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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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?