What can Reputation Management do for You?

Reputation management is becoming an increasingly popular topic, but what exactly does it mean, why is it important and why ignoring it is not an option?

Online reputation management is inclusive of tracking, monitoring and responding to online reviews and ratings on sites such as Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.

Like it or not, customers are leaving reviews and ratings on your local listings and it’s impacting your search engine ranking, reputation, and bottom line. Tweet this

When done properly, reputation management has many internal and external benefits for your business.

EXTERNAL BENEFITS

Google 3 Pack

SEO

Star ratings displayed in Google search results are powered by Google reviews – many believe they are from Yelp since that’s the OG review platform we all tend to default to when we think about leaving a review.

Google encourages businesses to interact with customers by responding to reviews, and that quality, positive reviews from customers will improve your business’s visibility and likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.

ATTRACT CUSTOMERS

Reputation management is, at the very least, a part-time job, however, for many businesses, there is at least 1 person, if not a team dedicated solely to reputation management.

It can be easy to put ratings and reviews on the back burner and be willing to let SEO suffer a bit if you don’t have the time and resources to dedicate but keep in mind, a customer you don’t respond to is a customer you should be prepared to lose. Tweet this

I promise, these aren’t scare tactics, reputation management is a crucial part of your business. Similar to just a few years ago when brands were avoiding social media, if they could, and now it’s widely accepted and known that you need to have a social presence.

You need to manage your reputation, whether you like it or not. Tweet this

4 INTERNAL BENEFITS

If SEO and word of mouth aren’t attractive enough selling points, consider the valuable insights you can only gain from monitoring reviews.

OPERATIONAL INSIGHTS

  • Did you know Jessica in San Diego is mentioned an average of 6 times per month in negative reviews?
  • The lock on the 4th stall has been broken for 2 months
  • The sound from the theater next door can be heard during neighboring movies
  • The bartender with the black hair racially profiles and ignores guests that are not white

These may seem like things local teams may know about, but when customers take to social to give their feedback and expect to be heard, it is quite possible this is the only place feedback is being given and red flags are being raised. Tweet this

LOCATION PERFORMANCE

Sales numbers are not a direct reflection of a location’s performance and standards. Even when customers have a bad time, they still pay for their bills. By tracking star ratings, keyword mentions, and trending topics, you can learn a lot about a specific location by consistently reading and responding to reviews.

For example, a movie theater location had 5 stars and most recently the rating has been declining but is still in the 4-star range. An easy explanation would be more reviews = a decrease in star rating (not always the case). However, if you read specific reviews about this location, almost every review mentions the same thing — it was great until XYZ. The corporate team or even a general manager cannot correct issues if they do not know they exist.

CUSTOMER RETENTION

I honestly cannot count how many times I’ve responded to a negative review with an apology and possible resolution, and the responder almost immediately increased their star rating just because the brand responded. I have seen consumers go from detractors to advocates in a matter of minutes.

85% of people in the United States read review responses by management while researching a potential business to patronize.

By publicly responding to reviews, guests may give you a second chance, and potential guests are much more likely to give you a chance if they see you are involved and care.

EMPLOYEES

Especially in the restaurant and entertainment industries, names or descriptions of employees are often included in both positive and negative reviews and typically appear in more than one review.

Your brand is what your customers say it is.

By knowing who is mentioned and the positive or negative situation associated you can use this data to reward, enhance training or in some cases terminate employees that are dragging your business down.

By having a SAAS and/or trained team and processes in place, making reputation management a part of your brand’s daily routine can’t be an option anymore – it’s essential to survive as a business and in SEO rankings.

I could talk about reputation management all day long and why it can be exciting, insightful and most importantly, how it impacts the bottom line – what do you want me to write about next?

I would love to talk to you about what you are doing, or if you aren’t quite there yet – why not? Tweet or DM me on Twitter & Instagram: @ChelseaRhane or send me a message on LinkedIn.

Why Not Turn on Automated Responses to Reviews/Recommendations?

Facebook recommendations

 

Facebook recently released a tool that makes it easier for brands to manage their online reputation…or did they?

Facebook allows brands to turn on Automated Responses when a customer recommends or leaves a “Doesn’t Recommend” status for a brand.

Brands can create one canned response for “Recommended” and one canned response for “Doesn’t Recommend.”

