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Paul Blamire

What is Reputation Management? – 6 Tips To Build a Positive Online Reputation & Grow Your Business

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Reputation, in simple terms, is what people think about a brand or person. Influencing the way people perceive your brand or business is reputation management. Often, you can sway opinion in your favor by communicating well with customers. Because this is the digital era and much of the communication with customers takes place online, reputation management and online reputation management have become virtually synonymous.

online reputation management services

WHY IS ONLINE REPUTATION IMPORTANT

​​The way people perceive your brand and talk about your brand plays a significant role in shaping your brand’s reputation. This in turn affects your product sales and business growth. Positive reviews on your products and positive conversations around your brand will boost sales and drive growth. Pretty straightforward, right?

On the other hand, bad reviews can build upon any perceived negativity and can adversely impact your business and your bottom line. There’s nothing like a bad reputation to stifle growth. So, as a business, it is extremely important to address any negative reviews in the initial stages to keep the situation under control.

What is online reputation management for your business

In this article, we will share some tips on how you can build a positive online reputation and grow your business.

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LIST OF AVENUES TO CHECK FOR MAINTAINING A POSITIVE BUSINESS ONLINE REPUTATION

As a business, it is important that you know where your business appears online. After all, these are the sites that have the most power to influence a brand, either negatively or positively. If you know where your consumers are searching for reviews of your business or leaving comments about your business, it can go a long way in helping you get ahead of the reputation management game. Fortunately, you can use these sites to your advantage by working to promote a positive image.

reputation management strategy

Reputation management manifests itself in many ways. However, we are most interested in business review/rating sites, product review sites, and social media platforms because they have the greatest impact.

Business Review Sites – Keep an eye out for these sites to help you best manage your brand’s online reputation:

  1. Google Map Reviews – Consumers write reviews for places they have visited on Google Maps. Here, they can recommend shops and write reviews.
  2. Facebook Ratings and Reviews – Facebook users give star ratings and reviews on local businesses.
  3. Glassdoor Reviews – This site allows employees to anonymously review jobs, work culture and other important aspects of companies.
  4. Yelp – User reviews and recommendations of best restaurants, shopping, nightlife, entertainment and things to do.
  5. Foursquare – Foursquare’s purpose is to help you discover information about businesses and attractions near you.
  6. Yahoo Local Business Listings – Consumers can post reviews of local businesses online.
  7. Better Business Bureau – BBB customer reviews allow customers to post positive, negative or neutral reviews.
  8. Yellow Pages – This is a directory of all businesses where users can write useful reviews.
  9. Quora – Users can post questions about businesses and businesses can respond to queries to help build a positive image.
  10. TripAdvisor – Travelers can post reviews of various shops and businesses in various tourist locations.

Product / Service Review and Rating Sites – These review sites allow consumers to rate and review product features based on their user experience.

  1. Amazon Customer Reviews
  2. Angie’s List
  3. Pissed Consumer
  4. Trust Pilot
  5. NewEgg
  6. eBay
  7. Trust Radius
  8. Capterra
  9. GetApp
  10. G2Crowd

reputation management services

Apart from these generic business review and product / service review sites, it’s also a good idea to research and identify the most relevant review sites for your industry. For example, Finances Online is an amazing review site for B2B SaaS marketplaces, while PCMag is a complete listing of computer reviews, as well as internet, wireless, gadgets, and windows upgrades.

Monitoring both generic and specific review sites will help maintain a positive online reputation, so they should certainly not be ignored!

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ADDRESS COMPLAINTS WHEN THEY SURFACE

Unfortunately, angry customers are the ones that can have the biggest impact on your brand’s reputation. Bad reputations start like small fires with the smoldering discontent of a single customer. If not snuffed out early, that fire can grow into an inferno. Therefore, it’s not enough to simply know what users are saying. Businesses must also address complaints when they arise.

Firstly, the customer service team should handle all requests and complaints with the utmost care. Keep in mind that it may not be possible to satisfy all the service requests of every single customer. Sometimes consumers make requests that are beyond the scope of your products or services. However, businesses can satisfy customer needs based on brand promises. One of the quickest ways to start the inferno of customer anger is to forget the promises you made to your customers.

