2016 is a landmark year because it’s the time where people are finally realizing that online reputation matters. They have to seriously consider what people are saying about them, why they are saying it, and how to maximize word of mouth marketing. There are many key questions to ask about this growing industry this year, and this guide is going to attempt to answer them.
How Can I Find Out What People Are Saying About my Company?
The easiest way to get started with this is by Googling your company’s name. Then you should Google your unique products and services, followed by the major public figures within your company. It’s also worth searching for common misspellings of your name, as well.
The easiest way to make this faster is to set up a Google Alert. This takes away the manual part of things and you no longer have to worry about taking time out of your day to perform searches. As soon as someone mentions certain terms on the web, you will be notified via an email.
How Do I Compare to Competitors?
One way to protect your online reputation that you do have control over is checking out your competitors. You may have no control over what they are doing, but you can compare the reputation of your competitors with your reputation.
In fact, this is a crucial process to go through. Go through the same process in the previous section for your competitors. Close competitors should be compared regularly, with occasional checks for distant ones. You may even wish to look up the overall reputation of your industry every so often. It can go a long way to helping you explain trends.
Is Your Company Website Helping or Hindering You?
Your company website is not just something you have to have so you can throw it on a business card. It’s something that you absolutely have to have in order to protect your online reputation. Sometimes customers are bad for business because they complain about the slightest thing, but your site is the heart of your online operations.
Take a look at your website and ask yourself whether it’s compelling and whether it’s giving people the right image of your brand. Your URL should mirror your business’s name and people should be able to find your quickly online.
If your site isn’t simple to use, it implies that your business isn’t simple to work with. In many ways, your website design is an exact mirror of what your company stands for and how it does business.
How Can I Monitor What People Are Saying on Social Media?
The only disadvantage with something like Google Alerts is it can’t accurately track what people are saying about you on social media. There are a number of dedicated tools for this. The only problem is none of them are free. A quick Google search will bring up the main ones.
It’s relatively easy to monitor your social media interactions when you use these tools. They bring up a simple interface and a list of mentions. You can reply to any mentions of your brand from this window without the need to scour through that long list of notifications on Twitter.
Many of these tools offer free trials, so take full advantage of that before committing to anything.
Should I Really Care About What People Are Saying?
It’s common knowledge that if someone insults you online the worst thing you can do is to actually reply. But that doesn’t mean you should not care about what other people are saying about you. Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing in the world, with 64% of marketing executives agreeing it is the most important.
You are leaving yourself in a vulnerable position if you are not aware of what people are saying about you. Here’s an example to illustrate this point:
You own a hotel and you don’t check the reviews. Yet one look at a popular site like TripAdvisor or Booking.com and it’s filled with customers complaining about how clean the rooms are. If the hotel looked at these reviews, they would know that they have to act and pay closer attention to the rooms.
Instead, they don’t and the reviews steadily get worse, thus they lose business and fail to reach their potential.
It’s easy to dismiss these people as haters, but the reality is that caring about what people say and monitoring your online reputation can have a hugely beneficial effect on your business.
How will you manage your online reputation today?