The success of a business has always been defined by the number of positive reviews the organization or firm receives. Be it to attract employees or to seek business, reviews are crucial as they work as a magnet, capable of attracting more business. Though the concept has remained the same, the process has gone through some changes. While word of mouth was the best means to get a business reviewed in the earlier times, online reputation management has become the new catch.

Truly, it can be very confusing and time taking process especially in the initial days of the business. There are multiple online review sites such as Facebook, Yelp, Google My Business, Tripadvisor that a business must make its presence known on, and this creates the confusion.

But when there is a will there's a way, or so has history proved to us time and again. In the current world of digitalization, everything can be digitized, thereby demanding fewer hours of work. For instance, tax calculation took over a week to be completed and filed, but given the current stage of digitalization, it can be done within hours. Likewise, there are tools that can assist a small business to automate their online reputation, but the important thing is to find out whether or not the business is ready.

Online Business Reputation Management

As mentioned earlier, word of mouth has been the chief source of reviews in the past. For instance, if one had to make a purchase or hire some service, they would seek reviews from their neighbors and friends who have used the service before. Though the idea has remained the same, the process has moved online. Now people do not look for recommendations from friends and family, they now search for the same online in sites such as Yelp, Google My Business, TripAdvisor and such. However, the search does not end on finding a five-star review of the said store or business, in recent times people want to know what others think of the store, what recommendations have they made and finally their overall experience. Once all that is up to the mark, the customer walks into the given store and makes the purchase.

Reputation management is all about putting your ideas on that conversation, ensuring that these sites truly reflect the customer experience that your business provides. Additionally, there must be some arrangement made to reply to the comments and recommendations made by the other customers. However, it goes without saying, that such a task is not only tedious but also time-consuming. Since you must be present on all these online review sites, it requires you to be shifting tabs to check if any reviews have come in. Additionally, someone must be appointed to answer to these reviews to portray the organization in the right light! That sounds like a lot of work! But here are a few ways you can automate your online reputation management system.

  1. Instead of spending a few hours every day to respond to the reviews posted on Facebook, Yelp, Tripadvisor, it is worthy to spend a few hours in a week to automate this entire process.
  2. If you have not checked your online listing in a long time, there is nothing to be jolted about. In fact, such businesses make the perfect candidates for an automated online reputation management system.
  3. You do not need to log in every time in all the review sites to see if you have received any comments and reviews from your clients. Let’s face it, early in the morning, while you are gearing up for work, some lame cat or dog video on Facebook is not ideally the first thing you wish to see! Thus save yourself from such pains and lunch a monitoring system for the reviews.
  4. Make use of tools like Stillio. The website ensures that you don’t need to do all of this manually. Instead, all you need to do is to just enter your profile pages into the dashboard, and you will be getting regular screenshots. This means, none of your reviews (positive or negative) go unnoticed.
  5. While running a business, always know that all reviews will not be sweet and encouraging, there will be some fire shot reviews, hate comments and negative remarks from clients. It is okay if you do not know how to deal with such type of comments. Under such circumstances, a do-it-yourself tool can be the perfect tool for you! The tool will guide you through the replying process and thus keep up the conversation, and the best part, the pre-scripted notes, always keep the conversation personal!
  6. Running a business is no child’s play. It requires constant attention, hard work, client management and a lot of other things that might require your undivided attention. When so many things are hanging from the roof, you may not find the time to deal with reputation management manually. To that end, online reputation automation is your friend in need. Just set it and forget all about it for some time.  While automation takes care of your brand image online, you will continue to reap its benefit thereby getting your business on the right tracks.
  7. We all learn something new every day, and that is how it should be. In that light, digitalization is a new concept and using the same for your business may require some research and learning. It becomes increasingly difficult to master the ins and out of every review site and frankly, given the tedious schedule it might not be possible. In that light, one can go for a centralized location to access all the review sites at one go, thereby reducing the learning curve.

Outsourcing though can prove of merit many a time, online reputation management may not be one of the instances. There are things about your business which only you know. Thus you might be the only person who can clarify some doubts a client might have. Winging out online reputation management to others may not prove all that great and chances are something might be missed out. The individual assigned the task may not know every detail or stance to be covered. Of course, you don't need to be an expert in online reputation management to deal with your brand image. All you need is a stronghold and unshakable confidence in the merits of your enterprise.

Published by rudds james