Your online reputation is becoming more critical everyday.
Your online reputation is becoming more critical everyday. Why? Because that’s where most of your customers are. Social media, especially, is a place many go for social interactions with friends and family, to get news updates, and to learn more about a company. They’ll go to your social channels to ask questions or bring up concerns often before calling your company.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen many examples of how social media can heavily influence a brand as well as push negative or positive conversations. For example, the school shootings of recent years generated so much discussion that you were hard pressed to know of someone that hadn’t heard about the event and formed their own opinion. Anti-gun and pro-gun advocates would rise up, finding information from the event that backed up their point of view. Additionally, discussions about children’s safety and the mental health of the shooter nearly always occurred.
No matter where you stand on the discussion, no one can deny the power of these conversations. They went on for weeks, sometimes even months. For social media, that’s a long time. Trending topics on Twitter usually last about 11 minutes, while trends themselves usually exist for less than 10 minutes. And with an average of 8,900 trending topics in the world daily, that short lifetime is understandable.
While school shooting conversations affect most of the United States, conversations about your brand generally will not include such a large amount of people. However, social media conversations about your brand can have similar spread among your audience. Usually discussions with that spread occur during a crisis, but they can also occur when an organization does something positive that resonates with their audience.
One of the best ways to control the conversation of your audience is to build up a positive online reputation. Creating a space for your audience to both connect positively with you and with fellow customers allows them to get to know you better and makes them more likely to reach out to you if they have concerns about your brand, products, or services.
Online reputation management is the practice of maintaining a healthy environment on social media that will attract new customers and retain them.
Each business’s online presence will vary because of their unique audience and offerings. One company might utilize lots of gifs or emojis in their social media posts, while others might favor a more straightforward, practical tone and imagery. Neither of the practices are right or wrong objectively. But, subjectively, a brand’s social media and website presentation should resonate with their customers.
Ultimately, good reputation management will be something customers usually subconsciously recognize. The customer experience journey should be effortless for the customer. They should feel successful after their purchase or interaction with you, and they should feel respect or trust for your business in some way.
In order to communicate effectively with customers and create touch points that allow them to connect with your company in an emotionally positive way, businesses need to focus not just on ROI, but the loyalty behaviors they want their customers to exhibit.
The 5 key loyalty behaviors are word of mouth, repurchasing, trusting your business, forgiving your company when a mistake has been made, and trying a new offering right away. Reputation management that focuses on these loyalty behaviors can increase annual revenue by up to 25.8%!
Don’t believe us? Well, 25.8% does seem relatively big, but it is possible. Just look at Hertz.
By knowing what loyalty behaviors you’d like your customers to exhibit, you can fashion experiences for them that will develop those behaviors. To do this, social listening is a must.
Social listening provides businesses with the insights they need into customer behavior on social media. These insights will highlight their concerns, their perceptions of your company, what trends they follow, and so much more. With these insights, you’ll be able to complete your market research and better understand your target audiences. Once you understand them better, you’ll be able to create a social customer experience strategy that helps your business make positive touchpoints with your customers and build your online reputation.
Today, online reputation management and brand management go hand in hand. On social media, businesses are making hundreds of first impressions every day. So, they need to be on top of their game, every second of every day.
High standard, isn’t it? However, we’re all human and can’t be perfect all the time. But your brand can.
“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”—Walter Landor
Everyone lives in their own realities. They believe their own feelings and thoughts are fact. Yet, we all have different opinions, so there’s no way every person’s reality is always right. But that doesn’t change the fact that people believe they’re right. So, you must convince them that your brand—your reality —should be part of theirs.
When you can do that, you’ll improve customer satisfaction, engagement, and word of mouth.
As you connect with customers, positively build your online reputation, and make your brand part of your customer’s lives, you’ll be able to improve customer engagement after a purchase.
By identifying the topics your customers are interested in, you can create a strong emotional connection with them. It’s just like making a friend, really. Get to know which trends they’re interested in, which of your products or services are most popular, which charities they favor, and the list can go on and on.
By creating content that will both help and resonate with your customers, you’ll also be able to build up your SEO. A lot of times people struggle with making Google and their customers happy at the same time, but it is possible. Very possible. Customers want good, relevant information. Yes, they want things they can laugh at, but they ultimately want something that will benefit them.
But how do you identify the topics that both resonate with customers and are SEO friendly? Social listening.
Like we talked about before, social listening helps you better observe conversations around your business. These will highlight what other interests your customers might have besides your company. You can then brainstorm ways to incorporate those interests into your marketing efforts to create engaging content while still promoting your brand, products, or services.
But customers want more than just articles they can read, they want genuine interactions with your business. As Andrew Reid, Founder, President and Chief Product Officer at Vision Critical explained, “Find a way to be personal with your customers and connect with them on a human level.”
With Nuvi Engage, you can reach out to customers and talk with them as real-time conversations are happening. You can do everything from addressing a customer’s concern with a product to laughing about April Fools jokes. Basically, show them you're human. And let them get to know you. As they do, your online reputation will grow.
Another way to engage with your customers is to make sure your website and listings look good. With Nuvi Locate, you can keep all your locations’ information up to date. This helps potential customers have greater trust in your business as they research you before they purchase.
Additionally, reviews can be great tools for reputation management. As you engage with customers online and utilize social listening, you’ll find customer experiences that would be great as reviews. Asking them to share their experiences as a review will make customers feel involved and that you care about them. As an added bonus, these customers will be more likely to share with others that you asked for their help by asking them to share their story. This increased word of mouth makes your online presences more vibrant and attractive to potential customers.
Now, you might be saying, “that’s all fine and good, but getting people to leave good reviews can be a hassle.” A while ago, we were tagged in a conversation about referrals, but many of the points they bring up also apply to reviews. The author of the post and those that interacted in the conversation made some interesting points.
The most common opinion was that most referrals came as a result of providing customers with great value and a great experience. The same goes for reviews. People want to share good experiences and they want to feel that they are helping to influence other’s lives for the better. For some industries, it may be looked down on to ask for reviews directly after a purchase, but, as one commenter said, providing subtle reminders and proper incentive can go a long way to driving referrals and reviews.
With good reviews and asking for them in a way your customers will appreciate, you will gain the respect from your current customers and provide a welcoming online presence to potential customers.
The more you consistently create content that resonates and engages with customers, the more vibrant your online presence will be.
This healthy, living environment, tailored to your customers, will encourage customer retention and make potential customers more willing to check you out.