Your business has an online reputation. Whether you’ve built a website and have active social media accounts or you’re a mom-and-pop business without an online presence yet, you have an online reputation. That creates the need for online reputation management (ORM), the practice of proactively monitoring mentions of your company and its C-level employees and responding to or removing negative items. Ignoring your online reputation can cost you money and customers.

Positive Reputation Management Importance:

Consumers turn to the Internet to determine from whom to purchase. Regardless of whether they buy in-store or online, 88 percent of consumers conduct online research first. Negative reviews cause nearly as many, 86 percent, to think twice about purchasing from that firm. Proactive ORM helps your company avoid crises and improve your online reputation.

Google also considers online reputation. A poor online reputation can drop your company’s website rank. The current Google algorithm de-ranks sites representing brands with a negative online reputation.

Proactive online reputation management also provides your firm with valuable insights into your brand. Rather than simply give you the negatives people post, it also offers:

  • brand or product characteristics they love,
  • brand or product characteristics they want to be changed,
  • what consumers think your brand or product lacks.

Helpful ORM Apps:

This may seem daunting to a sole proprietor, small business or startup, but you don’t need to go it alone. That also doesn’t mean you have to hire someone full-time either. You can leverage a number of applications to help you automate the process of reputation management. Start with these five to give yourself a head start toward a positive reputation online and offline.

  1. ReviewPush automatically monitors review sites for information on your company and provides automated reports of new activity. It offers a fully featured free trial.

2. ReviewPush monitors Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Yellow Pages and other sites for reviews. When new information posts, the app sends you an email notification that enables the user to respond to the consumer review. It provides basic analytics that let you look at the ratio of positive to negative rankings and similar data. Companies with more than one location can rank their various store locations against one another. After the 30-day free trial expires, you’ll pay $49 per month for one location. The company creates custom prices for multiple locations.

3. Awario, a social listening app, also lets you monitor your online reputation. Every day it crawls more than 13 billion web pages to update its data as part of its real-time monitoring of social media sites and the Internet. Its Sentiment Analysis feature lets you discover trends, graph positive and negative mentions, and alerts you to negative information. Its analytics feature provides reports. Like ReviewPush it lets you respond to reviews and mentions directly. Rather than from an email though, it enables response from within the app. It also looks for your copyrighted information online and spots infringements. You set up the search and the app alerts you to any matches. Awario also conducts competitor analysis, letting you set up competition monitoring alerts to learn what their customers say. The reporting features let you compare your mentions with your competitors’ mentions. This includes items like the reach, sentiment, and volume. After your free trial expires, choose from the individual plan at $29 per month, the small business plan at $89 per month and the enterprise plan at $299 per month. The annual plan nets you two free months.

4. Content Removal (https://www.contentremoval.com/online-reputation-management/) helps you find and remove content you’ve found that shouldn’t be online. This includes copyrighted and trademarked items. It even checks eBay for items up for illegal sale. It helps locate and remove sexually explicit content, including revenge porn. The content removal team handles removal for you.

5. GoFish Digital Complaint searches more than 40 complaint and review websites for negative business mentions. It leverages Google to monitor brand health. You can also search the same review sites via the app to find any complaints lodged against your business. The app creates a ranking for review popularity, brand ratings, and lets you respond to most of the review sites it monitors from within the app. It also lets you flag inappropriate reviews on select sites that don’t accurately recount reality. This app is free.

6. us lets you try before you buy. Another real-time social media monitoring tool, it automates multi-channel review acquisition campaigns. You can run these by email or text messages. This method lets you get additional positive reviews from customers. Grade.us also monitors online mentions and reviews of your business. It offers trend reports and returns on investment measurement of your ORM. The app offers three plans from which to choose after your free trial expires: professional at $90 per month, agency at $200 per month and enterprise at $1500 per month.

Using these five tools provides you a start towards managing and improving your company’s online reputation. While these solutions do automate certain items, you should check the monitoring dashboard on each manually at least once per week. This lets you view spikes in activity and trends.

Don’t worry if you can’t respond to every negative comment in one day. Reputation management takes time. If you discover a number of negative comments, simply research the background of each and respond individually and honestly. Although it takes time, monitoring, removing false information and responding to negative reviews and comments will make a difference in your online reputation. That leads to a difference in your sales.

Rather than stop at using just these five apps to manage your reputation, continue to look for other applications that help automate management. Begin to take control of your online reputation with ReviewPush, Awario, GoFish Digital, Content Removal, and Grade.us. Improving your online reputation leads to better search engine ranking and better sales, so get started today.

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