Reputation is everything when it comes to the success and survival of your business. The hard part about reputation is that it doesn’t stem just from what you do or say. It is also largely influenced by what others say and do. This can get especially tricky when it comes to your reputation online.
The new features of the web today have given people many opportunities to affect even the strongest of business reputations, whether that be positively or negatively. This means it is vital to monitor your online reputation. As a popular Los Angeles digital marketing agency, we know how important an online reputation is for a successful online marketing campaign. Our team has compiled some reasons why you should monitor your online reputation and how you can do that easily.
5 top tools for online reputation monitoring
1. An online presence is everywhere.
There are tons of platforms your online reputation can spread to, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Quora, Reddit, Tripadvisor, and more. The list of platforms can go on forever. There are many ways customers can find information on your services and products. Having a blog or a social media page is a great place to interact with your audience and this where a challenge arises. You must try to keep up with your customers’ comments, conversations, thoughts, and feelings they share about your business. Don’t hide away; instead, use this opportunity to join the conversation.
Try to respond to comments in a positive and professional manner. This also includes the bad and negative comments. The way you respond to comments will leave an impression on other clients and will say a lot about your business.
2. Review responses are crucial
Around 90% of people trust online reviews much more than they trust a word of mouth recommendations. This means an online review can make or break your online reputation. You must always respond to positive recommendations and mentions. It is also essential that you also reply to negative comments to show people that you truly care. Responding to negative reviews will allow you to publicly take care of situations that have the potential to damage your online reputation. Leaving comments and mentions unnoticed will make your company seem arrogant and will not appeal to potential customers.
3. Unknown business claimers
In a world of catfishing, it is not unusual for businesses to also become targets just like individuals. Literally, anyone can go online and list your business as theirs. Just as you are able to purchase business domain names and register them on social media platforms, anyone else can also do this. Someone could easily claim your business and start to tarnish your online reputation by posting whatever they want.
But, you can reclaim your business if you see that it has been listed by someone else. This process isn’t very fast, and you must show various forms of certification, but it is still possible. All of this explains why it is crucial that you monitor your online reputation. If you are able to catch these catfishers quickly, they won’t have time to post anything since you will have reclaimed your business.
4. People trust people
Online reviews are much more powerful than you would think. Just as in real, people trust other people online too. Time is a precious thing, and people tend to blindly trust reviews instead of doing any fact-checking. A single five golden star review can convert a casual visitor into a long-time client. The same way a negative review can seriously damage your business. Our team recommends showcasing positive reviews and testimonials on your website. Don’t overdo it, so it doesn’t seem like you are bragging, but let people know of your positive reviews.
When it comes to negative reviews, we all know how quickly a business can fail. Once a day, a hashtag canceling a certain business is trending on Twitter. It is not that easy to come back from being canceled online. Instead, if you are monitoring your online reputation, you can take control of a bad situation quickly. Once you apologize or fix an issue that arises with a client, you will instead be put in a more positive light afterward.
5. Automation tools
Some businesses choose to activate automation tools for their social media platforms. We are not saying this is a bad thing, but it must be monitored. You must always check up on what is being posted from your business sites. Make sure that it is always authentic and relevant. Users will immediately be able to tell that your posts are automated and not genuine if they sound too robot-like. Content is king, so make sure you like what you are putting out into the world.
Now that you have understood the importance of monitoring your online reputation, it is time to move on to the process of doing this. It may all seem daunting at first, especially if you aren’t very tech-savvy. But, our team is here to assist you with this. Read on for our compiled tips on how to easily monitor your online reputation.
Watch review sites
Of course, one of the obvious ways to keep track of your online reputation is by checking review sites like Yelp. These sites allow everyone to add a listing, so even if your business doesn’t have an account, it might still be on there. Your business may unknowingly be collecting reviews, so it is important to check up on these sites. Make sure you claim your listings whenever possible to avoid any damage and monitor review sites very frequently. If you see negative reviews, do not panic. Respond in a positive and professional manner, thanking them for the constructive criticism. Try to resolve their issue whenever possible and let them know about it.
