Gossips – whether true or not – spread like wildfire in a locality. This statement is especially true when it comes to negative news. In a neighborhood or a town, everyone knows who is sleeping with who, who never paid who his or her debt, who got drunk and passed out on his or her lawn.
The same is true when it comes to local online reputation management. With local consumers having access to social media, review sites and aggregators every minute, wherever they are through their mobile devices, citizen journalism is fueled and everyone is expressing their right to his or her own opinion.
Given this, more and more SEO companies are looking into local online reputation management and what they can do to help businesses protect or clean their reputation in local searches and local review sites. While review aggregators such as Yelp and Trip Advisor are now giving businesses a fair chance to correct inaccurate fact and answer to negative responses, there are other things that businesses need to do.
Developing a Propensity for News
There’s really no other way for you to know if you’re business is being persecuted online than actually searching for them in search engines, social platforms and review sites. Having a monitoring mechanism is necessary. If your plate is already full balancing your books, managing inventories and doing other core business functions, there are several SEO companies that can do this for you.
When monitoring for things being said about your brand, don’t just focus on the negative. Good online reputation management should take into account thanking those giving you positive feedback and consistently reaching out to your “ambassadors.”
Check Your Online Brand Health
There are different tools out there that you can use for social listening and online conversation audit. Before doing anything, this should be the first item on your checklist. Knowing what people are saying about your business – the good and the bad – will help you figure out what you should do.
When conducting an online brand health check, do it using a mobile device and a computer. Sometimes, there are variations on how your business is presented in mobile searches and mobile reviews because of the different behaviors customers have when they’re using their mobile devices. Find out what these behaviors are and keep them in mind when performing your mobile reputation audit.
The Art of Responding to Negative Feedback
Sometimes, in a business’ attempt to set things straight, the situation turns uglier. This is because of the inappropriate response they give to customers. First, determine whether responding is your best option. There are times that the best response is not responding at all.
If you want to correct inaccurate information, don’t lash out. Remember, your goal is not to emerge as the winner of a battle, but to win back the trust of a customer and the possible customers who might have been influenced by a negative review. Best practices in online reputation management dictates that you should hear out your customers and thank them for giving their feedback. Then don’t get all defensive. Just state the fact as composed, as professional and as likeable as possible.
From one to thousands and even millions – this is how negative reviews spread in today’s digital age. With this irrefutable fact, online reputation management can now be defined as having a healthy sense of paranoia if you don’t want your business being the center of negative attention.