January 19, 2012 nitroint

Reputation Management Simplified

What is Reputation Management?

• Managing what people say about you online • Responding appropriately to comments and criticisms • Creating content to promote the positives of your business • Setting up a system to monitor mentions of your business online

What are we really talking about here? CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!

Why Does Your Online Reputation Matter?

• 70% consumers consult product ratings and review sites before making a purchase (Business Week 2009) • Buying process has completely changed in the last five years – Consumers now consult peer reviews and consumer ratings directly before making a purchase decision • Social proof is now the most powerful marketing tool

Where is the Conversation Happening?

• Review sites like Yelp!, Google Places, CitySearch, InsiderPages • Independently owned blogs • Consumer sites like: RipoffReport.com, PissedConsumer.com, etc. • Forums • Social sites like Twitter and Facebook

Food for thought: A comment about your business communicated offline only reaches a few people; the same comment posted on the Internet reaches thousands.

Why are Good Reviews and Five Star Ratings So Powerful?

• The most powerful form of marketing is social proof • People are more inclined to trust peers over marketing campaigns • Customers who don’t know you yet really have nothing else to go on • Establishes your business as the market leader • People have become “blind” to many traditional marketing techniques • Reviews are free!

Did you know: Amazon pioneered and perfected the star rating and consumer review system. It is now an essential part of the sales process.

What Happens When You Have Bad Reviews?

• Customers read bad reviews and assume the worst about you • Even 1-2 negative reviews can kill your business if that’s all you have • Poor star rating can kill your business

Don’t worry! A few negative reviews amongst many good reviews is expected. Most people assume that when you have a lot of reviews, some will be from people who simply like to complain.

What Happens When You Have No Reviews?

• Having no reviews causes lack of confidence in your business • People now expect to see reviews • Reviews and ratings are used to research • A total lack of reviews can be the worst thing of all • Customers will turn to competitors with reviews

Remember: The NEW sales process is interrupted when you have no reviews

Scenario: Imagine you are on Amazon shopping for a new vacuum cleaner. There are four essentially identical vacuums made by four different companies. Which of the following would you choose?

a) 80 reviews, 4 star rating b) 2 reviews 5 star rating c) 0 reviews, no star rating d) 15 reviews, 2.5 star rating

How Can You Start Taking Control of Your Reputation?

1. Check your profile on top review sites • Yelp! • Google Places • CitySearch • InsiderPages • If you haven’t claimed your account, do so. • If no account exists, create one. • Fill out all fields, add pictures, video, hours, etc. • Check PissedConsumer.com and RipoffReport.com

2. Conduct an advanced Google search for your business name • http://www.google.com/advanced_search • Try combining your business name + negative keywords to find different results

3. Set up Google Alerts • Create account here: www.google.com/alerts • Add alert for business name + variations in quotes using “or” to separate terms

4. Set up Twitter Alerts • Create account here: http://www.tweetalarm.com • Add alert for business name and any keywords you want to track • Alerts are emailed to the account you specify • There are many different Twitter alert sites – do a Google search for “Twitter alerts”

How to Get Positive Reviews

Ask you customers to leave a review for you: a. Put up a sign in your place of business asking for reviews b. Send email blast with coupon and ask for feedback c. Create a flyer with a coupon and ask for feedback d. Ask for feedback in person at the end of the transaction e. Add links on your website pointing to review sites f. Add links in the signature of your “customer service” email g. Ask for reviews on Twitter and Facebook h. Create a review form for you office/lobby/waiting room to manually collect reviews/testimonials for your website

Tip: When possible – offer something of value when asking for feedback to engender good will and reciprocity

Tip: Be honest about “why” you are asking for their review

What to do When You Get a Negative Review

• Do not attempt to argue with the reviewer in any public online space • If appropriate, contact the person leaving the review privately and offer to rectify the situation – if they agree, ask them to remove the review • Leave a message for the reviewer on the review site with an apology and offer to rectify the situation – even if they ignore you or say no, other readers will see your gesture to correct the problem • If appropriate, post a rebuttal to the negative review outlining the facts • If an employee made a mistake, apologize and offer to rectify the situation • Keep the tone professional and cordial and never argumentative

How to Get Rid of Negative Reviews

• The best way “get rid” of bad reviews is to bury them with good reviews • Some review sites allow you to rate reviews as helpful or not. • Google places asks “Was this review helpful? Yes/No” – have your friends, employees click “No” on the bad and “Yes” on the good • Yelp! gives you three options for rating reviews: “funny”, “cool”, and “useful” – have your friends, employees click any of the three on your good reviews

Avoid These Common Pitfalls When Asking for Reviews

• Do not leave reviews from your place of business. IP addresses are tracked • Do not leave reviews from company email accounts • Do not leave multiple reviews all in the same day (for email blasts, stagger them 100 at a time, a week or two apart depending on results) • Do not create new email accounts to create a review account • Do not create brand new accounts on review sites to leave reviews

Remember: Reputation management isn’t about maintaining a perfect record with only good reviews and a five star rating. It’s about being responsive.

Still Wondering What Reputation Management is All About?

Making money!

Contact Us:

Kelcey Parker Scott Russell

Nitro Interactive Marketing 6230 Wilshire Blvd. Ste #111 Los Angeles, CA 90048

(310) 736 1704 seo@nitrointeractivemarketing.com

Managing your online reputation is essential for all businesses. If you suffer from poor star ratings, bad reviews, or complaints on sites like RipoffReport.com or PissedConsumer.com, we can help. Visit our page on online reputation management and start taking control of your future.

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Comments (3)

  1. Hi Kelcey,
    this a a comprehensive read on Online Reputation. I have had a bad experience in my last orgasization where people intentionally created bad reviews and even promoted them with clear monetary objectives in mind. How do you think companies can handle that? Any suggestions?
    Robins

    • admin

      That is a difficult situation, when competitors leave negative reviews with the intent of hurting your business. Unfortunately, since it can be very difficult to prove the reviews were left by your competition or to get them taken down by review sites, often the best approach is to treat them as if they were real reviews and to leave publicly visible replies that appear sincere and professional.

      When replying to negative reviews, always remember that the whole world can be watching. Imagine you were handling a difficult customer in a room full of your best prospects. Promise to rectify the situation in any way possible. The important thing is to appear reasonable and responsive. Do that, and you win the battle.

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