What is web reputation? There are a lot of misconceptions about what it really is. There are those who think it is the presence on social media, those who believe that it is something that has to do with a person’s network of knowledge. And then there are those who have no idea what we are talking about and the implications on activities and sales. With the advent of social media, websites are no longer static displays. It has become essential to have a regular interaction with its customers on Facebook & Co. The contents generated by users are now the parameter for measuring the success of a business or a user. In this post we would therefore like to clarify what we mean when we talk about web reputation today.
What is web reputation?
We can define web reputation as an endless process. A hyper-specialized process where the identity of the business and its perception are defined by comments, reviews and criticisms from users.
Today, more than ever, word of mouth has enormous strength in influencing the online reputation of brands and companies. Comments on blogs, Google reviews, and reviews on portals, Twitter, Facebook likes and all possible social media interactions are confirmations of how the user has a central role in today’s economy.
Whatever your business, you need to know what the public is saying about you and your products or services. Web reputation allows you to get valuable feedback from users and use them to your advantage to improve your products, improve the perception of your company in specific market niches and, of course, your earnings!
How to increase web reputation? 4 step strategy
Now that you understand that web reputation depends on what other people say about you and your business, you may think you have to work exclusively on your product or service to make it better.
How can you control what people say or change the mind of those customers who have left a bad review? In other words, how to increase web reputation?
Web reputation is not just about opinions that have appeared out of nowhere in people’s minds. It is a process of managing your customers’ comments, opinions and criticisms in order to create the perception you want for your business. To show you how to do it, we leave you our “2 cents”, a strategy in four simple steps that will allow you to increase your online reputation.
1) Check your reputation
The first point on which the strategy is based is obviously to understand what people think and say about you. So first you have to listen to your customers. What to monitor and where to do it depends on where your online activity is. Comments, critiques and reviews are left on social media? On specific sites like TripAdvisor or Booking? On the industry forums? On Amazon? Spend part of your time checking out what people are saying about your products and your market. Nowadays people ask a lot of questions before buying something and above all from who should buy it!
2) Be transparent in your interactions
Going back to point 1, with all the options available to consumers, it is normal for them to evaluate all suppliers before buying. They are less influenced by the easy promises and publicity of the past. They want more authenticity. They want someone they can trust.
If you want your brand to be chosen, you must be open to dialogue. You have to give all the information your customers need. In a nutshell you must be transparent. But remember that the more transparent you are the more you will be subject to criticism. It is true that you gain in reputation but make sure you have a reputation marketing strategy that allows you to manage interactions.
3) Develop an interaction strategy
Increasing your web reputation is not a passive strategy. We need concrete, planned and fast actions that will allow you to get results. If you receive a call for help on social media, just an answer, simple and immediate, to follow up. Much better to answer immediately than to be heard after a week with more information.
And how to handle criticism?
You would be tempted to delete them and only enjoy positive opinions. But it is on your reaction to the negative ones that you build a good reputation. You cannot ignore them, they are in the public domain and will perhaps be available to users forever. Use criticism to your advantage: your product or service is good only to the extent that it is considered as such by your customers. If people think it needs improvement, then it probably is.
4) Keep the promises or reimburse the customer!
If you received a critique of a poor product or service, did you apologize to your client? Did you actually solve the problem as soon as possible as promised in your reply email? If customers have had a problem with your product or service and it is not possible to remedy it, do not forget that you can always repay the customer partially or totally or offer discounts for the subsequent purchase from you. The reimbursement communicates a professional way of admitting guilt and helps avoiding negative reviews or turning a negative review into a positive one.
New web professions: how to become Web Reputation Manager
Companies tend to delegate these tasks to a “jolly” employee who runs part of the company’s social profiles. On the other hand, freelancers often prefer to do it alone. The analysis of your profiles and the interaction with your customers do not necessarily have to weigh on your shoulders. You can hire a Web Reputation Manager. It is a professional with a vertical background in Social Media Marketing. Although still little known because there is no awareness of the importance of this figure, the Web Reputation Manager is that professional who takes care of the online reputation of companies with monitoring activities of the various channels to always have what is said under control online about the animation company.
If the brand is perceived negatively, the WRM implements digital marketing strategies to solve the problem. It is clear that it is not possible to summarize the task and responsibilities of the Web Reputation Manager in just a few lines: just know that it is a professional highly specialized in online positioning skills such as SEO, SEM, Web Design and Social Media Management.
There are preparation courses for this work mainly attended by private consultants who already have deep knowledge of Digital Marketing and who are then delegated to work in the company. Large companies, on the other hand, have an organic WRM, which already knows the core business, the values and strengths of the company. These are elements that need to be thoroughly understood when it comes to defending a reputation.
Now that you know the importance of reputation on the web, we ask you: how do you manage yours? Do you act alone? Have you ever entrusted yourself to a professional?