupled with a dozen negative reviews. Online shoppers are savvy. At least eighty percent read reviews before purchasing and most reviews are from other shoppers. If a company doesn’t bother with reviews they might as well not bother having an online presence.
Online reputation repair is another tool that is now at companies’ disposal. With the help of professionals, there are ways to navigate through the thick of a digital blunder or tarnished reputation. Addressing the issues, especially if complaints are about the same product or service, is a good way to start. Fixing the issues visibly through a digital campaign outlining the changes and offering a replacement free of charge for those who had negative experiences will show a company’s willingness to listen.
Online reputation repair doesn’t always have to be giving out replacements or advertising how much a company has changed its ways. There are a variety of other ways to repair the damage from online reviews. Burying negative reviews in google search is something many SEO experts use. It won’t help if views are on other sites such as Yelp but the vast majority of internet users use Google as their search engine. Hired professionals can also help in re-branding to disassociate the negativity with the company’s product name.
Creating social media platforms and ensuring the person running the account is reaching out to customers is a good way to help re-build without expending too much cash for more marketing. Instagram and Twitter allow direct contact from the company to the customer. If a problem arises it can be dealt with immediately and publicly. Many companies have created ‘online personas’ and ran with giving their social media platform its own personality and voice. Engagement is key especially if the attempt is to show positive change. Interacting with people on Twitter or Instagram is the fastest and most broad way to reach a target audience.
Partnering with influencers is a huge marketing tactic that packs a big online presence punch. Research and vetting what influencers a company wants to conduct business with is a must. Many influencers have been online for years even before they became relevant and past bad behaviors have a tendency to resurface. Influencers will review products that are either given for free in lieu of compensation or do a review for money. This advertisement will reach every follower they have and result in multiple views, shares, and purchases based on an influencer’s opinion. Studies show ninety percent of people trust reviews online and influencers already have the trust of their followers.