Find yourself asking what is reputation management? Here are 4 guaranteed ways to use this powerful tool to boost your brand's online image.
Are you worried about your brand's online reputation? If you aren't, you might want to start caring. In fact, ninety percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.
That means your online reputation matters more now than it ever has before. But, as a home warranty company, what does online reputation even mean? And do you ever find yourself asking, "What Is Reputation Management?" These questions might sound all too familiar.
If that's the case, look no further than this article; you're in the right place. We're breaking down exactly what online reputation means for you and how you can boost it.
What Is Reputation Management?
Reputation management isn't just making sure that your website has good reviews. Before the internet took over everything, good reputation was as easy as not breaking the law and creating good ads.
Those days are over, and reputation management is harder than ever. Because anyone can talk about your company online, any small mistake can be overblown. In fact, it's so hard that there are some people who make a full career out of it.
Reputation management is making sure that people say good things about your company, and if they say something negative, this how you make sure it doesn't ruin your brand.
With that being said, let's take a look at a few ways you can improve your reputation management:
1. Social Media
If you're not on social media, you're making a big mistake. This is one of the best ways to market and boost your social reputation.
Everything from airline complaints to photos of bad fast food is on social media. And there’s a good chance that people are talking about your home warranty as well.
Let's say that a customer service representative is having a bad day. One of your clients calls in to ask a question about their policy. Even if the representative helps them, they may not be as friendly as they usually are. Then, the client takes that unfriendliness to Twitter!
If you’re active on social media, you can respond to that client with an apology and invite them to call again. This helps mitigate the situation online and lets you get in contact with someone upset with your business. Social media also lets you post content that lets people know more about your business. This makes you seem more approachable. It can also help you look like an expert in your field.
Being available and responsive on social media will be sure to give you an edge over your competition that isn't online.
2. Negative Reviews
You might have read this one and thought, "Negative reviews can't help my business!"
And you're right; they usually can't.
But you can take negative reviews and make them work in your favor. Your response to a negative review can actually bring you more business. You do this by dealing with a situation and fixing the problem. When people see that you've respected your consumers and fixed their issue, they'll see that you actually care about the people who buy from you.
If the problem isn't a big deal, then the odds that it helps your brand are even bigger. A small problem that lets you show off your care will absolutely help your business.
Make sure you are careful when responding though. If you act in an inappropriate way, then you won't help your case at all.
3. Post in Forums
How many home warranty professionals do you know? It may not be a lot. What this means is that you are an expert in a very small group of people. You have knowledge that most people do not.
When someone asks a question online about home warranty, find a way to answer that question. Check sites like Reddit and search for topics within your field. Posting in forums will show you are knowledgeable about your subject and make you more credible in your industry. This is important for making sure that you look like a professional.
Posting will also give you the opportunity to find other clients. If someone is trying to decide on a warrantor, they might be searching for questions online. They may even run into a question you answered!
If they do, you have a much better chance of them contacting you.
4. Use SEO
SEO is a powerful tool in your arsenal, but Google doesn't pick sides. Whatever content is the best content is what will come up. That means if a news site with great SEO writes about how bad your business is, that's what will come up when people search for you. After reading that article, chances are no one is going to visit your page again.
Review sites like Yelp may come up as well, and even if you have great reviews there, odds are that you want your content to come first. Obviously, you want that news article to disappear from Google's search results. To do this, optimize your site well enough to make sure your content is what's on the first page.
Let's discuss two major ways you can boost your SEO and brand reputation:
Content marketing is the surefire way to improve your SEO. In short, content marketing is writing blogs and posting on social media; there are other forms, but these are the main two.
Regularly updating your site is great for SEO, but it also can help your brand reputation. Make sure you're doing this along with your other marketing strategies.
Guest posting helps your reputation because it shows that you a reliable source. It also means that you get a backlink to your site.
Backlinks tell Google that you are an expert in your field, and you should see this reflected on the SERPs.
Mastering Reputation Management
Reputation management isn't always the easiest concept to understand but taking a few simple steps to manage your reviews and engage with your customers on social media and across the web can have a big impact on your online reputation.
This article was written by Joe Shrem of Select Home Warrant.
Joe Shrem is the owner of Select Home Warranty, a provider of Premium, Gold, and Bronze home warranty plans that cover many parts of the home, from common appliances to central home systems. Select Home Warranty was the recipient of the 2017 Home Warranty Awards "Best in Service" award.