Anyone working in the news industry, politics, or another field where publicity is a fact of life understands how important it is to “get ahead of a story.” When a prominent public figure becomes aware that a negative story about him is going to be published soon in a local newspaper, for example, he may hold a press conference right away so that the public hears his version of the story first. In most cases, this is a much stronger move than waiting for the negative story to break, then reacting and being stuck on the defensive side of things.
Online reputation management services give organizations the opportunity to adopt a similar strategy, “getting ahead” of negative press like bad reviews. Here’s why hiring a reputation management services expert is a good idea for any business that depends on word-of-mouth communication to gain new customers.
Prepare For the Bad Reviews
It’s a mistake to open the doors of your business assuming that everyone who you serve will walk away and write glowing 5-star reviews about your service. No matter how hard you try, there will be those occasions when a customer is having a bad day, an unforeseen event causes them to have a negative experience at your location, or you do your best to serve someone who is absolutely impossible to satisfy. When you engage in proactive reputation management from day one, those here-and-there negative reviews that you can’t avoid will end up being minor factors of the overall impression people receive of your company, not devastating shots that will drive potential customers away.
Go On the Offensive
We’ve already mentioned the concept of avoiding being on the defense. Reputation management services are not limited to dealing with bad press; they’re also about putting great press out there. It’s up to you to write authoritative articles about topics within your field, maintain an interesting and useful blog for your audience, talk up your products and services on social media, and otherwise tell people what’s great about your company. Go on the offensive by putting lots of great, accurate, informative, and flattering content about your organization online for potential customers to read.
Where Do You Start?
When it comes to online reputation management, you probably have two main obstacles to deal with. The first is that you don’t know exactly what to do—how to start a blog, where to send articles, whitepapers, and press releases for publication, and what the best strategies are for promoting your business on Facebook. Your second problem is that you don’t have time to write all of that material! You know a ton of things about your industry, but transferring that information into the form of long-form articles with infographics, formatted to direct readers to your website through links, is probably not what you signed up for when you started your business.
That’s where online reputation management services come in. It may sound strange at first to hire a writer from outside your company to write “in your voice,” but a great professional copy writer knows how to quickly learn what your business does, what your culture is like, your unique selling points, your typical audience, and what factors are most important for your company’s reputation. By partnering with a writer like that, your organization can push out expertly written content on a regular basis that accurately and positively introduces your company to your online audience…with very little ongoing work on your part.
Goals Worth Working Toward
Sadly, many companies don’t take their online reputation seriously enough until it’s too late. In the highly competitive online environment, an average 2-star rating consigns a company to the bottom of the list of options in the minds of potential customers. In addition, Google takes reviews and other types of customer feedback into account when deciding where a company’s listings should appear in keyword search results. An expert in reputation management services can work within the search engine’s system to mitigate the negative effects of bad reviews and boost your rankings by providing Google with accurate information about the quality of your services.
We would love to tell you more about our online reputation management services. Get in touch with us today!