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In this age of viral internet, your brand can be praised or ruined in a matter of minutes. Consumers are now trusting the words of virtual strangers just as they would a friend or colleague. In fact, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business (Bright Local). The internet allows consumers to share their experience with your company across the world instantaneously. Be sure to preserve your brand reputation with these digital brand safety guidelines.

Monitor Online Reviews

The anonymity of a desktop screen creates an environment for online reviewers to be brash and unfiltered. The common pleasantries you find in a face-to-face or telephone conversation are lost. Plus, there’s no way for your company to deescalate the issue prior to publishing. The bottom line is online reviews have a critical impact to your business.

Research shows businesses risk losing 22% of business when potential customers find one negative article on the first page of their search results. If your business has two negatives on the first page of the search, you’re at risk of losing 44% of customers. If three negative articles pop up in a search query, the potential for lost customers increases to 59.2%. Four or more negative articles and you’re likely to lose 70% of potential customers.

Imagine more than half of your potential customers walking away right as they enter your store—that’s how easily having a negative Google review can impact your future sales. Your company can spend money on SEO optimization, paid advertising, and email marketing but it’s all wasted cash if your audience sees negative customer feedback.

To stay on top of online reviews, be sure your company is monitoring the following sites:

  • Google
  • Google Business Listing
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Yelp
  • Yahoo Local Listings
  • Angie’s List
  • Amazon
  • Glassdoor
  • Better Business Bureau

Respond to Social Posts Immediately

When one of your consumers takes time to engage with your company on social media, your staff should be listening. If there was an issue with your product or service, a timely response is best.

According to Convince and Convert, 42% of your customers will expect a 60 minute response time and 32% of them expect a response within 30 minutes!

The longer your company waits to remedy the situation the more the consumer feels neglected and unappreciated. Lacking or lagging responses also gives time for other social followers to chime in and fan the flame.

If your social media manager doesn’t know the answer to a specific inquiry or issue, they should have a standard response until an answer can be uncovered.

“NAME, we’re so sorry to hear about your experience with COMPANY. Our goal is to provide all customers with top-of-line products/service. Please be assured I’m looking into this issue right now. Do you mind DMing us your contact information so I may connect with you immediately once the issue is resolved?”

It’s also best practice to move the conversation to a private location, like personal or direct messages, as quickly as possible.

Play Offense

The silver lining to monitoring your digital reputation is that is allows your company to conduct a free consumer report on the status of your service. Setting up Google Alerts can instantly notify your company when a keyword is mentioned. You can customize your alert based on publishing platform, region, and set the alert to a daily, weekly or monthly schedule. This allows your company to stay ahead of any harmful or dishonest reviews and play online offense.

Don’t forget to engage with your brand evangelists online. You’ll want to encourage your enthusiastic promoters to create buzz around your brand. Remember all social media posts are public, which make them instant press releases by trusted consumers—so use the free publicity to your advantage!

Though these simple steps take staff time, having an internet insurance plan in effect can prevent a company catastrophe. If you do find yourself in an online dilemma, feel free to call MOSAIC and consult with our marketing experts to help respond and alleviate any brand damage.

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