What are you doing to proactively manage, protect and monetize your most valuable asset—your reputation?
The first R is reputation. As we discussed earlier, it has never been easier for potential customers to find out what others think about your business. This is both good and bad (depending on what people find).
As you know, nowadays people search online before they buy. We know that people put a lot of stock in what they find and read online. In fact, a recent Nielsen study shows that 74 percent of consumers choose to do business based on online feedback—even when it’s feedback from total strangers!
According to Nielsen’s summary of their poll data, recommendations from personal acquaintances and opinions posted by consumers online are “the most trusted forms of advertising.”
Look who’s talking (about you)
A sample of who’s talking about your business:
- Disgruntled employees
- Former business partners, investors
- Trolls (the permanently aggrieved)
This probably isn’t anything new to you, and there’s a decent chance that, like most of the businesses I talk to, you are not very pleased about some of the things people have written about your business!
This brings up a larger point:
Whether it is positive or negative in tone, most of the content about your business that is available online is not even being created by you anymore!
Consumers are critics and publishers now. They all carry tiny “printing presses” in their pockets!
Reputation: more important than ever
To be sure, businesses have always relied on their reputation.
But the stakes are even higher today because of how easy it is for consumers to find information about local companies before they buy.
What’s more, as we’ve already discussed, negative reviews can get lodged in the search results, hanging like an albatross around your neck and dragging down sales. Answer this:
Are you “Googleable”? How many pages of Google are you on? (You may include your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter profiles etc. in your answer)
[ ] Don’t know
[ ] 0
[ ] 1
[ ] 2–5
[ ] 6+
Study: 90 percent of consumer’s online trust recommendations from people they know; seventy percent trust opinions of unknown users.