Reputation management is the act of proactively managing what consumers learn about your business online—usually through Google, social media channels like Facebook, or user-generated review platforms.
This business information can be as simple as your business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP). It also includes reviews about your business, which can encourage potential customers to learn more about your business, or even reach out to schedule an appointment. Inversely, potential customers could be dissuaded into looking elsewhere if they come across a bad review that was not responded to in an effective way.
Go ahead and Google your business. What do you see?
Did your business show up on page one with a 5-star rating? Was the NAP up to date and consistent across all search results? Was there a knowledge panel—that thing that sometimes shows up on the right-hand side with a map to your business, the NAP, photos of your business, etc.?
Or are you a little shocked to you find your business buried on page five? Or if you did show up on page one—at the top through paid search perhaps—did you have a less-than-glowing star rating that is highly visible to potential customers?
Reputation management is important because it helps provide the consumer visibility into your business. It lets potential customers see positive reviews that make your business shine above the competition. Or potential customers could also see reviews like “long wait times” or “the front desk forgot I was there,” and how you respond to these concerns.
What a consumer sees at this phase in the buying process impacts conversions big time. And converting prospects into customers directly impacts how much your business grows.
The U.S. Bureau of Statistics found that 93% of consumers read online reviews before choosing a business to patronize, and 40% of those consumers have already formed their opinion after reading three reviews. This means that if your top two competitors have a higher star rating than your business—you could be in serious trouble.
The good news is that you have the opportunity to get more of those good reviews to give your business the competitive advantage with effective reputation management. And even bad reviews can be a great opportunity for creating loyal customers depending on how (and when) you respond to it. Effective reputation management is key in helping consumers find your business because it helps search engines like Google find your business more easily.
Knowing how consumers see you is essential. Here are the next steps you can take to begin building a stellar online reputation:
Doing all of these tasks on your own can be very overwhelming. A reputation management tool can do it all for you. A reputation management tool, like BirdEye, could be a better alternative—especially if you do not have a marketing team behind you.
Also, a huge part of providing an excellent product and service to your customers is listening to them. Review monitoring is an excellent way to proactively engage with your customers.
Social listening takes this to the next level by collecting information across all of your social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It finds trends after monitoring mentions of your business and related topics, words, and brands over time. Social listening helps you find the root cause behind social conversations and implement a long-term strategy by analyzing the bigger picture.
Dr. Dennis Brender, DDS
Jim Mizes, CEO & President at Blaze Pizza
Timothy D., VP of Sales and Marketing at Great Western Building Systems
Don Deems, Cantrell West Dental