Are you harnessing the full potential of online reputation management?
Whether you’re new to the online reputation management game or have been doing it for years, there’s always something new to learn. As the world of tech evolves, so does the best approach to online reputation.
The things that worked well even a year or two ago may no longer be as effective now. And as new apps, algorithms, and devices are developed, the game is constantly changing.
Want to learn the top tools for online reputation management this year? Then you need this guide. We’ll break down everything you need to know about getting your company’s online look under control.
Whether you’re a newbie or an expert, we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out the hottest tools in the online reputation game!
What is Online Reputation Management?
If you’ve just started a new company, or just recently brought your business online, you may not fully understand what online reputation management is.
The name may sound self-explanatory – and in a way, it is. Online reputation management simply refers to how you handle your brand’s image online.
However, there’s much more to this than meets the eye. If managing a company’s image online was simple, there would be no need for the many online reputation management services that exist.
Online reputation management means you need to control the conversation about your business online as much as possible. But because there are so many places a business can appear on the internet, this is no small task.
Let’s take a look at the many factors that play into managing an online reputation.
One of the most common places where reputation management is needed is on social media sites.
Different brands will need to focus more on different social apps. For example, a fashion brand will likely spend more time managing its reputation on image-heavy Instagram than on Twitter.
Social media is where customers are talking about your brand. If you don’t join in that conversation, you can’t take control over it. Getting on social media allows you to steer the conversation in a positive way, or to publicly address customer’s concerns in a helpful way.
Another place where your online reputation is crucial is on your company’s website.
It’s important to have a brand site in the first place. Modern customers aren’t likely to trust a business if they can’t find any information about it online.
However, it’s not enough to just have a website. If your site looks like it hasn’t been updated since 1999, customers won’t trust your ability to offer a good product. If the site is too slow, confusing, or otherwise hard to navigate, that will steer customers away.
Consumers also want a site that is helpful, not one that just sells stuff. Having informative content like blog posts and videos keeps them invested longer.
Having informative content on your site doesn’t just help customers stay interested. It also helps them find your business in the first place.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is another important part of online reputation management.
Customers don’t tend to value sites that are on page five of Google as highly as the sites on page one. Your brand appears more reputable and attracts more customers if it is easy to find on a search engine.
Having an online reputation that’s tied to a location is a strong point for businesses with a brick-and-mortar component.
Your reputation should be tied to your community and location if you are a local business. Even when searching online, customers want to see your involvement and presence in the community. They want to be able to easily find companies that are close to them and have what they want.
Optimizing your SEO for local search is becoming an even bigger part of reputation management as the use of mobile devices grows. More people today are searching and shopping on the go from mobile devices than ever before.
The internet is an important place to make your brand story known to customers.
Today’s shoppers don’t just want products. They want to invest in a company that is interesting and important to them. The way to get them to invest is by having a clear, compelling brand story.
Without managing your online reputation, you can never build that story effectively. Using all of the components listed above – from videos on social media to photo albums on your website – allows you to create a compelling narrative.
Your online reputation should clearly show the things that are important to your company.
Maybe it’s community, sustainability, creativity, or some other list of factors. No matter what, the story, history, and philosophy of your brand are among the most important parts of its reputation online.
Why Does Online Reputation Management Matter?
The reason online reputation management matters is simple: it translates into sales.
At the end of the day, every business needs to attract and retain customers, no matter what it sells. As the online world and the real world become more intertwined, using the internet to your advantage becomes crucial for attracting customers.
Without a solid online reputation, you will quickly lose ground to other companies that are working hard on theirs. And since the industry is rapidly changing, you may not be able to catch up.
How can you stay at the cutting edge? Let’s take a look at this year’s best tools for online reputation management.
HootSuite has been around for a while, but it remains one of the top tools used to maintain an online reputation.
This social media management platform makes controlling your reputation on different social media sites a breeze.
The purpose of this service is to allow you to control your company’s different social media profiles on one platform. Instead of having to log in and out of multiple sites, Hootsuite’s dashboard lets you do it all in one place.
The service also helps control spam and block messages from fake accounts, which can save you precious time. This is a great way to monitor and maintain different social media profiles in a minimal amount of time.
2. Google Alerts
This free service from Google lets you find things on the internet that are related to a specific subject. In the case of online reputation management, it lets you find out when and where people are talking online about your brand.
This is important, as it lets you catch and address both positive and negative posts about your brand or products. It also allows you to see what competitors are posting about your niche, so you can stay ahead of the competition.
When you use Google alerts, you just put in keywords or phrases related to your business. You might search for the name of your business, for example, or a common question people have about your products.
When one of those terms gets used in a post online, you’ll get an alert about it. This allows you to specifically target any subject that’s relevant to your industry.
3. If This Then That
If This Then That (ITTT) is another helpful, free service for managing your social media presence.
ITTT allows you to automatically set posts to appear on all your social media accounts at once. For example, if you post something on Twitter, ITTT can automatically post the same thing on Facebook for you, so you don’t have to do the work on two different sites.
This service also includes extras like sending automatic replies or removing hate speech and spam from the comments section.
Comparing your company to your competitors is an important part of keeping your reputation on point.
SimilarWeb lets you rank your site against competitors. This helps you target specific issues with your reputation online. For example, if customers quickly leave your website but tend to linger more on a competitor’s, you can compare your site to theirs and look for ways to improve.
5. Go Fish Digital
Want to target and address any negative online conversation about your brand?
Go Fish Digital helps you find negative reviews about your brand or product online. This lets you catch and address any negativity before it blows out of proportion.
6. The Brand Grader
The Brand Grader offers a quick and easy overview of your company’s online reputation – or of your competitor’s.
Use this service to find relevant online chatter from news articles to the locations around the world where people mention a brand the most.
If you love Google Alerts but want an even closer look at when and where people mention your brand, you’ll adore Mention.
Google Alerts gives you a daily heads-up. Mention, however, provides real-time information on who is saying what about your brand.
Need to harness the power of email marketing, but don’t know how to start?
Email is yet another great place to manage reputation and connect with customers online. SendInBlue helps you create email marketing campaigns easily, by providing templates for attractive, organized marketing emails.
It’s all about reputation, which means you need to know what reviewers are saying about your products – both good and bad.
Reputology lets you monitor reviews on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. You can even separate reviews for different store locations, so if there’s a reputation problem, you’ll get a clear picture of where it’s coming from.
Ready to Build Your Online Reputation?
Are you ready to put these tools to use and grow your customer base now?
With these nine online reputation management tools on your side, you can easily get ahead of your competitors.
For more information on how to use online tools like social media to your advantage, be sure to check out this post on social media solutions.