Online reputation can directly influence the overall growth of your business. You can manage it effectively and reach new heights if you understand how and where the internet starts contributing to the public perception of your company.
There are three different areas where the internet starts directly influencing an image of a company. Search engines, social media websites, and review/word-of-mouth websites.
Most people begin their online product or service research using Google, Bing, or Yahoo. But there are several other search engines that people use across the globe. These include Ask.com, DuckDuckGo, and DogPile. But user interaction with all of them is by and large similar.
Someone types a query into the search engine, and then the engine sorts millions of pages or search results to find the matches. Finally, these results are ranked according to relevance. If you are lower in the rankings, you will be looked at as less capable, less popular, and less trustworthy. You will be less likely to get someone's business, as they have decided on someone closer to the top of the first page than you.
It is here that a potential customer my type in the name of your business, followed by "reviews", or "bad reviews." With this simple search they are looking for what your online reputation says about your business.
Social media websites
Social media is having a massive impact on today’s world. Companies and individuals use these sites to build customer relations. For example, according to JD Power, in 2014, social media is the preferred source of information for 1 in 5 people about car brands.
It is estimated that 33% of consumers use Facebook to talk to a customer service representative. Over 47% believe that Facebook is the fastest social media channel to raise customer complaints.
Facebook and Twitter are massively known to be the most successful social media sites, but we should include Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, LinkedIn,and flicker as well.
Do you have a Facebook page? Is someone assigned to interact with customer's through it?
You might go through online reviews about different products and services when you use Amazon. 80% consider the star rating and going through the reviews very important.
And it makes good sense. But this is an example of a retail site. If you are a manufacturer, various other review sites like Yahoo Local, Yelp, ComplaintsBoard, MeasuredUp, PlanetFeedback, the Better Business Bureau, and others will provide reviews about a business.
You will see there are numerous positive reviews and dozens of negative reviews based on your performance. Therefore, you must provide your products and services at exceptional quality and reasonable prices with strong after-sale services. If a mistake is made, or a customer is dissatisfied, how your company responds can make a review go from negative to positive.
These are just a few of things that you can do to help keep your online reputation attractive to future customers and clients. For more information, check out the third part of this series.