What shows up when you Google your company’s name? Is it a bunch of blog posts and tweets from people who’re fuming about something you did? Or are most of the comments you’ve received online fairly positive? If you’ve got a bunch of negative reviews about your business floating around online, they could come back to haunt you if you don’t take appropriate action. For example, if you were looking for a new mobile phone online, and the first result on Google was something like “John Doe’s mobile phones are a waste of money, and here’s why”, how likely would you be to even consider John Doe’s mobile phones going forward? Probably not very likely.
Don’t underestimate the power of user reviews. They are one of the primary factors which influence whether or not people choose to do business with you. A couple of haters who spam your timeline on launch day with negative reviews and comments could really throw a spanner into the works. This is why online reputation management (ORM) is crucial.
ORM is the process of making sure that your current and prospective customers have a positive image of your business. This involves several different factors – being attentive to what people say over social media, understanding your audience and the kind of communication they want to receive and generally being honest about your capabilities and shortcomings. Oh, and don’t make your website a nightmare to visit and navigate. Make sure people know exactly what it is they’re signing up for when they choose to do business with you. (Getting a random bunch of fake positive reviews from people named “Mike”, “Steve” or “Robert” isn’t how you go about this.)
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can never have a 100% positive rating online. Even if you’re the best thing since sliced bread, there will be some people who don’t like what you’re offering and will choose to express their displeasure online. Expect these things and don’t get into heated discussions with your haters. Keep a cool head, listen and try to better your service.
With that in mind, here’s a closer look at how ORM works, and how you should go about it in this Infographic.