When is it Time to Call in Online Reputation Management Professionals? Five Tell-Tale Signs
For small businesses, online reputation management (ORM) is critical. From mitigating the effects of negative online reviews to helping businesses manage their online reputation more efficiently and effectively, there are many reasons to prioritize ORM as you work to grow your business. While there are many ORM processes you can undertake on your own, there are also situations that call for a professional management company to assist you. So how do you know the difference? Here are the top five most critical times to call in the ORM professionals.
Calling the Pros: When you Need Professional Online Reputation Management
While there are many times that a small business can resolve a customer complaint issue on its own, there are also many times when it’s wisest to enlist professional help. These are as follows:
- When you have an abundant amount of negative reviews
Virtually all small businesses can manage a handful of negative reviews on their own. If you’ve got a cascade effect on your hands, however, it’s time to call for help. There are dozens of reasons for abundant online reviews, ranging from poor customer service to malicious intent, and while it’s important that you work to resolve the foundational cause of the reviews immediately, hiring an online reputation management firm can help you mitigate the damaging effects of the reviews and save your online reputation.
- Your online reputation is damaging your sales
If you’ve noticed a sharp dip in sales that’s coincided with a sharp drop in your online reputation, it’s time to hire a professional group to help you avoid a crisis. According to Search Engine Land, 88% of all consumers place as much, if not more, trust in online reviews as personal recommendations from friends or family members. In light of this, it’s clear to see how negative reviews can have a detrimental impact on your sales. When a consumer needs to make a purchasing decision, the first place he or she heads is Google. If all customers find when they research your company on the internet is a multitude of bad reviews, they’re going to take their business elsewhere. Luckily, an online reputation management company can help you curtail crisis and build your sales back up.
- You’re having trouble establishing yourself as an authority
Sometimes, the need for online reputation management professionals doesn’t arise from bad business or negative reviews. Sometimes, it’s simply a helpful tool for companies who need to build authority online. Because customers trust online reviews so much, companies who are lacking reviews or simply don’t have an online reputation won’t be viewed as authoritative in their fields. Through things like content marketing integration, SEO assistance, and encouragement of positive reviews, an online reputation management company can help you build a positive online presence and become a distinguished leader in your field.
- You’re having trouble hiring new talent
While a negative online reputation can affect your sales, it can also affect your desirability as an employer. If you’re finding that your company is having a difficult time attracting new talent or securing talented people for your team, an online reputation management firm might be able to help. Today’s employees look at a multitude of factors before they sign an employment contract, so it’s critical to ensure that things like your social media standing, online presence, Glassdoor rating, and employee word-of-mouth are up to snuff. By building a positive online review, it’s easier to earn yourself great talent and stand out as a leader in your field.
- You want to display what your company is capable of
If you have an online presence, an occasional negative review is unavoidable. While it’s not critical to jump into disaster mode every time someone posts a complaint on Yelp, there’s no doubt that professional online reputation management services can help you put your best face forward. From helping you build your online presence to showcasing exactly what your company is capable of, the benefits of online reputation management can be as simple as helping your business grow.
Managing Your Online Reputation: Four Tips
Now that you know when it’s wise to call ORM professionals, let’s talk about what you can do to handle your online reputation on your own.
- Google yourself
The first step in proactive ORM is to simply type your name into Google’s search bar. This will give you a good idea of what’s out there and what, if anything, you need to do about it. To stay on top of your ORM, set up a Google alert that notifies you whenever someone posts something regarding you or your company.
- Purchase your personal domain
If you haven’t bought your personal domain (“yourname.com”) yet, go ahead and do so now. While you don’t have to do anything with the domain immediately, having it in your back pocket can help diversify your online presence and give you a way to mitigate negative reviews, should you need to.
- Respond to online reviews
If your company has already gotten a handful of reviews, respond to them respectfully and proactively. Most conflicts can be resolved before reaching the crisis point, so being patient and working together with a dissatisfied customer can go miles regarding preserving your online reputation.
- Diversify your online presence
To give yourself some extra padding against negative reviews, build out your online presence as much as possible. This means building profiles for yourself on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. This gives customers plenty of positive information about your company and helps you rank better in Google’s search results.
The Case for Professional ORM Services
For businesses with an online presence, ORM is critical. While there are many ways that you can be proactive about managing your online reputation, hiring a professional online reputation management company can be beneficial for businesses that want to build authority, manage a damaged reputation, or simply put their best face forward for the purpose of growth and expansion.
To learn more about ORM or to speak with an ORM specialist today, contact Ruby Moon Consulting!