Thanks to the internet, anyone can find whatever information they want, from any location. This has completely changed the notion of “word of mouth”. After all, thanks to social media, search engines, and a wealth of review websites, people are constantly voicing their opinions about everything, and other people are listening! This means that they may be talking about your business as well. In fact, if nobody is talking about you, you may as well not exist. What you have to make sure of, however, is that what is being said is good and creates a positive brand image.
A World Beyond Marketing
Once upon a time, all that matters was marketing. Now, however, your online reputation, received through reviews and customer feedback, is what matters most. In fact, the content that is generated by your customers is now as important, if not more, as the content that you generate yourself. There has been a study that showed over 80% of people will search for online reviews, and that a similar number of people trust online reviews as much as if they were given to them by someone to trust. This really demonstrates how important it is that you monitor and manage your reputation.
This need has led to the creation of a whole new world of reputation management, and it is likely that you will have come across are reputation management company already. What these companies do is monitor your reputation, promote the positive things in order to increase brand loyalty and trust, and make sure that false and negative reviews are pushed backwards. This is absolutely necessary if you want to do business online.
Unfortunately, negative reviews are incredibly difficult to remove, unless they are 100% slanderous. Even then, however, you still have to provide that they are defamatory and false, and you probably don’t want to go through the legal system just to have that done. Hence, what is better is to focus not on deletion, but rather on suppression. Suppression is a form of SEO (search engine optimization), which basically means that when someone search for your company, they will find all the positive things first, with the negative things being on the third or beyond page of the search results, which people never look at anymore anyway.
A good reputation management company will also always work tirelessly to keep new, engaging, and positive reviews from coming in. When they do, they will once again apply SEO strategies to make sure that they are easy to find. At the same time, they will make it easier for people to actually leave reviews, for instance, by setting up various social media accounts for you and listing review forms on your websites.
Your online reputation is incredibly important, and incredibly elusive. You simply have no control over what people are saying about you. The only thing you can control, thanks to the work of a dedicated reputation management company, is what people find when they look for you.