When we look back in the 70s the only reputation a company had was from word-to-mouth and in the news. They had to section where people could review with a 1-5 Star rating or with an emoji. People were talking and recommend companies when they had good experiences. They told other people as well when they are not satisfied with the product or service of a company. Big companies might have had to defend their reputation in the newspaper or later on the TV. Now we have an online reputation which gains importance every day. As matter of fact, the world wide web updates in real-time. There might be seconds to reload and we are up to date.
You might think that online reputation just matters for big companies. But with the growing importance of blogs and social media, every small business has to defend themselves when they have bad feedbags and in the worst case it can turn them down. With a very active audience, all businesses that offer products or services are confronted with their online reputation and it is crucial to managing them properly because the opinions of buyers can spread really quickly and can cause damage.
Online reputation management expert describes the concept that aims to create a positive public perception of a company, group, or person. On one side, it means to control all reviews and address them if they might cause damage to the company. For example, answering a review and clearing the problem, making official statements to a negative reputation can save a company from failing.
The goal is to show the qualities of the company and prevent all kinds of negative views. People should be amazed by your company and impressed about other positive experiences with the business.
What are the channels where online reputation management plays a role?
Well, basically everywhere. But let´s pick out some more specifics. Paid media have a great impact on how you are presented. You have full control over it. You are paying other companies to advertise your business in the best way possible. This includes Google Ads, social media ads, sponsored posts, and promotions by an influencer. So, this is a safe move. You are the boss and you decide how your company will be shown to the publicity via other media.
Another channel is the shared media. People share your companies page with comments on other pages. This can be very good for you and it can be very bad if it is a negative reputation that is shared on social media. So, here you don´t have much control you can only monitor and find strategies to manage a negative reputation.
About your owned media, you have full control over how it is shown to the public and you have the power to make it look professional, truthful, and with a high level of quality.
Having a positive online reputation will automatically put your brand in a good and high-quality position. People will recognize it and recommend it to others. So, your brand reputation management is successful.
Having a good reputation influences the buying decisions of people checking your website. Usually, potential customers do researches about the seller before they buy. Having a bad reputation will turn them to the competitor and you will lose sales.
Some years ago, we would call it word-of-mouth. What happened, in reality, is now happening online as well. People recommend your business with a share, a link, or comment and it impacts your whole business. You cannot delete negative feedback. What matters here, is that you should address the problem and find solutions. This will give potential buyers the trust that you can always find a solution when there is a challenge.