Manage Your Online Reputation
Discover the benefits of maintaining a positive online reputation for your business. Find out how an online reputation management service can help.
Online reputation management has become an important part of public relations. Each year, marketing studies show the number of customers who shop online is increasing. Even customers who prefer to shop at stores frequently check a company online before going to the store. Online reputation is not the same promotion. Promotion focuses on advertisements to attract customers, usually by showing your products or highlighting upcoming sales. Your reputation refers to how your company is received. If you have a negative reputation, customers will not be interested in your advertisements because your business is untrustworthy.
Online reputation focuses on several areas, including whether there are negative reviews or comments about your business. Reputation management services cannot make these negative views disappear. Instead, it helps you build a positive image for your company. This may sound like a simple process, but there are many facets to improving your reputation. The best way to fix your reputation is with a reputation management company.
Online reputation is divided into four primary media groups. While most online reputation management companies focus on each area, you may be able to save money by requesting packages for specific services. The first group is paid media. This refers to any online content that you must pay to feature your business, such as social media advertisements or sponsored posts by content creators.
Paid media is typically used as a method to rebuild your reputation. A great way to counter negative reviews is getting a sponsored post from a reputable influencer. Many customers are loyal to the influencers they follow. It is the equivalent of word-of-mouth sales, except it reaches a significantly larger audience. The audience is also less likely to look at negative reviews. Influencers often link directly to your products, so customers do not even have the opportunity to search for your company and see negative reviews or articles.
Earned media refers to any unpaid coverage of your business. This can be from news sites, forums or blogs. There are also many sites that gather online reviews to rate your business. Online reputation managers go through these sites to collect information and, when possible, reach out to customers. Many dissatisfied customers will change their reviews if a representative reaches out and makes a genuine effort to fix their issue. For example, if a customer posted a negative review after your product broke, you can offer to send a replacement. Even offering an apology is often enough to change a customer’s mind.
Not every negative review or comment can be remedied. Your reputation manager sorts the reviews and comments by importance and the likelihood of fixing. For example, an account with only a few reviews that hasn’t posted in months is likely a lost cause.
Shared media focus on how your business is perceived across social networks. This refers to not only your company account, but also what customers are saying about you. The two most popular sites for shared media are Twitter and Facebook. Reputation managers do more than look for mentions of your company name. They scrub social media sites for all comments regarding your business, product and services. They can also make posts on your behalf to appease frustrated customers or paint your business in a better light.
The last type of media is owned, which refers to any online content fully under your control. For most businesses, this refers to a website and online store. Owned media most directly relates to advertising. You can improve your online reputation by getting your website higher on search results. That way, instead of seeing negative reviews when a potential customer searches your business, they see your website instead.
While you do not want to neglect owned media, it should not be your main focus. Customers expect to see your website come up in search results. If they are looking for reviews specifically, they will scroll past your owned media until they find more relevant information. However, frequently making updates to your website shows your business is active. Customers are more likely to dismiss older reviews or comments if they see your business has likely changed from the time the review was originally posted.
Costs of Online Reputation Management
Pricing online reputation management is difficult because the cost greatly varies depending on your current reputation, where you want your reputation to be, and the type of business. One consideration is the estimated time to repair your reputation. Online reputation management is not an overnight solution. Even the best company takes several months to improve your reputation. For small to medium businesses, it costs anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 each month. Larger companies often require a custom quote, with some companies offering a flat rate instead.
WebiMax is one of the first companies to recognize the importance of online reputation. The company has earned a positive reputation because they offer a customized solution for every client. Free consultations are available. During this time, a WebiMax agent will ask about your goals and budget while performing a quick search to determine your general reputation. If you agree to work with them, they create a unique plan to improve your reputation. Because of the customized approach, you must request a quote directly from the company.
Many businesses prefer NetReputation because they also offer a wide range of marketing services. Some of the services provided by the company include search engine optimization, branding and public relations, on top of the traditional reputation management options. They also have options for content removal and do deeper internet dives, including reputation management for information-based sites, such as Wikipedia. They are also one of the reputation management companies that can work with both large and small businesses. The cost varies depending on the number of services you want, but on average you can expect anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 each month.
Gadook specializes in difficult cases, often partnering with clients who need to rebrand after their reputation was badly damaged. Gadook provides services for both building an existing brand and improving a reputation, as well as a complete rebrand to start over and build a new, positive reputation for your business. They also offer assistance with brand protection and social media optimization. Unlike other businesses, Gadook uses an hourly model, with most services costing between $80 and $120 per hour.