It’s no secret that dissatisfied customers tend to share their complaints with others.
Word-of-mouth has always posed a threat to your brand and reputation, but, with roughly 2.27 billion users on the internet, the damage caused by word-of-mouth is in a whole new arena. Users can spread negative comments in just a few seconds with minimal effort. With social media sites, such as Twitter, it can take just 140 characters to post a complaint for 140 million active users to see and for your brand’s image to suffer.
Be proactive now and commit to a strategy that will be reactive later. Commit to monitoring and managing your reputation.
Reputation Management allows you to monitor all mentions of your company across the web to help you address and improve your online reputation. Even though you and your team have carefully crafted a company website and created other social profiles and business listings to enhance your brand, you cannot control every mention of your company on the web.
Consumers can post about your company on blogs, social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), review sites (Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.) listing directories (Angie’s List, CitySearch, etc.), and the list goes on. Every day, existing sites change and new platforms are created for user opinions and reviews to be shared. It’s important to keep up to date with the sites and sources available to potential customers, because even a single change can have a large impact.
For example, in a blog posted on May 30, 2012, Google announced that its business pages are now on Google+ Local and feature Zagat scores for restaurants and other leisure businesses. When a potential customer uses Google+ Local, which is likely due to its user-friendliness and easy integration into search, maps, and mobile, he or she will get a sense of your company based on the opinions of others. The other reviews on the site may even seem more credible, even coming from complete strangers, when paired with the well-trusted Zagat score, which has been generated from more than three decades’ worth of consumer-written reviews and surveys. The reviews, positive or negative, could greatly impact a potential customer’s future decisions.
It is impossible for you to find each mention of your company on the internet by yourself. This fact is not meant to dissuade you from monitoring your reputation; it’s meant to make you take reputation management seriously and understand why you need it.
Being aware of and able to see mentions of your brand as they are posted gives you the ability to respond in a timely fashion. Comment on and share positive reviews to better leverage your brand, and mediate any damage that could result from a negative review. One comment on a single website can be seen by millions of people. This can make or break your reputation.
Commit to monitoring your web presence and get involved in the conversation that is happening about your company now. You’ve already invested in your brand, so now’s the time to invest in Reputation Management.
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