Table of Contents
- What is Reputation Management?
- What Do Online Reputation Management Services Do?
- Benefits of Using a Reputation Management Service
- How Much Do Online Reputation Management Services Cost?
- How to Choose an Online Reputation Management Service
- How to Find a Trustworthy Reputation Management Service
- The Best Online Reputation Management Services
- Online Reputation Management FAQs
- 1. How do you know which strategies you need?
- 2. What causes a bad reputation?
- 3. What’s the difference between reputation management and review management?
- 4. How can social media affect your reputation?
- 5. How long should it take to see results?
- 6. Does my business need ongoing reputation management services?
- 7. Can I handle online reputation management on my own?
Managing your company’s online reputation effectively can build consumer trust, increase your profits, and attract better talent. In today’s digital age, businesses and consumers frequently use the internet to find new products or services and to research companies before making a purchasing decision. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to manage their online reputation. Having a bad online image or no online presence at all can be detrimental to your company and can deter customers from purchasing your products or services. This is why many businesses are turning to online reputation management services to boost their online credibility.
What is Reputation Management?
Online reputation management is a strategy that involves monitoring and molding your company’s internet reputation by emphasizing positive reviews and limiting negative ones. There are various strategies used in reputation management, including search engine optimization (SEO), content development and management, social media monitoring and management, review acquisition and management, third-party website monitoring, and competitor analysis. These strategies aim to mend a poor reputation or maintain a positive image.
What Do Online Reputation Management Services Do?
Reputation management services use a variety of strategies to analyze, establish, protect, and restore a company’s image online. Here are some of the primary strategies these services employ:
1. SEO and Management
SEO comprises optimizing your online content so it ranks higher on popular search engines like Google. Reputation management firms use SEO to ensure that consumers who are searching for topics relating to your business will be more likely to find you. If there is negative information about your business appearing in search results, the reputation management company can use truthful, positive content to counter negative content.
2. Content Development and Management
To rank well in search engines and build a good reputation, you need a high-quality content strategy. Many reputation management services will work with your company to create new material so that your target customers find positive results about you or your business right away.
3. Social Media Monitoring and Management
While platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can grow your business or brand, it takes only one inappropriate picture or comment to cause a public relations nightmare. Reputation management services can monitor your social media profiles and control your company’s social media efforts by strategizing posts to get high engagement.
4. Review Acquisition and Management
Many reputation management services help businesses acquire and manage online reviews. These services employ tactics that encourage people to write reviews. When people write good reviews, the company promotes them on sites like Google and Facebook. When people write negative reviews, your business is notified so it can rectify the situation. Some services have software that allows businesses to manage reviews from one platform.
5. Third-Party Website Monitoring
Negative reviews from former employees and displeased customers on websites such as Yelp and Glassdoor can be particularly damaging. Reputation management services can monitor the internet to see what people are saying about you.
6. Competitor Monitoring
A less common but still useful aspect of reputation management is competitive benchmarking. This is the act of monitoring your competition to see how you compare in terms of local search terms, social activity, online mentions, reviews, and more.
Your business is unique, and you may need some or all of the above strategies. Several reputation management companies also provide comprehensive digital marketing services, unifying your online presence. Depending on your needs, you might want to work with a company that offers services such as website building, search engine marketing, lead generation, social media marketing, and email marketing.
Benefits of Using a Reputation Management Service
A positive online reputation has several benefits for your company, including:
Increased Word-of-Mouth Advertising: When you have a positive reputation, existing customers tell their friends and family about your company, and word spreads about the great products or attentive customer service your company provides. Word-of-mouth advertising remains a potent way to drive sales.
More Profits: With increased consumer confidence in your company, you can see greater demand for your goods or services, increased revenue, and more money in your pocket.
Access to Better Talent: Employees want to work for the best companies. One way to gain access to top talent is to have a stellar reputation in your industry and community.
How Much Do Online Reputation Management Services Cost?
