Is Your Online Reputation Ready For Scrutiny?
You have a personal online reputation and your business has an online reputation & either one or both is often only one review away from being a bad reputation.
Your Personal Reputation
Every social site you use leaves an impression of who you are and what you are about by the content you post, repost, like and who you friend.
You can set your profile to private on a few social networks but those that comment about you, share pictures of stuff you did together or make comments about you may be public.
Your Business Reputation
There are hundreds of places people can leave reviews about your business but there are only about a dozen that are popular enough to regularly monitor.
Unfortunately, most businesses I’ve seen with an online presence do NOT regularly monitor these sites. I know this because they haven’t claimed their listing so they can respond to unhappy customers.
- Have you claimed the free listing your business has on the popular review sites?
- Do you know which review sites are popular?
- Do you know what to do if someone writes a bad review about your business?
- Do you have a 5 star culture within your business?
- Do you have a system in place that encourages customers to write glowing reviews about your business?
- Did you know your online reputation helps determine how effective your advertising will be?
If your product or service is almost identical to your competition, do you think a prospective customer will be more likely to shop at a business with 10 or more positive reviews or one with 2 or 3 reviews and at least one is negative?
Neilson did a survey in the third quarter of 2011 asking consumers which forms of advertising they trust most. Ninety two percent trusted recommendations from people they know and seventy percent trusted consumer opinions posted online. All other types weren’t trusted nearly as much.
You usually get one shot with your advertising and the consumer usually remembers the company name and city.
When the consumer enters the company name and city into the search engine, the first page is quite often filled with nothing but review sites that have the company’s name address, phone number and customer reviews but little else since many businesses frequently fail to claim and optimize their listings if allowed.
Business owners that know how can “listen” to the conversations on Facebook, Twitter and a few other social sites but this job is usually done best by a specialist.
Monitoring the main review sites is a laborious task unless you have access to a proprietary system that isn’t publically available.
With time and effort, you can minimize the damage done to your business reputation by actively working to build a positive reputation both online and offline but you must diligently work at controlling your actions to keep your personal reputation clean.
“Welcome to the new reputation economy” is an article in the UK version of Wired that hints that your personal reputation can help you get a better job and that your reputation will soon become as important as your credit score in the financial world.
“Crowd-sourced online reviews help fill restaurant seats, study finds” is a News Center article discussing how positive online reviews help fill restaurant seats. Those two articles are just a preview of the growing importance of getting your personal and business online reputation ready for public scrutiny.
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