Should You Be Monitoring Your Online Reputation?
If someone left a bad review for your business, would you notice? How soon? What action would you take? When the goal is to achieve success in your field, a well-monitored and properly maintained online reputation is essential for any thriving business.
With digital platforms that are constantly evolving, it’s more important than ever for business owners to actively manage their brands online. Luckily, there are many reliable ways to monitor your online reputation, along with numerous proven advantages to keeping an eye on your company’s status online at all times.
Here’s everything you need to know about monitoring your online reputation – and why it’s so important.
Online Reputation Management: Why It Matters
A positive online reputation allows you to reach more of your target audience on a regular basis, effectively producing a constant stream of new business. With the intelligent application of some simple techniques, your online reputation can continually soar, building on its ongoing success to consistently reach new heights.
On the other hand, if unflattering feedback is posted online, business owners can apply a variety of basic methods, both long- and short-term, to control the damage and reduce the negative impact it has on their hard-earned online reputation.
Moreover, you need to be responsive to customers’ comments, especially negative ones. Bad reviews may feel like a stain on your reputation, but with proper treatment, they can help demonstrate that you’re serious about your business. Taking a little time makes a huge difference.
Online Reputation Management: A Job That Never Ends
Online reputation management is a never-ending job. We live in a digital world where customers have 24/7 access to instantly publicize their experiences. Therefore, keeping a full-time watch on your digital presence and feedback is increasingly necessary.
It can be both a blessing and a curse that customers are always just a few quick clicks and keystrokes away from sharing their feedback with the masses online. Most importantly, it allows business owners to easily tap into their user experience so it can be actively improved whenever needed.
Building an online community is a key aspect of cultivating a successful business stream in today’s market. With a direct line to customer and community comments, companies can establish a firm reputation for providing exactly what their audience is after. This process is accomplished over time, and maintaining it requires diligent, directed online reputation management.
Attentive, Authentic Social Media Monitoring
Monitoring your online reputation includes routinely checking and staying active on all your social media channels. Your profiles provide a platform for literally anything to be said about you, your company, etc. Staying abreast of this activity is imperative for proper online reputation management.
These days, social media is used by the majority of businesses and represents the first point of contact for all sorts of requests and feedback. It also offers your network a glimpse into your overall online presence. Negative feedback on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook can make a damning first impression on would-be customers.
Fielding Negative Feedback on Social Media
Poorly handled negative social media feedback is known to snowball rapidly. If an ignored complaint is echoed by many, it can quickly gain traction and inflict even more harm on your online reputation.
Criticism on social media should always be noticed promptly and handled tactfully. It’s important to establish a customer-first mission and project an authentic image that aligns with such practices, wherein you are sincerely dedicated to providing what your customers seek and exceeding their expectations.
Responding to Social Media Complaints
Tempting as it may be at times, it’s best to remain professional and refrain from defensive responses to unwanted complaints. Deleting them can also backfire, although in some cases, it may be necessary (profane, vulgar, or threatening remarks should be removed immediately, for example).
A more effective strategy can be to use positive feedback to push negative comments further down the page.
Rather than responding poorly to dissatisfied commenters, it’s recommended to be tactful, upfront, and grateful for the feedback. Positive leadership is helpful both for your customers and your employees.
By politely receiving and integrating customer comments, your online reputation can grow even stronger as you build trust with your customer base.
Strategies for Easier Social Media Monitoring
Remotely monitoring and addressing each platform can seem demanding, but when done strategically, it can be a breeze. Keeping tabs on all your profiles is easier than ever, with tons of options for automated alerts and notifications at your fingertips. Creating a calendar and setting reminders can also be useful.
If time is an issue or your online presence amasses a stronger following than you can handle on your own, it may be time to consider hiring a social media manager to assist with your daily social media reputation management duties.
Don’t Forget the Ads
Page owners pay for their ads to be seen, and since they’re as visible as public posts, monitoring them is a must. Yet, since profile owners rarely see their own feed’s ads, overlooking them is often a grave but all-too-easy error. Paying attention to the ads running on your social media pages is a big deal and shouldn’t be forgotten.
Ads contribute greatly to the user experience on your pages, so you should do everything in your power to ensure that their presence is consistent with your brand and its preferred messaging.
Use the Built-In Ad Manager
The most convenient method for ad monitoring on social media is to utilize the built-in ad manager platforms on networks like Facebook to review and comment on your ad content. This tool shows you your current ads along with their likes, comments, and shares.
The Facebook Ad Manager also shows you when people have hidden or marked certain ads as spam or unliked/unfollowed your page. If any ads provoke negative feedback, consider replacing them, and be sure to reply promptly to any ad comments!
Easier Social Media Advertisement Tracking
To more simply track the various advertisement links for your Facebook and Instagram pages, you can copy each ad’s link from the ad manager tool and then paste them into a custom spreadsheet for easy, instant access to each.
This way, all your Instagram and Facebook ad hyperlinks with comment feeds are all in one place, making ongoing monitoring and interaction much less of a chore. It also allows for easier management of new ads as you create them.
Online Reputation Monitoring with Google: Reviews, Alerts & Audits
Google reviews are a prominent resource in the decision-making processes of consumers everywhere. Each time you receive a comment or new review, Google will alert you. This is also typical of sites like Yelp, making it easier to never miss a thing. Google your industry as well to discover any other niche-specific review sites you should belong to.
It’s important to stay in the loop with your Google review activity and always respond promptly and professionally. Constant monitoring of your Google reviews also allows you to quickly spot and report any inappropriate content, should it ever arise.
Additionally, Google Alerts can be uniquely customized to notify you whenever you or your brand are mentioned. Using specialized alerts is a great (and free!) way to stay informed on all activity relevant to your business.
Finally, there’s a lot to be gleaned from regularly performing Google audits. Search for your company or what you expect consumers to Google in search of services within your scope. Hopefully, you will find positive and prominent feedback. If not, you can identify your starting point to better strategize for improving your online reputation.
Use SEO, Blogs & Hashtags to Boost Your Brand’s Reputation Online
If your business has a blog, monitoring the comments is essential. This may be easier if they require review and approval to be published. Stay proactive and responsive with your blog commenters, as your existing readers are a huge resource to build your brand’s reputation online.
Make sure to quickly clean up any spammy or irrelevant feedback on your brand’s blog and consistently give your visitors on-topic replies that demonstrate the value your company can bring to their lives. This can be accomplished by producing keyword-enhanced, relevant content that answers their questions to resolve their common issues.
A major added bonus of optimizing your content with relevant keywords, also known as search engine optimization (SEO), is improving your site’s domain authority, which refers to where your page lands on search engine results pages (SERPs).
By incorporating more popular keywords and industry hashtags on your site, sub-pages, and blog, you can gradually make your business more prominent for customers who seek what you offer.
At the end of the day, ongoing and effective online reputation management is a high priority. Thankfully, keeping a close watch over your online activity can be achieved through multiple proven strategies.
Staying on top of your online reputation is key to building lasting, meaningful success for your brand. By applying these tips, staying current on new developments, and utilizing automated tools wherever available, online reputation management can become a natural part of propelling your business toward your goals.