The cost to hire a reputation management service varies greatly depending on which strategies your business needs. A few companies have preset service plans with fixed rates, but many agencies provide customized services. Therefore, pricing is dependent on the strategies the service prescribes to clients. Most reputation management firms conduct an online analysis of your brand first to determine which strategies will serve you best. After this initial analysis, they prepare a cost estimate to implement these strategies. Prices can run anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per month, depending on the work required to repair and maintain your online image. You can also adjust the services as needed. Pay close attention to whether the service requires a contract. Some companies have contract terms that span three, six, or 12 months, while others are on a month-to-month basis, and you can cancel at any time with no penalty.
How to Choose an Online Reputation Management Service
Here are some tips to help you choose an online reputation management service that is best suited for your business:
1. Ascertain Your Needs and Goals
Have a clear understanding of your specific goals before starting your search for an online reputation management service. Articulate your objectives clearly before contacting firms. Businesses’ goals vary, and so do the services that online reputation management companies specialize in.
2. Think About Customer Service
When you first contact a company, analyze how it treats you. Ask whom you will work with if you hire the company. Will you have your own project manager as your point of contact? When you do move forward with a provider, they should always be transparent and informative about your campaigns.
3. Do Your Research
Google the company to see what others are saying. Also, ask for a list of the company’s clients and contact clients to hear firsthand from them about their experience working with that firm. Look at the company’s website. Does it look professional? Does it have information about its top executives? If it does, research the executives to see if they have a positive online image.
How to Find a Trustworthy Reputation Management Service
Choose a provider that uses “white hat” tactics, meaning their techniques adhere to Google’s best practices. Reputation management campaigns that use white hat tactics may take longer to yield results, but those results endure. Ensure that the online reputation management service you choose avoids unethical practices such as astroturfing, fake websites or content, keyword stuffing, link spamming, invisible text, and spambots.
The Best Online Reputation Management Services
Here are our top three reputation management service picks:
Podium: Podium specializes in review acquisition and management. It enables small businesses to solicit reviews through text message marketing and integrates with Google Reviews to post customer reviews directly to your Google profile.
Gadook: Gadook is our top pick for individuals looking to build and protect their personal brand or rebrand themselves. They offer customized plans to improve or maintain your online reputation, including the creation of positive, SEO-rich content.
Webimax: Webimax offers comprehensive services for small businesses, including content creation, social media monitoring, brand preservation, review management, crisis response, and positive reputation promotion.
Online Reputation Management FAQs
If you’re still unsure whether an online reputation management service can help your business, here are some commonly asked questions:
1. How do you know which strategies you need?
Analyze your current online reputation and perform online searches for your name or business’s name to see what comes up. Focus on boosting the SEO of your current content if there are a lot of negative stories. Consider tools that monitor the web and alert you if negative comments appear online. Review management services can help you acquire new reviews, respond to current reviews, and counter negative reviews.
2. What causes a bad reputation?
Customers who have negative experiences with your brand are more likely to leave an online comment or review compared to people who have a good experience. Negative reviews and mentions can damage your company’s reputation. Respond to negative feedback and address issues promptly to avoid a bad reputation.
3. What’s the difference between reputation management and review management?
Reputation management is an all-encompassing strategy to manage your online reputation, while review management is a specific type of reputation management that focuses on acquiring, managing, and responding to online reviews.
4. How can social media affect your reputation?
Social media can have a significant impact on your reputation. Maintain a consistent focus on managing your social media accounts, respond to customer interactions, and address any negative comments or complaints promptly.
5. How long should it take to see results?
The time it takes to see results can vary depending on the state of your online reputation and the strategies employed. Discuss with the reputation management service how long it might take to see positive results.
6. Does my business need ongoing reputation management services?
Depending on your goals, you may want to continue reputation management services to maintain a positive online reputation, monitor content, and respond to issues promptly.
7. Can I handle online reputation management on my own?
You may be able to implement some online reputation management strategies on your own, but consider the time and resources required. Hiring a reputation manager or using an online reputation management service can save you time and ensure professional management of your online reputation.
In conclusion, managing your online reputation is crucial for building consumer trust, increasing profits, and attracting better talent. Online reputation management services offer various strategies to analyze, establish, protect, and restore a company’s image online. When choosing a reputation management service, consider your specific needs and goals, evaluate their customer service, do your research, and choose a provider that uses ethical white hat tactics. The best online reputation management services offer comprehensive solutions tailored to your business or personal brand.