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When it comes to business, reputation is everything. We’re more likely to make a purchase if others around us—even total strangers—agree that it is a good decision. Today, online reviews are the biggest source of word of mouth, and they have a clear impact on sales. In a world where your company’s products or services are judged by your online reputation, now is the time to take control of it.

Imagine this…
An angry customer decides to put your company on blast, posting tons of complaints and negative comments about your business online. They’re on social media, Yelp, and who knows where else. It doesn’t matter if they’re true—they’re out there. And now anytime someone searches for a company or product like yours, they’re seeing this negative review about you.

Managing Your Reputation

Your company is open 24/7 on the internet. And so are various websites and social media platforms displaying ratings and reviews about your company. That’s why it’s so important to manage what’s getting out there. You need someone, either in-house or outsourced, dedicated to actively controlling the narrative. And if your online reputation is negative for any reason, it’s time to turn it around. Yes, it’s possible. But it takes local business marketing expertise. Here are some tips.
Know what’s out there

Do a deep dive into all social media platforms, blogs, forums, video-sharing websites, and other channels to discover what’s being said about your company.

Ask for a review
Plenty of people are ready to say good things about your business, and you should make sure they do so by asking them to! Consider creating a graphic button on your website where users can click to review you. Craft an after-purchase email offering a discount in exchange for a completed review. There are also many platforms that allow a business to email or text customers asking if they would refer them to friends and family. Those programs will encourage the customer to post their positive comments on a review site.

Be responsive
Everyone likes to know their opinion matters and reaching out personally to those who share it is a great a way to do that. When someone says something negative or positive, respond. Most business owners get scared of negative reviews and avoid looking at them. Most people are just looking to be heard and are likely to change their opinion of your company if given the chance. If you never reach out to make amends, you don’t give them that chance.

Track your reviews
Set up daily reminders to check for new reviews on platforms like Yelp, Glassdoor, and social media outlets. Since reviews are one of the first things that come up in a Google search, it’s important to dedicate someone to tracking and managing them. Having ongoing insight into reviews, whether positive or negative, helps you address them quickly.

Look for influencers
Many businesses find they have an existing base of social media users who have interacted with their brand and already shared their opinions on social. Reach out to them and try to retain them as your social influencers. Influencers in social media are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge, passion, and expertise on a specific topic. They regularly post about that topic and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views. If you offer some complimentary services or products, they can review their experience with them and share it on their social pages for maximum sharing potential.

Stay connected
Real-time communication helps make happy customers, which in turn builds businesses. Make sure your profile is up to date on all social media accounts. To ensure success, interact with your followers. Answer questions. Respond to all comments—good and bad. And find out what else they’d like to hear about.

The Bottom Line
It might look like a huge task now, but you don’t have to do all of this in one sitting. Schedule some time each day, or even each week, to focus on garnering positive reviews, and you’ll improve your online presence in no time!

Need help getting started? Digital marketing company Aquarius Designs can help you find new ways to engage with your audience and utilize the resources you already have to thrive. Call 609.336.0114 today for a consultation.