Maintaining a stellar online reputation and presence is vital for growing your business and attracting new customers. Without a solid action plan in place, business owners end up making mistakes that can take a toll on their business’ online reputation and search engine rank.
When managing your business’ online reputation, the smallest of mistakes can blow up, especially if your business is new. Here are 9 online reputation management mistakes that you must avoid:
Ignoring negative reviews
Not paying attention to negative reviews is one of the most common mistakes, and indeed the most damaging one, that business owners make. Merely ignoring a customer’s negative feedback and pretending it does not exist is not a good idea. If you get a negative review from your customer, address their concerns promptly and provide a solution.
Make responding to negative reviews an essential part of your online reputation management strategy.
Not monitoring your online reputation
Not monitoring your online reputation can damage your business. In an internet-dominated world, any form of content, negative or positive, about your business can go viral within a few minutes. Keeping tabs on what others are talking about your business on social media, blogs, online forums, and review platforms helps you stay ahead of a potential crisis.
Search for your business name at least once a week and observe what is getting ranked on search engines like Google.
You can also set-up Google alerts for your business name to track all that is being written about your business.
Not fixing your online listings
Having inaccurate and inconsistent business information like name, address and phone number, on online business directories can have a negative impact on your online reputation as well as your search engine rank.
Customers usually write negative reviews if they find incorrect information about your business on online directories. Inaccuracy is also perceived as poor customer experience.
Make sure that your contact details are correct and accurate across social media, local business listing websites and online directories.
Posting fake positive reviews
Some businesses try to bury their negative reviews by writing fake positive reviews. This does more damage to their online reputation than good. Even if it works as a quick fix, it’s a recipe for a long-term disaster. Customers are able to spot fake reviews and doing this will further tarnish your business’ image. Moreover, if you fail to deliver what is highlighted in your bogus reviews, you will end up losing customers and getting more negative reviews.
Not being active on social media
Only creating social media profiles of your business is not enough to establish a strong social media presence. Being active and regularly engaging with your customers is the secret to success. Your customers may be using social media to post their feedback or share concerns. Not being active on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, can take a toll on your online reputation.
Regularly addressing concerns and engaging with customers on social media is imperative for the success of your online reputation management strategy.
Using automated or canned responses
Another critical aspect of your online reputation management strategy is engaging with your customers personally than using canned responses. Interacting with your customers individually improves their experience and can help you win customers for life.
Not soliciting customer feedback
A few negative reviews from customers should not end your efforts to get feedback. Online reviews are critical to acquiring new customers and creating a compelling online reputation. While it is impossible to stop negative reviews altogether, not requesting your customers to post reviews can have a negative impact on your online reputation management plan. Plus, a few negative reviews can actually make your prospective customers feel more confident that your positive reviews are real.
Picking the wrong resource or agency to handle your online reputation
Team members or the agency that is managing your online reputation can make or break your online reputation. Train your staff on how you can all build your online reputation as a team. If you are in the process of hiring an external agency to manage your online reputation, go through their reviews and client testimonials thoroughly before signing up with them.
Posting fake negative reviews of your competitors
Going after your competitors’ online reputation by posting fake negative reviews about them is both unethical and inappropriate. They can flag the reviews as fake and get them removed from platforms like Google and Facebook. While you don’t gain anything from this malpractice, you end up losing time which you can invest in improving your online reputation.
In addition to these don’ts, here are four useful search engine reputation management tips. Online reputation management is all about playing your cards right. It involves tactfully and proactively monitoring your online reputation, managing it and working towards strengthening it to grow your business and get more customers.
How can BirdEye help?
BirdEye is a comprehensive online reputation management and customer experience solution that can help you build a positive online image. Using BirdEye, you can collect more reviews from your customers, fix your online presence across several listing websites and online directories, monitor reviews, manage feedback, and respond to it.
Looking for a robust online reputation management solution to complement your existing strategies?