Why protecting your online reputation is important for your business
No matter what type of business you operate, how people perceive your enterprise online is crucial to its ongoing success. While many businesspeople may not give a second thought to their e-reputation, devoting the resources to protecting the online reputation of your business will prove to be a worthwhile investment.
If you have not considered the impact of your online reputation, or are unsure of what it is exactly, then keep reading this article. We’ll explain what an online reputation is, why it is vital for a business and what you can do to protect your online reputation.
What is an e-reputation exactly?
In today’s highly digitised world, building a strong brand image depends on maintaining a good online reputation.
A simple definition of an online reputation, or e-reputation, is the amount of general goodwill surrounding a business based on how it is perceived in the online world. This can include positive or negative reviews about a brand, articles, blog posts and comments on social media or other forums.
The importance of an excellent online reputation for businesses
The picture of your business that your existing customer base and your potential customers have formed of your business is now more important than ever. But exactly why does having a good e-reputation matter so much?
Prior to the digital age, a business would engage in public relations campaigns based on advertisements and interviews in newspapers and magazines and on television and radio. The public very rarely had a chance to express their opinion. Now, the communication channels between companies and customers are very different. Just like in a small town, word travels fast on the internet. The way in which social media comments and online reviews can impact a business cannot be underestimated. People often use online forums to express disappointment. It is easier to leave negative reviews rather than good ones and humans tend to remember the bad ones.
Your online reputation has a direct impact on building relationships with existing and future partners and with your consumers. If people realise they are supporting a brand with a negative reputation, they will eventually stop buying your product and may even spread bad reviews as well.
Bad reviews can severely impact your sales and harm your e-reputation. Figures show that almost nine in every ten consumers in the UK read online reviews of a product before committing to a purchase. However, when branding is done right, it can attract overwhelmingly positive reviews and chat that can propel a business into the stratosphere.
For example, John wishes to take his girlfriend out to dinner. He looks up some restaurants online and finds a Michelin-starred restaurant he likes the look of. John then looks at reviews other customers have left about the restaurant. He discovers that the head chef has made a reputation for himself as a champion of sustainable cuisine using seasonal products. John then searches to see what people are saying about the chef on platforms such as Facebook. After seeing the slew of positive comments, John decides to go to the restaurant. John also discovers a collection of inspirational quotes from the chef on other social media. He is able to take his partner out for a fabulous meal and forms a deep attachment to the brand of the chef and the restaurant.
Another example of branding done right is Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty makeup line in 2017. Rihanna has used the power of her public persona to promote a makeup line “so that people everywhere would be included,” focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.
How to protect the online reputation of your business
If you need to improve your online reputation, you will need to implement strategies to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Business owners can manage how their enterprise is perceived by the public in a variety of ways.
Responding to negative reviews in a constructive manner is important to re-establishing and building trust and showing that you care about your online community. Regularly releasing quality content that people want to engage with is another way to make a good online reputation as it shows that you understand your target audience and know how to talk to them. Practising active social listening is also key. Business owners need to be aware of what the online community is saying about their products and service. If you do not know what the issue is, you won’t be able to find a solution.
The effective moderation of chat threads is one of the challenges of maintaining a good online reputation. Businesses must provide protection for their customers from witnessing or being the victims of online toxicity or hate speech. Stopping abuse and hate speech from occurring in forums devoted to your business will encourage people to view your brand as responsible and ethical and build customer loyalty.
Bodyguard.ai provides business owners with an automatic, intelligent moderation solution that operates in real time. Our technology uses both linguistic expertise and machine learning to automatically monitor chat streams in real time. Stopping hate speech and toxic behaviour from appearing on the social media pages of your business will ensure your e-reputation remains solid.