Secondly, businesses can and should focus on satisfying consumer interests by keeping track of their pain points and working hard to solve them. If you ignore your customers’ pain points, you may be sending them straight to a review site to damage your business with a complaint.

Also remember that complaints should be handled swiftly. No one likes to be stuck with a problem, so even if a solution is found, a customer may still be angry if that solution arrives too late. A slow response can also land you in bad review territory.

CONTROL YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION

If you know that a customer is upset, try to catch them before they turn to the world wide web. Send them an email, shoot them a message, or even give them a call to resolve the issue privately. You or your customer service team should certainly have a protocol in place for reaching out to angry customers before they take their complaints public and damage your online reputation.

online reputation management strategy

REPAIR YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION

If your online reputation is already in the red, no need to panic. There are plenty of ways you can work to repair it. First start by monitoring and addressing every single negative review, comment, or support issue on both generic and industry-specific review sites. Don’t forget to also monitor social media channels for negative comments and discussions about your brand and products.

reputation management definitions

Secondly (and most importantly) respond to negative reviews. If you work to pacify angry consumers by providing a solution, you may convince the customer to take down the bad review they posted previously. Remember that no negative review should go overlooked. After all, you never know which unaddressed negative review may catapult you into the land of bad online reputations.

BUILD YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT ENGINE

A reputation management strategy should be a part of your organization’s customer support process. To achieve this, businesses can build their own online reputation management engine. One of the most important things is to solicit feedback early and often.

Using intelligence and predictive analytics to identify attrition indicators, you can easily get ahead of potential issues and address them quickly when they do inevitably arise. Some attrition indicators are infrequent logins and minimal usage of services. Furthermore, providing periodic surveys for your customers will also help you understand their happiness quotient.With this kind of business intelligence, your customer support team can proactively contact customers to investigate and provide a customer-centric resolution.

Remember that proactivity is key. If a customer has a complaint and your customer support team reaches out passively, this will quickly damage your online reputation. On the other hand, reaching out proactively helps to minimize customer distress and maximize customer satisfaction, leading to excellent online reviews.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Managing your online reputation is of the utmost importance. Businesses would do well to monitor reviews and ratings across review sites and social media platforms to stay in the know. Remember that being aware of bad reviews and ratings is not enough; businesses must also proactively work to respond to complaints. One of the best ways to do this is to have a trained customer support team. Your team can use predictive analytic insights to understand customer pain points, and can actively reach out to customers before they post negative reviews.

 

 

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How to Inspire Walk-in Traffic

Amex Shop Small 2018 – Part III Of III: Driving Walk-in Traffic With Local Search And Reputation Management

By Marketing No Comments

Shop Small season is almost here, folks! It’s time for small businesses to look at digital advertising, local search advertising, and reputation management to drive walk-in traffic during Small Business Saturday. In our previous post, ‘AMEX Shop Small 2018 – Part II of III: Using Social Media to Drive Retail Walk-in Business’, we discussed assessing your competition, creating your sales funnel, designing assets for your online promotions and featuring your business’s Shop Small promotions on social media. Now it’s time to learn how to advertise your retail store.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising

We’ve already learned how to create organic posts. Now we’ll jump right into exciting digital advertising campaigns you can use to boost retail walk-in traffic.

GOOGLE LOCAL SEARCH ADVERTISING

People often search for nearby shops and cafes on Google.com or Google Maps. The neat thing about Google local search advertising is that it uses these searches to your advantage. When someone searches on Google or Google Maps, relevant ads will display that target potential customers in the area they are searching. Your ad may display if they are searching near the area where your business is located. Targeting the local community is key for Shop Small success, and Google local search advertising plays a crucial role.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising

Promoting your business via Google local search ads is an easy and straightforward process if you sign up for our Google 3 pack. Google 3 pack helps local businesses thrive in the search results on your mobile phone, tablet or desktop.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising

 

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FACEBOOK ADS

Facebook is the world’s largest consumer ad network, and you can access it by targeting local shoppers through Facebook ads. Their ads use location targeting which allows businesses to target people living in a particular location, people who have visited the location recently, people living within a radius of pin drop and people traveling in the location. If used correctly, this tool will help boost retail walk-ins from the local community, not just for Small Business Saturday, but for the whole year!

