Monitoring your online reputation can be time consuming for any business owner, leave alone trying to respond to each and every comment or review. Despite this, reputation management is something you must commit yourself to as it leaves a lasting impression on how people view your business.
Ignoring or not paying enough attention to monitoring your reputation may not only jeopardize your brand, but could also get your business into a hole that might be very difficult to get out of. Here are four reasons why ignoring your online reputation is a huge mistake:
You won’t know what bad stuff is being said about you
It’s inevitable that someone will say something negative online about your business. It’s not just important to know about it – you also need to deal with it quickly so it doesn’t escalate.
You want to suppress negative mentions as much as you legally can, or at least decrease their online visibility. If you don’t know about them, you won’t be able to deal with them, which only worsens the situation.
You won’t know what good stuff is being said about you
It can be quite insulting when someone compliments your business and get no acknowledgement. With so many competitors out there, you could easily lose customers just for that.
A simple note of thanks for positive reviews will help you build your customer relationships, while encouraging would-be customers to do business with you. Additionally, you can take advantage of positive reviews by using them to boost your ongoing marketing efforts.
You will not be able to respond to questions
Discussion forums are choke-full of unanswered questions directed to companies from their own customers. This is simply irresponsible from a customer-care perspective, and suggests that you could care less about your customers concerns.
Monitoring such forums for mentions of your company give you the opportunity to address customer issues. This will go a long way in solidifying existing customer relationships and even boosting sales.
You will miss out on brand ambassadors
Thanks to social media, you can now engage your unofficial brand ambassadors. These are the ones who will mention you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, showing off the products they bought from you and doing some serious marketing on your behalf for free.
These are the loyal customers that will keep coming back for more purchases and will introduce your business to their friends. I cannot overemphasize the need to acknowledge them and nurture these relationships.
Helpful tip: There are various free tools that allow you to monitor your online reputation without eating into your budget. They include Google Alerts, Social Mention and Topsy and many others.
Reputation management is today an industry in itself, so if you feel overwhelmed, there are professionals out there who are experts at monitoring online reputations. Get them on board and avoid the risk of a few negative reviews destroying your image.