Reputation marketing can feel pretty overwhelming, because there are so many moving parts to consider. You’re dealing with numbers and analytics, but also the real feelings of both customers and company owners. It can be tempting to ignore your online rep altogether, but we strongly encourage you to make it a top priority. The team here at Increase Your Profits has come up with a 5 step plan that anyone can use to get started with their reputation marketing.
Step 1: Get Everyone on the Same Page
Everyone in your company needs to be on board with the reputation marketing plan, from the CEO to the retail clerks. This is particularly true for anyone that interacts with customers or acts as a representative of the brand. We offer our clients extensive training sessions on every aspect of online reviews. This includes why reviews are so crucial, how to effectively request them from clients, and how to handle both positive and negative feedback.
Step 2: Keep it Simple
The review process needs to be as quick and easy as possible. For many companies this involves the creation of a dedicated landing page on their website. You can also ask for reviews on specific sites like Yelp or Facebook. First, have someone at the front desk (or someone in contact with the customer) request the review in person. Then, follow up with an email or text message that includes links to your website review page, plus your Yelp, Google+, and Facebook pages. If something like TripAdvisor or Angie’s List is relevant to your industry, include those links also. Be sure to close with a thank you for their honest feedback.
Step 3: Identify Bad Reviews
Bad reviews should not ignored, shared, or promoted. If your website or collection page doesn’t have a fail-safe for identifying negative reviews, you will need to build one in. If that’s not a reasonable option for your company, then you will need to commit to reputation management. This entails daily monitoring of your brand name across relevant websites and social networks, as well checking the reviews that appear on your own site. Once the bad reviews have been identified and set aside, your staff can reach out to unhappy customers individually.
Step 4: Respond to Reviews
The good reviews are easy to respond to – usually you can just thank the reviewer for their business, and promise to keep up the good work. So-so or bad reviews, though, tend to require a bit more work. You might need to research the circumstances to determine the accuracy of the review, and find out who or what needs to be addressed within your company. You also need to know what options are available before your publicly respond. Post a brief thank you for their review and mention the steps you took to make things better. This shows potential customers that if they do have a bad experience, you will care enough to try to fix it.
Step 5: Share Your Reviews
You worked hard for your good reviews, and they deserve to be shared with the world. Use social media to post, re-post, share, and link to your reviews whenever possible. Feature the review on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and your own website, of course. You can market your good reviews by speaking as yourself or your company, which gives you the opportunity to share positive feedback with your own friends and family, customers, interested fans, and the online world overall.
You might be surprised by how much you can do with your positive reviews. If you have brick and mortar locations, considering printing and framing excellent five star reviews for display on the walls. Or, print them all in a nicely bound book that can be left in the waiting area. Create email campaigns that feature the positive reviews, or have them read aloud by a professional spokesperson to create a video review commercial. You can even share the bad reviews, if you do it right. If you publicize the bad review and show the world how you’ve changed your ways, you can gain even more trust and legitimacy.
This five step plan is a great blueprint for success, but it might also make you realize how much is involved with reputation marketing. If you’re interested in hiring a digital marketing company to do the heavy lifting, Increase Your profits is available to help. Click here to schedule your discovery call with us, or click here to access our free Guide to Reputation Marketing.