https://scontent.fmaa3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t39.2365-6/17636462_199396857228751_5815860690627330048_n.png?_nc_cat=101&_nc_ht=scontent.fmaa3-1.fna&oh=3cb839a65d4e741dba77e89d779eb8e0&oe=5C6F1ABB

Facebook also offers something called Radius targeting. It is extremely efficient for local businesses who want to target audiences based on distance to the store. For example, if you’re a bakery, you may want to set a small radius. Conversely, if you sell niche goods that are not readily available, you can set a comparatively larger radius for people who may be interested in purchasing your products.

But there are so many more ways to use Facebook to drive traffic to your store on Small Business Saturday. In fact, there are at least five more! We’ve listed them here for your convenience:

1 – INSTAGRAM ADS

Why are we talking about Instagram in a section on how to boost traffic with Facebook? Because you can now target Instagram audiences via Facebook Ad Manager. Pretty cool, right? And with an enormous user base of 1 billion, Instagram should never be ignored as a powerful digital advertising platform. Before promoting on Instagram, be sure to optimize your business Instagram account with a recognizable image, business name, interesting bio and a link to your website.

Once your profile is set up, start sharing attractive photos of your store. These can include new arrivals for Small Business Saturday, holiday shopping season décor, etc. Better yet, you can sponsor these posts and advertise to your target audience based on their demographics, location, behavior, interests and preferences.

It doesn’t hurt to explore various ad formats like photo ads, video ads, collection adverts and carousal ads. The more your experiment, the better you’ll understand how to advertise your retail store and how to drive retail walk-ins during Small Business Saturday. For more information on Instagram advertising, see our previous article on marketing your business on Instagram.

2 – GEOTARGETING ON MOBILE

As a local small business, geotargeting is crucial to driving retail walk-ins. Geotargeting is the practice of delivering different content or advertisements to consumers based on their geographic locations. One way to make use of geotargeting is to be present on apps like Waze and Yelp, where consumers search for nearby shops or local businesses.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising

Waze has recently launched Waze Local which targets local and small businesses. You can promote your business on Waze by using various Waze Local ad formats like Branded Pin, Promoted Search, Nearby Arrow and Zero Speed Takeover.

Yelp is also very useful when it comes to geotargeting. Use Yelp as a platform to talk about Small Business Saturday and mention exclusive events and promotions you’ll be offering to drive more visits to your store. If you’d like to know more about advertising on Yelp, click here.

3 – CREATE EXCITING GROUPON OFFERS

Groupon may not inspire long-term customer loyalty, but it’s fantastic for driving bursts of traffic to your store. Get yourself listed as a merchant on Groupon and design exciting coupons exclusively for Small Business Saturday. Check out this quick guide on how to sell your products and services on Groupon.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising

Launch your Groupon campaigns around the Shop Small season using the Groupon deal builder. Don’t forget to prepare your business and staff to handle the Groupon customers who visit, and make sure that your staff know the coupon redemption process etc.

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4 – RETARGETING

If you utilize all these strategies, your business will surely see plenty of online traffic. So what do you do with all this traffic? You nurture it, of course! Nurturing means keeping your business front of mind by consistently offering tantalizing information about your products to drive sales. You can do this most effectively by leveraging retargeting.

Based on the kind of actions the potential consumers have taken in the past, create Google remarketing ads to show relevant offers. Businesses should segment users based on their interests, preferences and online behavior so that they can show customized content to each segment. This will ensure higher conversions and retail walk ins.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising

AdRoll is another critical tool used to retarget your website visitors. For example, you’re reading content on Deltagency.com as we speak. Over the next few days and weeks, notice how many Deltagency ads you see as you navigate across various websites on the internet.

5 – REPUTATION MANAGEMENT

Reputation management is extremely important to any business, which is why we’re doing a deep dive on this topic in our next blog post. This week, we’ll do a brief overview of managing business reputation to give you a taste. As a small business, it is important to understand how your brand is perceived among your local community and potential consumers.

A business reputation can be managed by using various social listening tools to understand what your consumers are saying about your business.

