We all know people go online to research brands, products and services and how positive sentiment can close a sale and negative sentiment can result in a lost sale. With such an important role to play in the decision making process, you cannot leave your reputation to chance.
All businesses, regardless of size should be engaged in proactive online reputation management. In this article I will look at how to do this.
People are heavily influenced by the reviews they read, so your first step is to be proactive in ensuring they are as positive as possible. Naturally, positive reviews always come from great products and great service, but that is not always enough. They can often need a nudge from you as well.
If you have shopped with Amazon you’ll know you get a follow up email after a purchase asking for you to leave a review on their website.
I would recommend you do this yourself, and ask them to leave a review on your website or ask them to leave a review on any prominent 3rd party review websites that your prospective customers may visit when doing their research.
If you choose to use this tactic, make sure you only ask customers who have had positive experiences with you to ensure you get a good review. Don’t forget, Amazon aren’t the product manufacturer, they are the shop front and they have so many products to sell they can afford a few negative reviews on a product. You can’t!
Marketing by association is a tried and tested marketing tactic. When done well a company can benefit from a 3rd party’s positive branding as consumers start to associate the two together.
Not every business can get a leading athlete or major brand to team up with, but each industry or niche has contextually relevant and appropriate influencers you can build a relationship with.
- Interviews with industry experts
- Event sponsorship and attendance
- Joint competitions
- They conduct a webinar for your customers
You’ll be amazed how these activities can have a huge influence on the way people feel and talk about you.
Show how much your customers love you
Websites can be faceless tools with no sense of size or credibility. An increasing trend amongst many businesses is to showcase the people working there, and how much their customers like them.
If a prospective customer can see that you are used by their peers this makes them more likely to buy from you.
Some ideas to do this include:
- Customer quotes on your home page and product page including the customer’s photo or business logo to make it feel more real.
- A section of your website dedicated to positive customer feedback.
- In-depth customer case studies.
- Show positive tweets about you.
Don’t just accept negative reviews
If you see a poor review on another website which you know to be factually incorrect or a huge exaggeration, ask for it to be removed.
As long as you give an honest, detailed and reasonable explanation of why the review is not accurate a lot of review websites will remove it (as they should).
Note – Don’t demand every review is taken down even if it is accurate, you’ll burn any goodwill with the review site and they will start ignoring you.