Is an Online Reputation Management System Right For You?

In today’s digital world, reputation management should be a key focus within your digital marketing strategy. Online reputation management is essential to creating a trusted brand online, generating leads, and - ultimately - making sales. Even if you don’t have a strong presence online (you should, but we won’t get into that here), you can bet that someone has left a review about you somewhere. 

Why is reputation management important?

There are review sites all over the internet, and people are scouring them before they reach out to you to find out what others’ experiences with your product or services have been like. Think of it as word of mouth for the online era. To complicate things further, once a review has been posted, it’s often very difficult to have it taken down - even if it isn’t true. So long as the language in a review doesn’t violate the site’s terms of use (usually, these are pretty broad restrictions on hate speech, foul language, etc.), that review is there to stay. 

Even if you can’t control the content of the review, you can control how you respond to it. And sometimes, that makes all the difference to the people reading them to vet your company. But, as is true in most cases, being proactive is better than being reactive when it comes to your reputation management strategy. Sure, responding appropriately to negative reviews is a great start, but what about building up a portfolio of positive ones? 

Who is reading your reviews?

Not only does a positive online reputation build credibility with customers (and more revenue), it also means more visibility in search. Search engines value online reviews just as much as your customers do. Google offers up search results based on the quality and relevance of a given web page. A great online reputation signals to Google that your business and online content are quality enough to show. Not to mention online reviews provide fresh, organic, user-generated content, which Google just eats up. 

How can you monitor your online reputation?

We mentioned that there are review sites all over the internet; honestly, there are too many to count. And people are reading them. According to Statista, as of 2019, shoppers expected a minimum of 100 reviews when looking at products online. Of course, there are a few that are more important to monitor than others. Social media profiles and Google are among the most important for services, along with product reviews wherever your products are sold. 

The good news is, you can still do your own reputation management. By focusing on only the platforms you know your audience is using (you know because you’ve developed buyer personas and have that kind of information in your marketing quiver), you can effectively manage and respond to reviews. And, of course, there are online tools available to help. 

The Pros & Cons of Reputation Management Software

Reputation management software tools can make the process of attracting and managing online reviews easier. But like all things automation, there are both pros and cons. 

The Pros: 

  • Allow you to stay on top of reviews across the internet - not just social media and Google - without the manual work
  • Automate review requests to your customers to make sure you reach everyone at the best time in the buyer’s journey to leave positive feedback (and make it easy for them to do so)
  • Notify you of a bad review so you can respond immediately

The Cons: 

  • Automating outreach always presents the risk of reaching someone at the wrong time or in an ineffective way
  • You cannot assess who receives review requests, so there is a chance that you will earn more bad reviews with your outreach than you would otherwise
  • Online reputation management software is not exactly cheap, putting it out of reach for many small businesses 

Whether an online reputation management system is right for your business is up to you. But if your organization can afford it and it is managed by someone who is adept at marketing automation, it can go a long way toward helping you build the glowing online reputation you deserve. Not sure if it’s right for you? Check out some of the reviews (see what we did there) of ORM systems on G2, or give your friendly neighborhood marketers a call. We’re always here to help. 

Read On

Love Your Haters: Responding to Online Reviews

Online comments and reviews allow consumers to educate other consumers and to give feedback to the...

Legal Liability and Online Reviews

Several years ago, I received an email from Yelp! notifying me that I would no longer be able to...

Reputation Management 101

You’ve heard the term slung around, but what does it mean? And more importantly, what does it have...