How’s Your Digital Rep?
How Online Reviews Impact Your Brand’s Reputation
We’re all familiar with the old adage that a satisfied customer tells a couple of friends about their happy experience with your company, but an angry one tells dozens. And while this is still true today, the internet has radically compounded that effect. Now, while happy customers might leave a review, unhappy customers will almost definitely leave a negative one, influencing much more than just their friends’ impression of your company. Their bad review impacts your entire brand reputation.
So What Is Brand Reputation, Exactly?
Brand reputation refers to how a particular brand (whether for an individual or a company) is viewed, perceived, and responded to by customers, stakeholders, and the market as a whole. A favorable brand reputation means consumers trust your company and feel good about purchasing your goods or services. A less-than-favorable brand reputation, on the other hand, means that associating with your company is going to feel like a less-than-positive experience for customers and your potential customers will likely go elsewhere.
Managing your brand reputation in this modern world goes far beyond word of mouth. It means knowing what is being said about your company online: on social media, in the news, on Google, Yelp, Amazon, and more. It means monitoring a variety of platforms where people may be interacting and reviewing your brand. Reputation management helps you understand if you’re getting referrals, or if you're falling short, and helps you target those who are already raving fans, likely to purchase.
How Your Brand Is Affected By Your Online Reputation
It’s easy to see how brand reputation affects your bottom line. But, what is also impacted is how—and how often—your company is seen online. In addition to how potential customers feel about your company, online reputation effects:
How your company ranks in search engines like Google, Amazon, and Yelp
Which search results actually get seen by the searcher (and clicked on),
And ultimately, which product or service that potential customer chooses to buy.
Try Googling your own company. It’s a good practice to know just what pops up when you type your company name into the search bar. You might see articles about that recent charity event you sponsored, glowing reviews, and a Google listing with your address, hours, and phone number. Or, what comes back might include negative reviews, negative press, and other damaging feedback that can have a lasting impact on your company’s ability to sell products or services.
How Can A Good Brand Reputation Help?
Thankfully, if you’re proactive with your brand’s reputation, it will have a positive impact. Even if you're a new brand with next-to-zero marketing dollars in your budget, you can leverage a positive online reputation and compete with well-established “authorities” in your field.
An excellent way to build trust online is to come up with an online reputation management strategy. Start by sending your customers and partners over to review sites to get as many positive reviews as possible. After all, your customers are the most authentic source of feedback for your business. Listen to what they are saying. They’ll let you know where you’re shining bright—and meeting their needs—and pinpoint where you are falling short. Your reviews are a vital source of feedback about how your business is performing and how you can improve. Online reputation management not only gives your brand a voice in the conversation but it helps you shape the narrative.
From not only a business perspective, but viewed through the lens of consumer psychology, that narrative—your company’s story—is one of the most powerful ways prospective customers interact with your brand. Humans are meaning-making machines, after all. We all love a good story! And the story your company tells makes an impression in the mind of your consumer that lasts a long time—so let’s make sure that impression is a good one.
Another benefit of a positive brand reputation is that it improves online traffic. It's simple: the more your brand publishes high-quality articles online, the more often your brand’s name is mentioned (in reviews, news, or on social media), the higher the probability you will generate traffic from search engines. And the more traffic you get, the more name recognition and positive brand association you’ll cultivate.
Want Help Managing Your Business Or Brand’s Online Reputation?
We can help! Reputation Studio is an Enterprise Online Reputation Management (ORM) platform that consolidates customer reviews into one dashboard, automates the routing of reviews to teams, posts responses in real-time, and applies AI to provide actionable insights and track the sentiment and intent.