Never Underestimate the Influence of Online Reputation Management
When it comes to managing any kind of business, big or small, the way people perceive one’s company is an integral part of finding success in a business owner’s chosen industry. Even those who might not necessarily be managing a business but are instead only cultivating an online presence could still benefit from general online reputation management. While there are many roads to success, every single one will include carefully managing issues of relevance.
For most newer businesses out there, it might be understandable to assume that there will be some kind of leeway when it comes to navigating through a competitive business landscape. However, considering that startups are required to compete with industry veterans, it is often best to get things right the first time. To increase the odds of success, the use of online reputation management is crucial.
The consequences of underestimating the influence of online reputation management
To start things off, it would be a good idea to consider the side-effects and consequences of not putting enough time into delivering a solid online image amidst potential consumers. One of the biggest issues would be that people will almost always choose another company over a business that does not put enough effort into maintaining a positive image.
It is critical to note that the present state of the digital age has more and more people looking online for even the most basic necessities. They will naturally choose companies that are viewed in a positive light, as there is no point in trying a business with barely any reviews or testimonials. Even worse, most competitors are likely making use of search engine optimization (SEO) tactics alongside their digital marketing campaign, which can result in one’s online store to suffer a steep decline in sales.
The current state of e-commerce is profitable, but only for those willing to go the extra mile
With so many people looking online for both luxuries and necessities, it is only natural for many of the biggest businesses to make the move to a focus on online services. They are likely the ones that will benefit from the shift in the industry, as they already have enough influence to get ahead.
For businesses that want to take advantage of the same thing but are afraid of being overshadowed, taking steps to utilize online reputation management is practically mandatory to ensure that things go smoothly. After all, online reputation management through SEO is not necessarily just about ranking high in search engines — but making sure that some third party sites that rank high are showcasing one’s company in a positive light. It also works toward encouraging supporters of the company to take the time to write positive reviews.
How quickly things can go wrong
It can be quite easy for someone to write down a negative review regarding an online store, even if they might not have availed of the company’s services. The troubling fact is that an online opinion counts for much, and many people tend to believe negative reviews, using it as indication to try another service.
The lack of a social media policy can also end up spelling a lot of trouble for a company that does not do enough to preemptively repair their online reputation. All it can take is a single employee going out of line and saying things they shouldn’t for a company’s reputation to become tarnished. It is not something that is easily forgotten, though certain tactics might help a company bury the negative press while simultaneously making it easier to find positive reviews.
The impact of online reputation software
Last but certainly not least, a company can make it much easier to handle their digital footprint by making use of software dedicated to managing an online reputation. For example, there are tools that can help collect all of the potentially negative reviews directed at the business, providing valuable insight to the owner and allowing them to plot the next course of action with confidence.
Without a doubt, there are far-reaching consequences for those that do not take their online reputation seriously. Whether it happens to be a business or an individual, one’s reputation online is not to be taken lightly. The influence of online reputation management is clear, and even startup owners that might not think it is all that important will soon find that as their business grows, so too will the risks that come from a lack of awareness.
Gareth Willmot is a serial weird festival collector, coffee snob and a neurotic last-minute traveller who is passionate about marketing, ultramarathons and yoga.