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About 95% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. In fact, over 90% read reviews about local businesses to determine their quality. Without a strong reputation management strategy, you might miss the chance to attract customers.

Managing reputations online can help you remain in a positive light with consumers. Otherwise, they might turn their attention (and money) elsewhere.

Here are seven online management errors you should avoid this year. Learning to avoid these errors could help improve your reputation.

Improving your reputation could help you generate more leads and sales.

Set your business up for success! Get started with these tips today.

1. Ignoring Reviews

Many business owners make the mistake of assuming their reputation will simply take care of itself. Instead, it’s important to make review management part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Otherwise, you might not realize there’s a problem until it’s too late.

As part of your reputation management strategy, you need to check for new reviews from customers on a schedule.

First, determine where your customers are posting their reviews online. For example, they might post on your Google My Business listing. Perhaps they’re using forums, Yelp, or Facebook instead.

Once you determine where your customers post their reviews, make an effort to check these platforms on a schedule.

It’s important to respond to both positive and negative reviews. Let your customers know you’re listening. Responding to customer feedback will show consumers you’re available and authentic.

Don’t assume your online reputation will take care of itself. Instead, strategize. Determine how you’ll react to both positive and negative reviews.

As you begin responding to customer feedback, you can leave a better impression on your existing customers. Potential customers will notice you’re quick to respond to comments, too. They might decide they’re able to trust your business as a result.  

2. Not Requesting Reviews

Remember, you can’t assume your reputation management strategy will take care of itself. Instead, consider how you’ll ask customers for their reviews. Adding requests to your reputation management strategy can help bolster your reputation.

Think of multiple ways you can ask customers for their reviews.

For example, you can add a QR code to your door that directs consumers straight to your Google My Business listing. Add a strong call-to-action urging them to post their reviews.

Otherwise, use email marketing. You can automate emails to send to customers immediately after they make a purchase. Asking for an immediate review will help you remain top-of-mind.

You can also add a form to your website encouraging consumers to share their reviews.

If you don’t ask for reviews, consumers might think you don’t want their feedback. If you ignore their feedback, your business will never improve.

You might struggle to gather the insights you need to make stronger, more informed changes to your business. 

Instead, take the time to ask for feedback throughout the year. 

3. Ignoring Negative Reviews

One of the biggest online reputation management errors you can make is ignoring negative reviews.

Instead, it’s important to deal with negative reviews the right way, right away.

First, make sure you’re not letting these negative reviews sit for too long. Otherwise, consumers might think you don’t care about their experience. They might tell other people about their negative experience with your business, too.

About 40% of consumers won’t deal with a business due to negative reviews. Only 13% of consumers will consider a business with one or two stars.

Instead, have a strategy in place for responding to negative reviews from customers.

First, make sure to emphasize. Apologize for what happened and let the customer know you want to fix the problem. Then, offer them a solution. 

Ask the customer if you can discuss the situation in a private chat. Consider offering them a discount or refund. If the customer accepts your offer, ask if they’re willing to update the review.

Businesses can start improving online reputations by helping upset customers, rather than getting upset in turn.

4. Automating Responses

As you work to avoid these online reputation management errors, make sure you’re not using canned or automated responses. Consumers can tell when you’re using a generic response. They might get more frustrated if you’re not responding to them personally.

You don’t want your brand to look unauthentic.

Instead, have a strategy in place for responding to comments but don’t use a word-for-word script. Try to respond authentically to show customers you care about their experiences. 

5. Using Incentives

If you’re struggling to generate reviews, don’t make the mistake of using incentives. Many online review sites penalize businesses that incentivize customers for reviews.

Instead, take a look at your review management strategy. How are you asking your customers for feedback? If one strategy isn’t working, try a different approach.

For example, you might want to call recent customers to request reviews. Otherwise, try asking in person immediately after they make a purchase. Add a QR code to your receipt to make it easy for customers to share their reviews, too. 

6. Not Using a Platform

You don’t have to start managing reputations online manually. Instead, consider using review management software. 

This software can help you remain efficient and organized while you’re managing your online reviews. Meanwhile, you can avoid neglecting customers. Instead, you can make sure you’re generating reviews and responding to new ones.

If you don’t want to use software, hire a reputation management agency instead. An experienced team can help improve your reputation. They’ll ensure you avoid these online reputation management errors, too.

You can learn more here before getting started.

7. Posting Fake Reviews

Don’t make the mistake of posting fake reviews on your own accounts. Remember, you want to appear authentic. If people realize you’re posting fake reviews, they won’t trust your brand.

Instead, they’ll turn to your competitors. 

Protect Your Brand: 7 Online Reputation Management Errors to Avoid

Don’t let these online reputation management errors hurt your business. Instead, take the time to avoid these costly mistakes. Improving your reputation management strategy can help your business grow.

Instead of scaring away potential customers, you can start generating more leads and sales.

Searching for more tips and guides? You’re in the right place.

Explore our latest articles today for more helpful advice. 

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