The era when business owners could leave their business reputations to chance and fate has now passed as you can no longer do this without suffering any significant consequences. It would be considered highly unwise to ignore your online reputation even for a day. This is because the internet has left the world globalized, and brands are discussed in places halfway around the globe from them.
As an online brand leaving your public image to luck will no longer suffice, this is because people on the internet take to the opinions of other people to rate your business. For instance, a recent study showed that 85% of buyers on the internet treat online reviews as if from a trusted friend.
This implies that brands that do not put in the work to build, maintain, and protect their online reputation will most likely suffer. Today, we will see what online reputation is, why it is important, the challenges you may face protecting it and how to overcome these challenges.
What Is Online Reputation?
An online reputation refers to the presence of an entity online or the way the entity is perceived. For brands, it generally refers to how customers view them. This is usually depicted in reviews which can, in turn, affect search rankings and general public perception.
Furthermore, online reputation management comprises the different strategies involved in maintaining a positive online image for a person or a brand. The strategy can include various levels of marketing, PR, and customer service relations.
Why Online Reputation Is Important
Managing your online reputation is important for so many reasons, including the following:
It Makes Your Brand Strong and Reliable
Nothing demonstrates the strength of a brand more than an impeccable online reputation. A positive online presence also tells the customers they can completely rely on you. This means they can trust you with their buying decisions. If the customers can trust you because of your positive online reputation, they can always buy from you without fear.
This translates into more sales and increased revenue for you and your business.
To Prevent Loss Of Revenue
Even the slightest damage to online reputation can cause serious consequences such as loss of customers, sales, image, revenue, and even brand abuse. And usually, it all starts from a negative comment or review that goes unattended, which may originate from a dissatisfied customer but can soon grow to stain your reputation across different websites. To prevent this and stop your business from bleeding out revenue, you will guard and protect your online reputation.
It Helps To Grow Your Business
Monitoring customer reviews which is a central focus in reputation management also helps grow and improve your business. For instance, gathering different positive reviews can help you see what is working and then capitalize on making your customers the happiest.
Needless to say that this results in more sales and a growing business.
How Online Reputation Works
The way online reputation and online reputation management works are by having a comprehensive understanding and control over the entire online perception, and this can be summarized in the following steps:
- Carrying out proactive market research to check for important things like brand mentions, online conversation, and product positioning
- Developing a marketing strategy based on the above research
- Executing the well-planned strategy to dissuade fears, address comments, control narratives, and improve image
Potential Risks And Challenges of Online Reputation
Maintaining a positive online outlook is important and compulsory, yet it is never an easy task. The process can be met with several challenges and is prone to many risks. Below are some of the challenges you may confront on your path to maintaining a new online presence:
- The need to monitor and observe multiple websites, search engines, discussion forums, and social media platforms as it is generally believed that customers can be easily spread across the internet
- Handling multiple geo-locations because comments can easily spread across locations which are even more challenging when you consider the popularity of geo-restrictions
- The expertise is required to gather data constantly and from various sources and then use that data to manage reputation. Not every company can afford such expertise
- Picking the right tools for the job. You will need to pick just the right monitoring tools, and this can get easily confusing without the right expertise
- Collecting quality data as well as correctly analyzing it to provide the necessary insights
How Companies Can Avoid These Challenges
The challenges highlighted above are very real and can inhibit the process of online reputation management. However, there are ways to go them, and some of them include:
Using a Ready-to-use Data Collection Tool
A tool like this can be used to harvest the necessary data in large quantities, bypass geo-restrictions and help you manage your reputation correctly.
It is built and maintained by a third-party company which means you can use it without the necessary expertise, knowledge or maintenance. It is also easy to use and may not require additional infrastructures, but it may not be customized exactly to meet your specific needs.
Using Web Scrapers
Web scrapers can help you collect data in large amounts from different sources at once. They are called in-house tools because they are usually developed to suit your specific needs. And they can be easily combined with proxies to get around geo-restrictions and collect the data you need. For instance, you can connect a web scraper with an India proxy to overcome geo-blocking and harvest data from India. Follow the link here to get more information.
A positive online reputation will win your trust, and trust will bring you more sales. So whether you choose to use a dedicated in-house tool or a ready-to-use scraper, the truth of the matter is you need to get the job done.