With business reputation management, you can motivate your customers to tag your store location and talk about what they like about your store on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. You can also motivate them to give positive reviews on customer review sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook, Foursquare etc.

If you want to know more about Reputation Management, check out this article by Forbes on ‘Reputation Management Tips for Small Businesses’.

CONCLUSION

Digital media has grown at a rapid pace and is slowly overtaking all other forms of advertising. Even if you are operating a brick and mortar retail business, there are powerful and cost-effective digital advertising growth levers that you should be using. For just a few dollars a day you can boost conversions and eventually improve the growth rate of your business using online advertising and local search advertising.

Through promotions and posts about your brand, you can remind people who have visited your website about your brand and ensure that it stays top of mind. We hope this has helped you learn how to advertise your retail store! Catch up with us next week to learn all about reputation management. See you then!

 

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Get Social and Shop Small image

AMEX Shop Small 2018 – Part II of III: Using Social Media to Drive Retail Walk-in Business

By Marketing No Comments

In last week’s blog post titled ‘AMEX Shop Small 2018 – Part I of III: Everything You Need to Know’, we did a complete overview of the Amex Shop Small movement and Small Business Saturday. This week, we’ll cover the holiday shopping craze around Thanksgiving and how small businesses can use social media to their advantage during the correlating Shop Small season. We’ll also review how this can help drive retail walk-ins during the Small Business Saturday, and more! So scroll on and learn how to up your social media game this Shop Small season.

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR SHOP SMALL 2018?

As a small business, start by setting up SMART goals for the Shop Small season 2018. Your goal could be driving immediate sales on Small Business Saturday or increasing overall brand loyalty. You could also use this movement to drive your social media fan following.

Every in-person retail experience should be complemented with an attractive digital experience to keep your retail business top of mind among consumers. In this article, we’ll tell you how to set that goal and accomplish it… just in time for Small Business Saturday!

 

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SPREAD AWARENESS AND REMIND PEOPLE ABOUT SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Small Business Saturday was created to shift the attention of consumers from large retailers and ecommerce stores to small mom-and-pop shops. However, these small businesses are in direct competition with Black Friday sales. According to RetailMeNot, an average consumer is ready to spend approximately $700 between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To get a cut from consumers’ holiday shopping budget, you must make these holiday-happy shoppers aware of your own discounts, events, and offers long before Small Business Saturday.

DECIDE ON YOUR CALL TO ACTION

Calls to action are the bread and butter of your sales funnel. They’re the pieces of text or images that call on your potential customers to take action. They then provide the means to take that action, usually in the form of a button or link. But before you can ask your potential customers to do anything, you have to figure out what it is you want them to do.

First, outline what your goals are for Shop Small 2018. Then create calls to action designed around those goals. For example, if your goal is to increase social media followers during the Shop Small season, then your call to action needs to be centered around that. You need to ensure that your sponsored posts, email campaigns etc. have clearly visible social media follow buttons. On the other hand, if your goal is to increase in-store foot traffic, your call to action should be an in store event registration. The takeaway here is to set clear CTAs based on your goals.

CREATE YOUR #SHOPSMALL OFFERS

Competing during the Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping season is no easy feat. After all, it can be hard to be heard over the noise of exciting offers and promotions from businesses all across the country. When you decide to compete in this space, it is essential that you also come up with exciting events and promotions to boost sales.

If your idea is too generic, there is a good chance your message will get lost in the crowd. Some things to consider are: what your competitors are doing, what your calls to action and goals are, what attracts your target audience, and so on. Your Shop Small exclusive offers are a key element in your marketing strategy for the holiday shopping season.

SOCIAL MEDIA ORGANIC POSTS

Before deciding on paid promotion, it’s important for businesses to have a reasonably good organic reach. One way to do this is to update your social media pages to show that you’re participating in the Shop Small movement and Small Business Saturday. Small steps like changing your cover image and profile picture to suit the Shop Small movement will go a long way in connecting with your audience.

Post regularly on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages about your promotions for Small Business Saturday. Because this season is a festive one, social media inspiration is a piece of cake. For example, you can dress your store up in holiday attire and share photos or videos of your store’s festive makeover.

