A 2018 study conducted by TripAdvisor revealed that 97% of reputable business owners believe that online reputation management is extremely important and is at the top of their priority list.
Every business should consider their online reputation and how it impacts their business and brand image, and here are 3 reasons why.
1. Your Online Reputation Can Impact Sales
Having a good online reputation has been proven to increase sales.
Most people turn to the internet when they are looking for a product or a solution to a problem.
How many times have you had a question, were searching for a product, or just wanted to know more information on a certain topic and just googled it? For most people, the answer is many times.
You want to make sure that when people stumble upon your name or your brand while surfing the internet, they only see positive things associated with it. If they see anything negative, they may choose one of your competitors.
For example, if you are searching for a doctor in your area and stumble upon two possible candidates, you will likely research them both to see which one is the best choice for you.
If you find that one of them has bad online reviews from former or current patients, and the other has great reviews from former or current patients, you are more likely to pick the doctor who had the better reviews.
Businesses should monitor their online reputation by monitoring where their brand is mentioned online. For example, 66% of businesses use social media to keep track of what people are saying about their business.
Businesses also monitor search results and review sites to collect customer feedback and consider what they can improve to protect and build their online reputation.
By proactively monitoring their digital reputation, businesses can ensure people will talk positively about them online, which will help them attract new customers and increase revenue.
2. Potential and Current Employees Care About Your Online Reputation
According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 54% of American job seekers have used the internet to find a job. These numbers have doubled since 2005 and are projected to increase every year moving forward.
If you are in the market to hire employees, it is very important that the information written about your company online is all positive. If there is anything negative, chances are that the job seeker will not want to work for you and will find someone who has a more positive online reputation.
For example, a recent study found that employees will not tolerate certain unethical behaviors from their employers, such as not acting against sexual harassment claims (79%), selling user data without users’ consent (76%), and creating environmental problems (72%).
Other unethical behaviors employees will not tolerate include paying female or minority employees less (71%) and lobbying against consumer protection regulations (69%).
If a business is cited as exhibiting unethical behavior or has negative reviews online, people will be less likely to want to work for that company, which will make recruitment efforts challenging.
You can’t run a business without talented employees and employees care about their employers’ reputation.
3. A Good Online Reputation Can Help You Build Credibility and Trust With Clients
One of the most frustrating things about online reputation is that businesses can’t control what people say about them online. However, businesses can proactively approach their online reputation to build their reputation, rather than just react to what others say.
For example, if you consistently respond to online reviews about you or your business, then the people reading them will develop trust with you or your business. Responding to comments, especially negative ones, shows that you care.
Of course, it is easy to just not respond to any of the things written about you online, but this approach is a mistake many businesses make. Engaging in conversations with consumers can help you build a loyal consumer base and a positive online reputation.
Whether you’re responding to positive or negative comments, you should always be respectful.
For example, if you are the owner of a restaurant, and someone wrote that they had a miserable experience at your restaurant because the food took forever to come out, the best way to handle this would be to say something along the lines of “we are sorry that happened, and we are working on decreasing the wait time in the future.”
Not responding at all can negatively impact your reputation. If you don't take the time to respond to your customers, it implies that you don't really care what your customers have to say.
For this reason, being active on social media and on review sites is very important for businesses looking to approach online reputation management more proactively.
Your Online Reputation Can Impact Your Overall Growth
Your online reputation can impact your success, recruitment efforts, and ability to build rapport with your customers.
If you don't have a strong online presence/reputation, then your business's bottom line may suffer. When consulting the services of online reputation management companies, always practice due diligence to make sure they'll fit your business's needs.