Consumers shop online over a billion times a day. But without a powerful digital presence, your chances of tapping into this market and experiencing real business success are slim.
Contrary to what many might assume, an online presence does not simply equate to your existence online. A business’s digital presence is bound to its brand visibility, credibility and digital reputation and consists of three contributing factors:
- You: What you do to increase web presence — your behavior and the content you produce.
- The Web: Where you stand on the internet — social media and search engines.
- The Market: How the public regards your business online — what they say about you and how they interact with you.
A strong online presence enables your target customer base to not only find you but also understand more about your services and track record (digital reputation).
In this blog, we talk more about digital presence, how you can bolster it with brand reputation management techniques and reputational risks you should beware of.
Build Trust With Customers Through a Solid Digital Presence
The main advantage of investing in your online presence is that it allows a broad prospective client base to find you while giving you control over what they see. It’s not just about being discovered. To build and improve online presence is to build trust with customers and search engines alike.
To improve online presence is to:
Increase web presence or brand visibility: Four in five consumers use search engines to look up business information (Google and Ipsos). In the chaotic world of the internet, you essentially have zero brand visibility if you don’t have a solid digital presence.
Establish your brand as a legitimate business: Eighty-three percent of U.S. consumers search online before visiting a store (Google and Ipsos). Therefore, the purchase decision of your target market relies on the information they find online.
Leverage the power of reviews: Fifty-five percent of consumers use search engines, and 33 percent look at reviews to learn more about a product they want to buy (Statista). Investing in review generation and review monitoring services is a vital component of a successful online presence.
“Reviews are the highest trust signal on the internet, more than testimonials,” said Tim Clarke, Rize Reviews’ senior reputation manager.
“Reviews also help small and newer businesses catch up to the competition.”
Promote your businesses 24/7: Eighty-five percent of buyers surveyed state product information and pictures are vital when deciding which brand to buy from (Google and Ipsos). So, the content you produce when you build social media presence or a website should contain sufficient details to appeal to your ideal client base.
If you want to build social media presence effectively, you need to look into your listings management, social media follower growth and overall brand reputation management techniques.
How To Improve Online Presence With Brand Reputation Management Techniques
A solid online presence takes more than putting up a website and then kicking back, and a single social media page isn’t enough to increase web presence and stand out from a wide competition pool.
1. Audit Your Digital Presence
Every successful brand reputation management starts with auditing a company’s digital presence. In this phase, you’ll use the internet to find out what people are saying about your company and where the conversations are taking place.
You can perform a branded search or look up keywords relevant to your business. Additionally, you want to track how you’re performing in terms of social media follower growth.
2. Secure Your Listings on the Top Directories
During the audit, you’ll discover any listings you need to claim and manage. Keep in mind that small listing websites aggregate business information from the top directories like Google, Yelp, Facebook and Bing, so prioritize these sites in your listings management.
“The major sites are free, and claiming your listings is a great way to stand out online, especially on Google and Bing searches,” Clarke said.
“You can get leads, attention and great reviews for no money.”.
And since social networking sites like Facebook are included in the top directories, they allow you to build social media presence, further widening your reach. In addition, businesses get much more visibility on Google maps via mobile searches, so securing your listings in the major directories is essential for almost every business in 2022, Clarke said.
Related article: The Most Important Local Citations You Should Claim
3. Be Meticulous About Your Listing Management and Provide Accurate Information
Disseminating accurate name, address and phone number (NAP) is non-negotiable if you want to build trust with customers. The accuracy and overall quality of your listing matter because search results in social media and search engines are subject to an algorithm.
You wouldn’t want to mislead your target market with outdated information, leading them straight into your competitor’s sales funnel.
4. Develop Actionable Insights Based on Reviews, Comments or Feedback From Your Customer Base
Perhaps the most instrumental aspect of reputation management is understanding how consumers perceive your company. Monitoring and responding to feedback like criticism and suggestions provide actionable insights foundational to improving your digital presence.
Your customer’s positive remarks will let you recognize what you’re doing well and should continue. On the other hand, their complaints and pain points can help you identify the aspects of your company that require more focus.
“The key is to deliver quality products and services and then ask customers to recognize you online,” Clarke said.
While a solid online presence has many benefits, it also exposes you to many reputational risks.
Types of Reputational Risk You Should Be Cautious Of
Reputational risk is any threat or danger that poses a risk to your company’s reputation, how consumers perceive you and the success of your business in its entirety. Much like with digital presence, many contribute as a risk to your digital reputation:
Your company’s direct actions and practices. Such reputational risks involve your business’s procedures and activities as a whole, including:
- Not complying with regulations, whether they be local or federal, or rules that apply to a particular industry.
- Data breaches brought on by risky processes that endanger the privacy and safety of customers and employees.
- Poor or exploitative working conditions and culture for employees.
Actions of anyone directly representing your company (executives, employees and investors). These risks often arise when a person with a direct connection to your company acts illicitly or engages in unethical behavior, including:
- C-Suite employees’ unethical conduct, such as harassment and discrimination.
- Employees’ poor representation of your brand to others.
- Individual personnel’s misconduct toward a customer.
Your partners’ or suppliers’ direct actions. While these individuals often are pillars of support to a business, their behavior can threaten your reputation. For instance:
- Partners enduring service outages that gravely impair a foundational aspect of your organization, such as defective software.
- Partners or suppliers perform unethical behavior that is made public.
- Partners or suppliers disparage your company in public discussions.
External variables (client base and press). Customers’ experiences, particularly negative ones, can have a catastrophic impact on your reputation. Proactive mention and review monitoring is fundamental because these risks arise when there are:
- Critical posts on social media from your customer base about their experience with your product or service.
- Negative false feedback made by users on review websites.
- Damaging press and articles.
Alarming as they are, these risks typically unfold unexpectedly and fast, but a reputation management consultant plays a significant role in monitoring and mitigating any reputational risk.
Protect Your Digital Presence, Analyze Reviews and Shape Purchase Decisions With Rize Reviews
Before you can access a gold mine that is online reviews, review generation and analysis must take place. But unfortunately, not many companies know where to begin. This is where you can benefit from the expertise of an online reputation management (ORM) company like Rize Reviews.
Take Paramount (formerly ViacomCBS), for instance: The multinational mass media conglomerate worked with Rize Reviews to gain better insights into how their products are performing and how the U.K. market is responding.
Our reputation management team scraped 20 review websites and analyzed 4,000 product information to develop an easy-to-navigate custom product review dashboard for Paramount. As a result, our client gained detailed, actionable insights, allowing its leadership team to discuss new business trajectories.
If you want to learn more about how Rize Reviews can help protect and improve your digital reputation with our listing management and review monitoring services, book a free ORM consultation.