Online reputation is one of the most important things for many brands interested in boosting targeting, getting a high ROI and making the most of their web-based presence.82% consumers rely on onlineuser-generated reviews when making buying decisions. Prior to making a decision about a product, 30% of people spend a few hours on online research and 60% do research for at least one week.
If your business isn’t well represented online, you’re missing on a huge opportunity to properly build up your brand within the minds of your potential target audience. Online reputation establishment (or management), however, is far from an easy task. Here are some of the most common mistakes described by different online experts regarding that matter.
1. Deleting All Negative Comments
Negative comments are a common thing that all brands have to deal with. When addressed in the right way, however, these can turn into a huge promotional opportunity. Did you know that 95% of customers say they’ll still choose a certain company if their criticism gets handled in a quick and efficient manner?
Deleting negative comments is one of the worst things you can do for online branding.For a start, you can learn a lot about customer service by going through the negative reviews and pinpointing common trends. Use the feedback that you get from your customers – it’s invaluable.In addition, you can easily turn a dissatisfied client/customer into a loyal fan. All that you have to do is; investigate the issue, provide compensation when necessary and communicate with the concerned individual in a prompt and respectful manner.
2. Relying on Fake Reviews
It may seem like the easiest thing – writing fake positive reviews or paying someone to do the job for you will quickly result in stellar online reputation. Not so fast! Today’s internet user isn’t that gullible. Most often, this strategy will backfire.
Let’s face it, your customers are far from dumb. A review that’s overly positive and that doesn’t sound like it was written by an actual buyer will quickly be dismissed as fake.What is more, this practice is anything but ethical. This isn’t the type of online reputation you want to be establishing for your brand. Bear in mind that fake reviews can get you in real trouble.Also, please note that creating fake negative reviews for your competitors is an equally ineffective approach. You don’t need to get involved in an online war to solidify your positions and make the most of the online presence.
3. Having no Branding or Online Reputation Strategy
Posting for the sake of posting isn’t going to take you anywhere. You need to have a strategy and a superb idea about what you’re trying to convey. Branding is all about provoking an emotional response and making people perceive your business in a certain way. You can accomplish those goals by choosing the right content and keeping your uploads consistent.Take some time to think about the brand attributes and the online persona that you’d like to create. Once you have a good idea about what you’re trying to accomplish, you’ll find it much easier to make online interactions meaningful.
4. Sharing Personal Instead of Professional Opinions
You’re representing a brand. Keep that fact in mind when working on online reputation establishment! Don’t express personal opinions or allow emotions to take control. Keep it neutral, polite and professional. We’ve all seen those disastrous corporate Facebook profiles that share just a little bit too much. Stay away from controversial topics and create a safe discussion environment. Encourage people to share with you, as long as followers don’t get in heated arguments. Above all, you’ll need to moderate all of your pages on a daily basis!
5. Defensive Communication
Being defensive is as bad, as deleting negative comments from your pages!
You can’t get angry at customers, point a finger or belittle the people writing negative reviews. Chances are that some of the criticism is going to be unfounded. There’s still no need to get defensive about it. Find evidence and present it in a factual way. It’s not that difficult to deal with trolls or constantly dissatisfied buyers. You can get a point across without insulting people or showing just how much the criticism has affected you. Finally, remember to rely on the information that you get from your followers. This is an invaluable resource for further brand development. Online communication is a two-way street. You should know how to build your reputation, but you should also listen.
Mohammed is a Global Brand-Marketing Adviser, Brand Auditor and Business Researcher. He is a catalyst of change who empowers businesses reaching remarkable positions within the minds of their consumers.