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Your Online Reputation May Be Harming Your Business

As business people, we all pay attention to what we present to our customers. Is our store tidy and are the right products features? Does our appearance strike the right impression at meetings? Do we listen to customers and potential customers to really understand their needs. All good, but what about your business online?

Today’s businesses need to pay particular attention to their online reputation. Your customers are online and they are forming an impression of you based on what they find. They go there to both get and share information.

You need a strategy to make sure that the impression you create online is a positive and accurate reflection of your business.

The right digital strategy enables you to be in the right places with the right message. it also allows you to monitor and analyze where you are online. It can help you to decide where to spend your limited time to get the best result with your target audience.

Here are five steps to consider when developing a digital strategy.

Step 1: Assess your current presence

What is the online reputation of your business? Don’t just look at your website and your social media channels. Do a Google search and look at all of the results in the first page of search results.

  • Is your information correct?
  • Is your branding consistent?
  • What are people saying about you?

Now do the same for a few key competitors. Assess how you measure up against their results.

Step 2: List needed fixes

Develop a punch list of items you need to change. Some may be easy, like correcting an address or business hours. Others may take more time, like cultivating more online reviews or getting more followers. Write out a list so you can systematically address issues and opportunities.

Step 3: Decide where to invest

Nothing you do online is free. Your time is valuable. You need to determine which places are a worthy investment of your time and, perhaps, your marketing dollars. Which platforms work best for an improved online reputation for your business?

Completing the first two steps should start to give you a sense of where your target audience wants to engage online. You also get a sense of gaps – more content? more images? – and opportunities for you to connect online.

Step 4: Document your digital strategy

This information leads to your digital strategy. Your plan should define where you will be and what you will do.  It should define the content, the platforms, and opportunities for expanded reach. It outlines all the steps you will take to build your reputation and engage with your target audience.

Your strategy should address:

  • Core places where you are online
  • Content you will create and share
  • Management of directory listings
  • Audience involvement – testimonials, comments, etc.

Step 5: Make it happen!

Plan in hand, it is time to start implementing. The plan will help you keep on track and focused on what is important to your online reputation. It will help you to break down larger goals into the smaller tasks that move you in the right direction.

There should be constant activity in the management of your online reputation. This will also keep you aware of what is happening regarding your brand, your customers, and your industry.

Overwhelmed? Consider the Kurtz Digital Strategy Online Presence Boot Camp! In just two months, we’ll define the right digital strategy for your online presence.

Tools to Manage Your Online Reputation

Your brand’s reputation affects your business directly.  Your online reputation is as important as the word on the street.

I have previously posted about the importance of managing your online reputation, and now I offer some tools that help.

Mention

Mention is like Google Alerts, only more so! You are  able to compare your brand with competitors for factors like share of voice, sentiment, reach, and influence.

You learn what people say about you and when. You see trends.

The Brand Grader

The Brand Grader is a free tool that offers a quick overview of a brand’s online presence in seconds.  The aim is to quickly understand some of the things a brand does best, and what’s not working so well. Choose the company or product you’re interested in, and you’ll see:

  • Web influencers
  • Top sources
  • Brand sentiment (positive, negative, neutral)
  • Location of mentions

Buffer

Social media and brand reputation go hand-in-hand. Aside from your website, your social profiles are likely the most visible access points for your business. Buffer enables you to schedule and send posts to all of your social media platforms from one place.

The more quality, engaging content you share with your audience, the better. A professional, engaging social presence lets you stay front-of-mind for consumers, and builds trust in your brand. And as word spreads and followers join your communities online, your reputation improves.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo shows you what content is trending across social media, blogs, and news. Compare your content with competitors. Buzzsumo also helps you identify influencers. Search for a topic of interest, and Buzzsumo shows you the top influencers.

SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb as a website ranking site. It also benchmarks a site against competitors for factors such as time on site, bounce rate, and page views per visit. This can help you understand how you stack up against competitors.

SimilarWeb also offers market research about an industry to show you how well-known and well-respected your brand is within your field.

Reputology

Reputology specializes in review tracking, enabling you to easily find and monitor brand reviews all over the web. More and more people turn to reviews before making a purchasing decision, so managing reviews is an important component of reputation management.

If Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook reviews have a major impact on your business, this is the tool for you .  Reputology delivers all these reviews in one place, and lets you respond to them from within the platform.

Get Five Stars

Speaking of reviews, Get Five Stars helps you encourage reviews from your audience. With it you can launch Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys. Responses are averaged and this makes up your NPS. When a user completes the NPS survey, they’re given the option to share their happy on major review sites.

 

 

Your Brand Needs to Listen In on Social Conversations

Judge Judy is fond of reminding people in her courtroom that we have two ears and one mouth, meaning we should listen twice as long as we speak. Truth, even for brands.

Every brand needs to have a social listening strategy. Social listening happens when you monitor and analyze conversations across social media to better understand the customer, brand perception and the current impact of its online presence.

Understand Your Customer

The first reason to invest time in social listening is to better understand your customer. Social listening can help you discover the habits, interests and problems of your target audience. Social listening also helps you to discover which channels your target audience uses and how they are used.  With this insight, you can create content that is shared in the right places and is relevant to their interests.

Increase Engagement

Social engagement is not always easy, but social listening tools can help you stay on top of conversations. it increases your ability to find conversations everywhere they are happening, not just on your channels.

Discover Business Opportunities

Social listening can lead to inspiration for new topics to cover in your content marketing. You can tap into top of mind topics and pain points. You may uncover an issue you didn’t know existed and win by addressing a customer need.

Reach New People

You can find new people in your target audience via their social conversations. Monitoring keywords and phrases that are relevant to your brand can lead you to people who need you and don’t know it yet!

Research Competitors

Social media is public, so it is a very transparent place to monitor competitors and complimentary organizations. Listening can help you learn about what your competitors are doing. You can see the impact of their content and who is engaged.