Now more than ever, customers look online to find where to eat, what to buy, even what doctor to go to or what car to buy. Good reputation management has become even more important in recent years, and 2019 is no exception. Whether you’re just starting to take charge of your online reputation, you want to stay ahead of the pack, or you’re a marketing agency offering valuable reputation management to clients, take a look at these trends in online reputation management in 2019.
5 Online Reputation Management Trends in 2019
1. Good Mobile Search is a Must-Have
You’ve probably already searched for yourself on your laptop, but have you done a search on your mobile device? Mobile searches first eclipsed desktop searches in 2015, and the number of mobile searches has risen sharply since then. This is an important trend in online reputation management in 2019, especially for restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, and similar consumer-facing businesses.
Remember that mobile searches are competitive, and getting to the top of a search like “restaurants near me” will be tough. However, you want to be sure that customers who are looking for your business can find it, and find all the information they need. When you search for your business, make sure the following are accurate and easy to find, no matter what type of business you operate. If this information doesn’t come up, it doesn’t necessarily reflect poorly on your online reputation, but it can give customers the wrong impression about your attention to detail or your availability.
- Store or office hours
- Phone number
- Facebook page
- Attractive images of your business, products, or your work
If you do a mobile search and any of this information is incorrect, or if negative reviews or unattractive pictures show up, it’s time for a mobile search results overhaul. Businesses that may not have the time, staff, or aren’t sure of the skills needed to tackle this issue often work with a marketing agency. To diversify marketing services and revenue, many marketing agencies provide reputation management services separate or in addition to marketing campaigns. Agencies may help businesses claim and manage Google business listings, post positive photos and videos, and encourage customer reviews. Agencies that understand what customers are looking for and what inspires them to share provide valuable services to businesses seeking to revamp their mobile search results and reclaim a good reputation.
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2. Reputation Management Needs Tools
Searching for your business name and combing through social media mentions isn’t an efficient way to conduct reputation management in 2019. There’s a wide range of tools that can help you automate this process in a variety of ways. To manage your reputation effectively, you’ll need to invest some time at the start, then you can let these processes mostly run themselves.
There are dozens of free and subscription-based tools available to help fulfill any of these tasks. The following are just a few examples. You might find other tools that work better for you.
- Social media monitoring: Hootsuite, Zoho Social, and Sprout Social are just a few examples of social media monitoring tools that will comb through keywords, mentions, and more across a variety of platforms.
- Email automation: when requesting reviews, thanking customers, or following up, you don’t need to write the same emails a thousand times. Use email automation software like Mailchimp or Constant Contact.
- Monitor the web: Google Alerts is one of the best tools for monitoring your name, brand, or other keywords across the world wide web. Choose keywords or phrases, set an alert (for free!), and you can get individual or digest emails whenever the words come up.
- Testimonial gathering: Organize text, picture or video testimonials all in one place with Boast and display them on YouTube, Facebook, on your website, or use them in your marketing materials. Boast integrates with the most popular social media platforms, mail automation programs, Google analytics and more, so it fits right into your existing tech stack.
Marketing agencies offering reputation management and repair in 2019 know the power of a quality tech stack. With the right set of tools, you can target sources of negative feedback, fix them, and replace them with quality, compelling reviews faster. By automating as much of this process as possible, you can give more personal attention to clients, and focus on growing your business.
3. Video on the Rise in 2019
Over 100 million hours of video content is consumed daily on Facebook alone. By some estimates, video content can help to increase conversions by as much as 80%. These and many other compelling statistics about video all indicate that video content is rising fast, getting more attention, more shares, and winning more customers. If you want to not only manage your reputation this year, but to put your good reputation to work for you, video content can help you do it.
You don’t need fancy cameras and a studio set up in your office to capitalize on the benefits of video content. Use a video testimonial gathering platform like Boast and you can start using video content just by asking your customers to submit their videos. You can post videos of your customers using your product, visiting your business, or showcase your company culture. Always get your customers’ (or employees’) permission before you use the video, and be sure to thank them or reward them for participating.
Businesses may choose to create or manage videos in-house, or work with an agency to save time. If you’re an agency using to video to boost your clients’ reputations in 2019, intuitive tools like Boast can help you gather customer stories and develop authentic, compelling videos faster.
4. Social Media is a New Business’s Best Friend
Many businesses monitor their online reviews and consider their reputation management done. While review sites are important, they aren’t the only place that customers are talking about you online. More and more customers are taking their outings, experiences and complaints to social media, which can mean winning over customers’ friends, or keeping them away.
Social media and online reviews work in different ways, but they are both important to online reputation management in 2019. Consider when and how customers interact with online reviews compared to social media. Online reviews are important when customers are actively looking for you and nearly ready to make a choice. By contrast, social media works passively, introducing your business to people who may never have heard of you, and may never have searched for you. This makes social media a powerful tool for businesses that are not yet well-known, as your first few followers and fans can quickly encourage organic growth.
A variety of tools (see point 2 above) can help you monitor the social conversation around your brand, even if you don’t have an account on these platforms. If you notice a lot of conversation buzzing on a particular platform, consider making an account and connecting with your customers.
5. Good Reviews Require Active Participation
It’s no longer enough to simply monitor your online reputation. If you want to improve or maintain a good reputation, you have to be an active participant.
Doing good work and giving customers a positive experience is a large part of the online reputation battle, but it doesn’t guarantee that customers will share their good experiences. To benefit from the work you put in every day, you have to close the loop and incentivize customers to share their experiences. There are a variety of ways to do this, and which you choose will depend on your industry, customers, and the time you can commit.
- Add social sharing information to the bottom of receipts or coupons.
- Offer exclusive discounts or coupons on social media for everyone who shares your post.
- Offer rewards to customers who share their thoughts.
- Run a contest or giveaway for customers who write reviews.
- Request review through automated emails.
- Meet with your clients directly and ask for a review.
If they are struggling with negative reviews or they’re having trouble getting reviews at all, many businesses work with marketing agencies to improve the situation. Reputation management is now, more than ever before, a multi-layered project that many businesses don’t have enough time or skills to completely manage. Marketing agencies may offer reputation management and improvement campaigns using the strategies above, as well as many others.
If you’re wondering how you can get the word out or improve your business reputation this year, test out these online reputation management trends in 2019. With a new approach for the new year, you may find yourself getting more notice and even beating out the old standbys in your industry.
Posted in: Reputation Management