Believe it or not, reputation management can make or break any business that operates in the public eye. Why? Because people’s goodwill and dollars are dependent on how they see and perceive a business. All customer-oriented companies with an online presence must be aware and mindful of what customers are saying about them on the Internet. The reason for this is that a staggering 90% of prospective customers make buying decisions based on reviews and online mentions of a brand/business. And thus, the process of monitoring, identifying and influencing your digital reputation and credibility is vitally important, no matter the size of your business or what industry you operate in.
What is Reputation Management
Reputation management (also known as online reputation management, ORM, and rep management) is the deliberate monitoring and shaping of how public perception about a particular brand, person, or product is perceived.
The first step in rep management is monitoring references to business, primarily via carefully crafted search queries and consistent social media monitoring. Online monitoring on sites like Facebook, Google, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Agoda, Yelp, and so forth deliver an accurate snapshot of current public opinion with regards to a particular business. This must be done on a thorough and consistent basis as the public is reviewing, rating, commenting, blogging, posting, and much more every single day.
Knowing what people are sharing about your business online is the key to success. Monitoring online reputation management provides you with an opportunity to counter negative mentions and encourage positive feedback. An effective ORM strategy will provide you with opportunities to expand your market share and increase your bottom line.
Now that we know what ORM entails and how important it is, here are a couple of reasons to consider putting a precise process in place:
Having a strong corporate image is a requirement in the fierce online marketplace. If you engage and build rapport with your customers, you can expect them to remain loyal and, more importantly, recommend you to family and friends. Sadly, the truth is that businesses risk losing 22% of potential customers who come across a negative comment on the first page of Google search results. This number jumps to 59% and 70% for three and four or more negative comments, respectively.
As mentioned above, a business’s survival is very much dependent on its reputation. One of the significant ingredients in a successful business is trust amongst customers. Innumerable data shows that companies with a good reputation outperform their competition time and time again, even when competing with the same products or services. The reality is that your customers will discuss your business with their family and friends, you want them to be spreading happy, not sad, stories.
Here is some interesting food for thought, statistics show that 83% of job seekers say they are influenced by reviews when making application decisions. Indeed, a whopping 75% of people said they would not be willing to work for a company with a bad reputation. In this way, a company’s online reputation matters for employers more than ever before. It can have severe impacts on the quality of recruitment. Top applicants will research your company before they accept a position.