Online Reputation Management is more than asking for feedback from guests
Online reputation is the reputation of a person, business or organisation on the Internet. Just as one can have a good or bad reputation in the real world, it also works in the digital world. Often, unfortunately, in a much larger dimension, because the internet does not forget anything, is available for the entire world to see and makes it possible to spread messages, photos or videos at lightning speed. Rumors spread and can – whether true or false – often destroy entire existences. At the same time, the network also gives people a voice that, given the circumstances, would have no opportunity to reach such a large audience, and creates a special focus – a good example is the #metoo movement.
Do not leave your online reputation to chance
This development and its accompanying dynamics affect us all, whether we like it or not. For what other people write about us, what third parties publish on the internet about us – we have no influence on that.
What we can do, however, is to actively control it: with a proactive Online Reputation Management tool to selectively spread authentic information and personal information about one’s own person, the company or the service offered to build a coherent image.
For companies and service providers, one focus here is certainly the active management of customer evaluations. Just as previous recommendations were passed on orally and in the circle of friends and family, this is happening online now: whether hotel or doctor, beauty salon or restaurant – today no one is “spared” any more on customer reviews on the major rating portals on the internet.
Reason enough not to leave these evaluations and the associated assessment of their business to chance. Around 90% of all users use their reviews to find out about a company before they visit it or take advantage of the services offered.
Because of the variety of different rating platforms – from Facebook to Google or more industry-specific ones like TripAdvisor or Jameda – it’s often difficult to keep track of what’s going on in the day-to-day work and provide enough resources to respond appropriately to the feedback.
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Active evaluation management for a better online reputation
Time and money savings are offered by the use of a professional valuation management solution, which allows you to ask your customers for valuations, collect them, analyse and evaluate them and publish them on platforms that are relevant to you.
Thanks to digitalisation, most of these processes are automatic, and modern technology does a lot of the work for you, which you would otherwise have to do manually. Not only do you benefit from more – and, on average, better – reviews, you also have control over where they are published, and you can use feedback from your customers to continually improve your offer, identify and fix vulnerabilities.
At the same time, in the long run you will be able to continuously improve your ranking in the respective rating platforms and maintain your good position. Also in the Google search results, you can expect a better result. This not only makes them easier to find for potential customers, but also makes them look more attractive and trustworthy.
Online Reputation Management: More than “just” collecting reviews
By actively managing your reviews, you have already made a decisive contribution to successful online reputation management. But there are other factors that play an important role in long-term success and that are also part of professional online reputation management.
Google yourself (or your company) once and look more closely at the search results. Open a new tab in the browser in incognito mode, because only then you will see the neutral search results, as other users see them. Your search engine knows you, your preferences and habits, and without incognito mode, you get a personalised result that is unrepresentative.
What do you see? And do you like what you see?
As mentioned above, you have little control over what third parties post about you. What you can control, on the other hand, is what you publish yourself or have others publish on your behalf, such as bloggers or co-operation partners.
Your own homepage should appear in the search at the top. If this is not the case, take your time and optimise the website by, for example, regularly posting new content – because the search engines love fresh content and thank you with a better ranking place. Furthermore, it is advisable to be represented on all relevant portals with your own profile. Even so you occupy several places in the search results and displace any more unpleasant entries on the back seats. At the same time you strengthen your reputation, because many customers and guests trust the big, well-known platforms – and this trust is directly transferred to the profile of your company.
The online reputation on social media
Again, if you have not already done so, create accounts on the platforms relevant to your business. Whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat – you do not have to be represented everywhere, but you should use two social networks to strengthen your presence on the net – and thus your findability and your online reputation.
Publish new content regularly. Think carefully about which image you and your company would like to present to the public.
You can not only use social media to promote offers and promotions, attract new customers, and stay in touch with regular customers.
At the same time, portals like Facebook or Instagram act as a virtual shop window that gives visitors a glimpse into your business. So also publish regular content about your unique selling propositions that set you apart from your competitors.
Or just let your employees take over – a so-called Instagram takeover. Run a hotel, then let your cook post photos and short videos from the kitchen that show everyday life and provide exciting insights that the guest otherwise would not get. The next week you may choose the gardener or your concierge. So you do not only have original content away from the omnipresent food and pool photos, but also become more accessible to your guests and establish a personal bond.
Animate your guests to also post content and link to it. Create your own, individual hashtag for your company. And, especially important:
The privacy setting
Yes, yes, it is 2018 and actually this topic has been discussed in great detail. But unfortunately you can not say it often enough: Check your privacy settings regularly and make sure that the world sees only what you want them to see and what supports the professional image of your reputation.
Make sure that the right and up-to-date information is provided on every website, on every portal. This affects, for example, your opening hours, but also the location of your company on Google Maps. After all, you do not want your customers to be standing in front of a locked door or the wrong address?
Bet on quality
We live in a visual world. Photoshop and filters create a perfectionist veil over the flood of images that pounces on us every day. This changes the view and thus also the demands and expectations. Take your time and evaluate the photos of your hotel, your restaurant with the eyes of your guests. Do they seem inviting? Or is there a need for improvement here? Investing in a good photographer will be worthwhile because you can use the images not only for your own website, but also for portals such as HolidayCheck, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Yelp and Co. and stand out from the mobile phone photos of your competitors.
Take control of your online reputation
Your online reputation is one of the most important factors for success. Take the time and invest in yourself, it will pay off!