Gaining a customer’s trust is tough. It’s even harder to build credibility online, especially if you don’t have a physical store. According to a study, 90% of consumers aged 18 to 34 trust online reviews just as much they do personal recommendations. On top of that, more than half of them will only engage with a business that has a 5-star rating.
In the digital era, your online reputation is integral to your success. You can’t expect to generate sales if you barely have reviews or if the ones you have are written by trolls who are out to watch your downfall. It’s important, then, that you stay on top of monitoring your brand and media mentions, so you have an idea of what is being said about you and where.
If you don’t have time to keep tabs and maintain your online reputation, the best way to do is to partner with a reputation management agency to do it on your behalf. But don’t just hire the first one you come across. When collaborating with a reputation management agency, here are some questions you need to ask:
Different agencies offer different services. Most online reputation management (ORM) agencies provide services that range from as basic as online monitoring to as diverse as complete management and brand restoration. During your vetting process, you should make it a point to ask how they will tackle a particular issue should it arise. That way, if you end up hiring them and the incident happens, you can already expect their plan of action.
While there’s nothing wrong with hiring new agencies, you’ll be better off going with ORM companies that have been around for a longer time. These seasoned companies are usually adept at accommodating changes in trends and have more experience dealing with a variety of issues, including smear campaigns, blackmail, and other problems their younger companies may not have dealt with yet. In short: experienced companies are better prepared.
You also have to know how the ORM agency will monitor your brand. Ask them what tools will they use and what channels they will focus on. The right ORM agency will be able to keep track of everything, from blogs and search results to forums and videos. You have to make sure that they can monitor your brand mentions across all platforms, and not just a selected few.
If you come to receive a negative sentiment that ranks on Google, there’s no doubt that it can taint your reputation. The agency might need to create new and relevant content and rank it above the negative ones to push it down. You then have to make sure that the ORM agency you hire is capable of doing this. Otherwise, the alternative is taking legal action and making direct contact with Google.
If you’re on the hunt for a full-service agency that can help you build a positive reputation online, get in touch with us.