Your online reputation determines how others perceive your business when they search for or stumble upon it online. Consequently, online reputation management (ORM) proactively influences what information people will find.
ORM is not only about managing content in search engines, though. It’s also about managing negative business reviews and encouraging happy clients to contribute more positive feedback.
Did you know that according to BrightLocal, “85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations”? What’s more, “49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business.”
Online reputation management is an ongoing task which serves to create, cultivate and maintain your brand name and its good standing online. Much like traditional reputation management, it’s all about perception.
For online reputation management, that means building a digital public image, one online review at a time, so that anyone searching for your brand finds 5-star reviews and positive customer experiences that paint your company in the best possible light.
Today, online reputation management is as vital as content marketing, paid search and SEO for local businesses. As consumers have migrated to online shopping in place of traditional in-store experiences, the need for positive customer sentiment online has grown.
Consumers put their faith in online reviews—87% of consumers look for 3-5 star reviews before they will use a local business. If you aren’t regularly achieving an average 3-5 star rating or aren’t actively soliciting reviews, chances are that those potential customers will look elsewhere.
Social media is a crucial part of the consumer purchase process. With so many business pages indexing highly in Google for the business name, it’s easy for a shopper to turn to a business’ Facebook page to find out more information. Just as they do on review platforms and search engines, Facebook reviews and recommendations act as social proof of the quality of your business.
Social commerce is also on the rise, meaning reviews on social platforms can impact on purchase decisions in other ways, too. A 2017 research report by Open Influence found that 47.7% of US social media users had made their most recent purchase from Facebook.
ViSenze research has also found Facebook to be the primary influencer on purchases made by social media users—meaning great reviews here can also have a positive impact on your small business’ bottom line.
Now, you might not think that people are searching for you, but chances are they are. Common reasons include:
- Employers doing pre-interview research
Landlords looking into prospective renters
Children searching for details of their parents’ “real lives”
Curious significant others, past and present
Former colleagues looking to share professional opportunities
College admissions departments evaluating prospective students
Insurance companies doing risk assessments
No matter how “under the radar” or “low-tech” your lifestyle, there is a good quantity of information about you online—and people are seeing it.
It’s important to keep tabs on what people are saying about you online and then take steps to correct any inaccuracies. (Here are some tips to help you get started.)
For the same reasons, you also need to monitor things that you post yourself. Thanks to social media, even posts from decades earlier can come back to harm you. Consider the following examples, all vastly different:
we recognize the need for local businesses to have stellar review profiles in order to continue to compete. Online reviews and feedback are becoming much more prominent in search and other areas, so building a trustworthy reputation and keeping that customer love is more important than ever.
That’s why we’ve developed online reputation management tools that allow you or your clients to generate, monitor, and showcase online reviews in a smooth, seamless, and successful way.
Social Media Presence