A typical canned or auto respond goes something like this:

Recommends: “Name, thank you for visiting and leaving a recommendation. We look forward to seeing you again soon.” -Brand Name

Doesn’t Recommend: “Name, we are sorry to hear about your experience. Please click here (customer service link) to let us know more.” -Brand Name

There are endless reasons brands should not automate social interactions. Here are the Top 3 reasons to not automate reputation management.

  1. Accuracy

Every day, we see reviews and recommendations that do not correlate with the star rating, or in Facebook’s case, recommend/doesn’t recommend.

Imagine receiving the “Recommends” response above if you left this review:

 

Or receiving the “Doesn’t Recommend” response above if you left this review:

 

2. Sensitivity

We live in a time where social media tends to be the easiest way for consumers to communicate positive and negative experiences with brands.

At Stellar Digital, we have read reviews left for clients that are posted during or immediately after a fight, shooting or another scary & sensitive encounter. Consumers find it easier and intuitive to post on social than to call an 800 number or fill out a contact form on a website.

3. Authenticity

Having the same response for every single review is lazy and ingenuine. Consumer behavior is to read reviews before visiting an establishment or leaving their own review.

We have seen consumers leave a review and copy and paste the brand’s canned response before the brand has a chance to – mocking them and publicly acknowledging they know the brand won’t care, but they still want others to read about their experience.

People who leave reviews often outline their experience with details and leave suggestions or ask questions. Providing a canned response without reading the review implies that the brand lacks empathy for their consumers’ experience or has bots responding.

The solution!

  • Work with your customer service team to create social media-friendly responses.
  • Make it a priority to read and respond to all reviews at least once a day.
  • If you don’t have the resources or bandwidth, the Stellar Digital team can help you get started!

In the end, consumers are your most powerful marketing team. They deserve more than automated, ingenuine responses.

source: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/q3-2017/

Because Google Says So

Where do the star ratings on Google search results come from? Yelp? Facebook? Wherever Google feels like?

img_3136

100% of star ratings and reviews shown on local Google search results come from reviews and ratings customers have posted on a local Google listing. [Tweet this]

Customers are leaving reviews and star ratings on your local Google pages, and whether or not you’re responding to positive and negative reviews, affects your in-store traffic, sales and SEO rankings.

Why?

Because Google says so. 

Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.

There’s no way to request or pay for a better local ranking on Google. – Google Support

The more you respond to positive and negative reviews, the more credibility and trust you’re going to build with your customers, and potential customers.

Quality reviews from your customers will improve your visibility — don’t be afraid to ask (not pressure) for a review.

The ability for customers to leave reviews about any kind of businesses (it’s not primarily restaurants anymore), really emphasizes the importance of the era of word of mouth, and reputation management that we live in.

Where do you start?

  • Claim your local listings
  • Update address, phone number, and hours
  • Add photos
  • Manage and respond to reviews on a daily basis

Don’t be scared, this is an exciting time, and a great way for you to establish trust, build credibility & resolve problems, all from your smartphone or computer. But remember, your Google, Facebook, and Yelp local pages aren’t going anywhere, and impact your bottom line.

Sound overwhelming?  Stellar Digital helps brands manage their local pages, at scale, while providing actionable insights and trends.  Our team has years of experience helping multi-unit and franchised brands and understands reputation management, marketing opportunities and operational challenges that come along with maintaining 1 to thousands of online properties.

Contact us to learn more!

info@stellardigital.marketing

913-535-1404

Voice Assistants are Impacting Local Search

The adoption of voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana will only increase the ever-growing importance of managing local pages. Mobile voice search is three times more likely to be local-based than text search.

Ever ask Siri for restaurant suggestions? How about Alexa, Cortana or Google Now? Do you know where their recommendations are coming from?

img_3135If you’ve got an Amazon Echo in your home or office, Alexa makes recommendations based on Yelp listings. Ford announced in January that it will be putting Alexa in new cars. This means when someone is driving a new Ford and looking for a place to eat, there’s a good chance Yelp will influence their decision. Beyond Ford owners, think about rental cars. When someone rents a Ford in an area they’re not familiar with they’re even more likely to ask Alexa for suggestions.

Siri also leverages Yelp in its recommendations. In 2016 Apple began allowing third party apps to leverage Siri. Apps like Lyft, and many GPS apps have leveraged Siri. If those third party apps happen to be making dining suggestions they could potentially be coming from Yelp.

Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana is built into their Edge web browser helping users make reservations and find discounts when shopping online. Cortana leverages Yelp and Trip Advisor for recommendations.

Google Now on the other hand makes recommendations from it’s own knowledge graph. Restaurants are getting more than twice as many reviews on local Google pages than they are on Yelp.

mobile-personal-assistants

Source: Moz.com

When information on local pages is incorrect, users don’t realize that many brands do not manage their pages and they blame the brand.   If your ratings and reviews are negative it will negatively impact your search ranking however responding to reviews can have a positive impact on search ranking.

Keep in mind these are people with intent, looking to find a restaurant like yours. If you are not managing your local pages, it will be increasingly difficult for you to win traffic and thus sales away from brands that are.

You may think you’ve got search covered through paid results but have you factored voice assistants into your search strategy?

Stellar Digital helps brands manage local pages at scale.  Contact us to learn more!

info@stellardigital.marketing

913-535-1404

 

YOUR LOCAL PAGES AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE. NOW WHAT?

Chelsea.jpgBy Chelsea Bradley

For every physical location your brand has, there is a Facebook, Google and Yelp page for that specific location.

Three Pack.pngMany marketers and operators choose to ignore local pages and focus on the brand page so posts and comments are in one place.

Makes sense, right?

Not really.

Whether you like it or not, your guests are reading and writing reviews, commenting and making purchase decisions based on the information they find on your brand’s local pages.

72% of consumers who conduct a local search on Google choose from the top three local results.

The number of posts, reviews and ratings customers post to a brand’s local pages factor into their SEO ranking. Google favors brands who engage with posts, and respond to reviews.

By replying to reviews, brands encourage positive ratings, and are able to recover guests who leave negative reviews.

According to Forrester, reviews are viewed as more trustworthy than organic search engine results, and promotional posts on social media.

Can you guess which brand responds to all local page star-reviews?

Over the past six months, Brand B has responded to 99% of reviews while Brand A hasn’t responded at all. Star ratings increase as a brand’s engagement and customer service increases.Star.png

A brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is, it is what consumers tell each other it is, but we have the ability to control the conversation, build relationships, recover guests, and gather actionable data.

You’re ready to manage your local pages, now what?

Before you dive in with posting content, and responding to reviews, you need to:

  • Claim your brand’s local pages on Facebook, Google and Yelp
  • Update, and verify all listings are accurate (website, geo-coordinates, phone number, hours of operation)
  • Remove duplicate listings

Sound overwhelming?  Stellar Digital helps brands manage their local pages at scale while providing actionable insights and trends.  Contact us to learn more!

info@stellardigital.marketing

913-535-1404

MOBILE MOMENTS

Have you mapped out your consumer’s mobile moments? Have you thought about the relevance of your brand in those moments during a consumer’s journey when they consult the device they look at an average of 150 times a day?

Google has begun testing its mobile-first index, which will primarily look at the mobile version of your website for its ranking signals and fall back on the desktop version when there is no mobile version. Many brands have a mobile-optimized version of t92heir website and consider this box checked.

The significance of Google’s shift to mobile-first reaches far beyond the importance of having a mobile optimized website. Research conducted by MomentFeed found that a company’s website, especially restaurants, accounted for less than 10% of their online traffic. They are seeing 10x more activity on Google, FB and Yelp.

Google found that there has been a 2x increase in “near me” searches in the past year. Local Google, Facebook and Yelp properties are often what consumers use to find a location’s address, directions, phone number, and hours of operation. They also use them for something brands have less control over, ratings and reviews.

Restaurant brands tend to think of Yelp when they think of ratings and reviews. Today the largest number of restaurant reviews, are left on Google, followed by Facebook and Yelp trails them both.

88Local properties are often ignored by multi-location brands because managing them doesn’t seem scalable. A brand with 500 locations typically gets more than 100 reviews a day and that number continues to grow, signaling new behavioral norms.

Local page management is in fact scalable. Software like MomentFeed enables brands to manage local pages and the reviews on them all in one place. For brands that aren’t resourced to manage, experienced community managers at Stellar Digital adopt the brand’s tone and persona to help manage their pages while providing actionable insights back to the brand. Responding to negative reviews shows guests that you care and can lead to them changing their review.

If you’ve got a mobile optimized website, you’re in good shape. Let us help with all of the other mobile properties consumers with intent interact with on a journey that we want to ensure leads to a visit.

info@stellardigital.marketing
913-535-1404