You can also use relevant hashtags like #ShopSmall, #SmallBizSat, #SmallBusinessSaturday, #DineSmall etc. to attract a bigger audience to your social media pages.

SOCIAL MEDIA ADS

Organic posts may give your business a good head start, but if you want to achieve strong results on social media, you’ll need to invest in paid promotions too.

Image result for instagram ads

Promote your Shop Small deals and events  through social media ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

Image result for facebook ads

Run a combination of image, video, and sponsored posts to drive sales and increase foot traffic to your store during the holiday shopping season and Small Business Saturday.

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COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY

While running your social media campaigns and contests, it’s equally important to understand what your competition is doing on social media. Competitive analysis will give you an understanding of initiatives you can use to enhance your social media presence and grab the attention of your target audience.

Did you know that you can see your competitors’ ads on Facebook? This neat little tool will help you get an understanding of the kind of ads that work well in your industry. In your Facebook account, simply click on the ‘Info and Ads’ section in the left column of your competitor’s Facebook page to see all the ads that your competitor is running in any particular region.

Similarly, follow your competitors’ accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels. This will give you an insight as to what they’re promoting and the kinds of events they’re hosting. This is one of the best ways to refine and revamp your social media strategy for the Small Business Saturday shopping season.

You should also keep an eye on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page for ideas.

LAUNCH SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY EVENTS

It’s not enough to know what kind of events your competitors are running. You must also host your own. Events are an essential part of your small business marketing strategy as they’ll increase traffic and store visits. Exciting events will also motivate prospects to discuss it with their friends, helping promote your business through word of mouth.

For instance, you can host kick off events to start the day-long shopping spree. Invite loyal customers and offer them goodies, snacks, and beverages. You can also host kids games, sports, coloring contests etc. to attract families who might be in the holiday shopping spirit. Whether you’re a children’s store or not, offering entertainment for the little ones is a great way to get families to come in, browse, and maybe even buy. The goodies may get them there, but your promotions, discounts, and outstanding products will surely encourage them to stick around.

MAPPING YOUR SALES FUNNEL

Once you have created exclusive offers for Small Business Saturday and have decided on the in store and online events you’re going to host, the next step is to map out your sales funnel. Create your map based on the experience and user journey path you want your prospective consumers to take.

Firstly, make sure that you have created organic social media content as well as social media ads/sponsored posts catering to audiences who are at different stages in the buying journey. Then create and add relevant landing pages to move prospects from one stage to the next. Finally, offer giveaways and discounts, and send out coupons to attract consumers to your store.

EMAIL PROMOTION

Run email campaigns to let your regular customers and leads know about various initiatives and promotions you have planned for Small Business Saturday. Don’t forget to send reminder emails to motivate prospects to visit your store on that day.

One of the most important aspects of an email campaign is frequency and timing. You can achieve a preferable frequency by optimizing email cadence. This strategy will surely help get your potential consumers excited about your Shop Small offers, promotions, and events, so don’t neglect it!

CREATING STRIKING CREATIVES FOR PROMOTION

Having discussed various channels for promoting your small business, we’ll now focus on equipping you with the right tools for promotion.

Luckily for you, American Express has pretty much got you covered in that regard. Their online Studio allows you to access ready-made templates, posters, and other materials that can aid you in your social media promotions.

In the studio, you can create custom posters and banners that showcase the uniqueness of your business and encourage your local community to Shop Small at your store. Share basic business details like business name, color schemes, type of materials required, business location, etc. by clicking on the link to create marketing materials for promoting your small business via online marketing channels like email and social media.

 

You can also use tools like Canva to design images for your Shop Small social media promotions.

Image result for canva images creating

FINAL THOUGHTS

The main takeaway is that consumer spending is much higher during the Thanksgiving shopping season. Getting a slice of this holiday pie is a great way to boost sales. However, businesses all across the country are aware of this uptick in spending, so getting your business out there can sometimes be tough. Using the recommendations in this article will help you attract prospective customers and make big sales this holiday season.

In the next post titled, ‘AMEX Shop Small 2018 – Part III of III: Driving Walk-in Traffic with Local Search & Reputation Management’, we will understand how to drive walk in traffic to your business with local search and reputation management.

 

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