Reputation management for businesses with an online presence is one of the most influential aspects of digital marketing.

Think about yourself as a consumer. Before hiring a service or buying a product, what is the first thing you do? If you are unfamiliar with the business or retailer, chances are you will check their reviews.

Potential customers are checking the reviews of your company too, which is where online reputation management comes in. This post will tell you everything you need to know about online reputation management and why it is so important.

How To Find Out What Your Online Reputation Is

Before you can start working on reputation management, you first have to analyze every aspect of your business’s online presence. Between search engines, social media platforms, and other review sites, you should look into everywhere your business is mentioned.

Search Engines

With over 3.5 billion Google searches every day, there is a good chance your business has been directly searched for or has been a search result before.

First things first: do you have a Google business listing? If you have a physical storefront that customers can visit, having an accurate business listing is crucial. Double-check to make sure the address, phone number, website, and hours of operation are correct and up-to-date.

Next, check to see if there are any reviews listed with your business on Google. If there are, have you been responding to them? Positive or negative, potential customers and past customers will appreciate you taking the time to recognize their praises or concerns.

Social Media

With over 2.8 billion Facebook users and over 1 billion Instagram users, social media has become its own type of search engine that many people choose to use when researching before buying a product or service.

If you don’t already have a Facebook or Instagram account, now is the time to create one. These social media platforms are relatively easy to use and are free unless you choose to run advertisements or promotions.

On Facebook, users can review your page if it is set up as a business account. Look into the reviews posted and take the time to respond to any questions and comments.

On Instagram, learning more about your reputation can be done by looking at what your business has been mentioned in via location, tagged post, hashtag, or comment. Are these mentions positive or negative? Either way, feel free to reach out to those users to respond to them.

Review Sites

We have all heard of Yelp, the most popular review site, but do not forget about others like Angie’s List, Glassdoor, and Tripadvisor.

When your business is searched directly on Google, some of the review sites may pop up. Look into each review on these sites to see if you need to respond to any questions or comments.

Once you have analyzed your online presence and reputation, you may notice some things you need to improve upon. So, how exactly can you manage your online reputation? We will tell you below.

1. Claim Your Business

Like we mentioned above, the first and most crucial step in managing your online reputation is claiming your business wherever it appears. This includes Google, Yahoo, Yelp, and Bing too. Once you claim your business, you will have the opportunity to respond to reviews as you see fit and make any needed changes to your business listing.

In this first step, you should claim or create Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn pages for your business. Do some research on these social media platforms to figure out which platform your target audience uses the most.

2. Set Up Reputation Monitors

By setting up reputation monitoring systems like Google Alert, you can receive notifications each time your business is reviewed or mentioned. Instead of checking every website daily, systems like Google Alert will tell you.

Reputation monitoring systems will ensure that you see any reviews (positive or negative) as soon as they are posted, giving you the immediate opportunity to respond and make any needed resolutions.

3. Respond to Reviews

We’ve said this before, and we’ll repeat it… respond to your reviews! For positive reviews, thank the customer for their business and their review. Customers like to feel recognized, and your response will increase the likelihood that they will be repeat customers or recommend your business to friends and family.

Before you respond to a negative review, take the time to understand exactly what the customer had a problem with. Even if you see the review as entirely out of hand, anyone on the internet can see how you respond, so write carefully.

Tell the negative reviewers that you understand their concern and frustration, and offer a way to resolve the situation. If you cannot provide anything physical, invite them to give your customer service team a call or email if they want to speak further about the issue.

4. Hire an Expert

Professional online reputation managers have seen it all and can surely help your business’s online reputation. Whether you are trying to improve your reputation, keep it the same, or simply establish your online presence, digital marketing experts can develop a strategy for you.

Here at Paton Marketing, our online reputation management team has worked with businesses in various industries, helping them navigate reputation crises and rebuild their brands.

Paton Marketing understands the importance of your online reputation, especially in today’s society, where consumers use the internet for anything and everything. If you require online reputation management for any reason, Paton Marketing would love to help.