Use Google Alerts
Another great way to monitor your online reputation is by using Google Alerts. When you activate this service, Google is going to notify you whenever new content is published about you. They will search for the keywords you provide. You can set up searches for your name, the name of your business, and some of the most common misspellings of the name of your business. With this service, you can keep track of what is being said about you. Then, you can be quick to catch and discuss negative reviews, and also get back to positive mentions. You may even make alerts for the names of your competitors, to keep tabs and see what people say about them.
Monitor your social media platforms
Social media is a very easy and simple way to get all the information you need about businesses. You must always check your social media accounts as a way of monitoring your online reputation. Even if you are unable to post every day, you should check every day to keep up with the engagement. The same rule used for online reviews also applies here. It is crucial that you reply to both positive and negative comments that have to do with your business. You can turn on your email notifications, so you are aware of the posts and comments that are published.
Monitor your blog
A blog is the best way to engage with your customers and showcase how your services or products help them. Enabling comments on your blog is also a good way to interact with customers. You never know how one comment will give you a good idea for a new product or service. This way, you can also see what your customers enjoy reading and post more similar content. But, this is also a risk since you are opening your page to spam and negative comments. Spam comments give your blog a very unprofessional look. Try to keep up with your comments and delete those that look fake or worthless.
Check up on your partners
Collaborating with other businesses is a great opportunity to increase exposure, promote your business, and lower online marketing costs. But, before you start a partnership, make sure you check up on their online reputation. A very negative online reputation may also harm your business in the end. Be aware of what you are associating yourself with and be prepared for any consequences that may arise. If you are just starting to construct yourself a reputation or are coming back from a setback, then stay away from businesses who are going through the same thing.
Ask Your Customers
Your loyal followers and customers can also help monitor your online reputation. Use surveys, polls, and questionnaires to get a general sense of opinions. Ask them about the experiences they have had with your website and other platforms. Do not overwhelm them with too many or too frequent questionnaires. Keep your questions short, simple, and fun.
Use other monitoring tools
If you want other more detailed monitoring options, then you can use a variety of tools available on the internet. Here are a few of our favorites.
YouScan is basically a listening tool. It scans all social media platforms and other websites for any brand mentions. This tool is also able to analyze mentions to understand the broader social impact. It comes up with billions of data points that you can go through along with many ways you can analyze the data. The most unique feature they offer is image recognition features, so users can get incredibly specific with visual searches.
To set up your account, you must insert some searches to obtain the data you require. Once the system has identified data that meets your criteria, you can go to a section that will show you all mentions that the system has collected, and that matches those criteria. You are able to filter everything down to look at only what is relevant to your search. With their visual tool, you are able to get super specific and look through all the images that are associated with your search. You can also find interactive graphs that show all the trends that have to do with the topics of choice.
BrandMentions is another site that does some deep digging. It analyzes every single major social media platform. This tool will also look through other non-social websites like news, blog, and review sites.
During the set-up, you go through a thorough process of firstly identifying all the keywords you wish to track. You are also able to monitor all of your competitors’ keywords and social media platforms. With this tool, you can set up a project to require the inclusion and exclusion of specific keywords in your results. Of course, you can also filter all your results afterward.
Once you create your project, it will only take a few minutes, after which you will be able to look at a breakdown of your mentions. You will have many opportunities to filter the results, and you can pick a specific mention for a more in-depth analysis. If you wish to reply or interact with social posts, you can do it directly from their site.
As you can see, monitoring your online reputation is a key step in the online marketing process. Always keep a lookout for mentions all over the internet. Be active on social media and check anywhere you might think of that could include a mention of your business. Check up on review sites every single day and respond to all positive and negative mentions. Always keep it professional, polite, and positive when responding to clients, no matter what they wrote. Do not be discouraged by negative opinions; instead, use this opportunity to see your flaws and improve. This process only looks scary from the outside, but it is just keeping a careful lookout for all mentions. If you need some extra help with online reputation monitoring or don’t know what tool will work the best for you, you should contact our team at Mirdon Production. We will gladly help you every step of the way, so you will never have anything to worry about.