How Are Users Really Seeing Your Business’s Reputation in 2013?

How Are Users Really Seeing Your Business’s Reputation in 2013? image formic media mathew simonton online reputation management blog post 1How Are Users Really Seeing Your Business's Reputation in 2013?

Online reputation management is a swiftly growing segment of digital marketing. With more and more social media channels and sites encouraging engagement, user comments and reviews are now everywhere.

This means that marketers and business owners need to be even more aware of the character of their organization as it appears online. Your audience is merely seconds away from reading a sparkling review by a pleased customer or a negative rant potentially ignored by your business. In 2013, there are three central aspects of the digital landscape you need to consider with regard to online reputation management.

1. Increased Use of Visitor Analytics with Regard to ORM
In 2013, managing your online reputation will become increasingly complex for a number of reasons. More and more organizations are utilizing the benefits of search engine marketing and as a result are contributing extra attention to their web analytics and may be noticing a number of trends making reference to their business and its character.

With queries such as “reasons to buy X product” or “why should I go with Y instead of Z,” it’s vital to analyze visitor intent and navigation. Do you make it clear on your website why your audience should still stick with your service or product despite questionable online reviews? Is this information easily accessible?

In 2013 you’ll need to be proactive in the creation of this content and in keeping an eye on your analytics. Guarantee that your visitors are finding what they want on their site and have more reason to believe you rather than the top review by John Doe on Google+ giving your services a less-than-ideal review.

2. Greater Mobile Concern for Reputation
With the ever-increasing access to smart phones and tablets, users have never been more capable of finding out the truth about a service or product. Just moments after they see a demo in-person, speak with a sales representative, or check out your location on their map or your product in-store they can gain a variety of insights from others.

Businesses must be concerned about their mobile presence when it comes to their reputation. Do you have a negative review topping local-based apps, Yelp, etc.? That’s the first thing your user sees and may be the only second-glance your organization receives from a now-lost lead. Is your website mobile optimized and include testimonials that don’t trail on and on for paragraphs? Few people will take the time to read the essay in your Testimonials section by an ecstatic customer providing an otherwise valuable sales pitch for you. This is especially true when they’re sitting in their dentist’s waiting room and staring at a glowing 3.5 inch screen. Keep things simple.

3. Increased Transparency via Social Media
Transparency isn’t a necessity for just public organizations anymore. People appreciate an honest, friendly, and open business. Who wants to engage with a company they know nothing really about? It’s one thing to see the occasional website update or press release. It’s quite another to see a representative of your organization reply to their post on your business Facebook page or @mention at your Twitter account.

Due to social media, it’s become easier than ever to give your audience an idea of what your brand is honestly about. As such, it has become increasingly important to engage your audience via social media and really build out those channels. There’s a reason why Goldman Sachs started giving meeting updates via Twitter in mid-2012. There’s a reason 50% of this 2013’s Superbowl advertisements featured #hashtags. There’s a reason why Comcast and Best Buy, among others, have offered support lines via social media. By engaging your consumers, everyone else can understand that your company does care and wants to be involved. There is little out there more trustworthy than a recorded, public conversation between you and your customer.

Image courtesy of Ed Yourdon via Flickr Creative Commons.

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