Today, as a business owner, online customer feedback with regards to your business has become a key driver to understand how customers perceive your products and services, which can dramatically affect your bottom line.
Positive reviews and comments a local business receives on social media leads to higher levels of customer acquisition and retention, significantly impacting a brand’s public image. Effective online reputation management can be challenging for some business owners, but is critical to stay ahead of the game. Studies have shown that 72% of customer’s online trust reviews on websites and various forums as much as they do personal recommendations from friends and family. Here are some statistics about their consumers that digital marketers should be aware about.
- 42% expect a response from the brand within an hour [Source: Edison Research]
- 57% expect same response time at night
- 72% expect a response within 1 hr on Twitter [Millward Brown]
Transparency and Genuineness
- Customers whose complainants were resolved are more loyal than those who never experienced a problem at all
- 34% are more likely to buy
- 43% are more likely to recommend
- 38% are more receptive to ads
- 42% are willing to praise on social media [Millward Brown]
Does this resonate with you as a brand? Are you doing anything about it? Here are 7 simple rules to follow when it comes to managing the online reputation of your business, which in turn helps tip the scale in your favour.
- Setup Appropriate Social Media Accounts
Based on your business and where people are likely to talk about your company and its products, setup accounts on all key social media platforms that would be appropriate. These may include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and any industry-specific forums.
The paradigm of modern business marketing has shifted from seeking potential clients to luring potential Clients. Having a polished digital profile is an important step towards attracting customers. Potential business connections and clients will sometimes search for your name in advance, so you want to have an impressive profile before that first meeting.
- Set up Accounts with Social Media Monitoring Tools
Listening is key to knowing your audience better. Depending on how popular and well known you are, there may be few too many people talking about your brand. Social media has brought brand conversations to the forefront, which has led to brands having to be transparent and authentic in their communications and marketing
- Set up Early Warning Systems using Keywords
Run regular searches and set up alerts or RSS feeds that notify you when your keywords are mentioned. It is wise to aggregate all this information using an RSS reader in order to easily review research, analyse and finalise the keywords you want your brand /online persona to be associated with. Various Social media listening tools provide inbuilt alerts to track specific key words and sentiments so that you can segregate the ones on priority. A deft use of social media is the need of the hour in order to avoid tiny incidents from turning into a marketing crisis
- Sentiment Analysis
What do your customers tweets, blogs and posts about your products and services tell you about what they think and how they feel and perhaps most importantly, how do they affect your sales and other KPI’s? Social Media Listening accurately translates all these unstructured data into statistics that are both measurable and actionable thus guiding your direct responses and overall marketing campaigns. A timely analysis of this unstructured data gives you a competitive advantage by detecting trends early, alerting you when a crisis is slowly emerging and monitoring your competitor’s activities. Rather than just turning text into numbers, the tool further helps connect these numbers to required actions leading to a meaningful ROI.
- Engagement and Resolution
Engagement is at the core of any social media strategy. In order to be successful you need to take your strategy one step further by listening, engaging and being proactive. The beauty of social media and its real time nature is that misconceptions and problems can be instantly addressed and fixed. A brands true presence or value online is its engagement and a Social Listening tool provides its clients a clear picture of audience engagement as shown below.
- Be Responsive
Brands with high levels of advocacy significantly outperform those that lack advocates or encounter consumer criticism. As per Hubspot, 51% of those who complain are more impressed with the brand after the brand responds. The best way to win over your audience is to listen to them and respond to consumer criticism in real time. Social media has provided brands with a platform for two-way conversations with their target audience. Modern marketing success hinges upon your company’s ability to position itself as consistently helpful and useful to prospects and advocates, alike.
- Identify Themes of Conversations
Listening or monitoring is how brands can keep tabs on their audience in real time. An analysis of these conversations gives marketers an insight into social conversation and derives value. This type of analysis is designed to help you understand:
-The topic of discussion
-The audience discussing it
-In what context are they discussing it
-The reason why they are talking about it
As business becomes more and more personal brands should move from becoming content pushers to conversation enablers and listeners. A good Social media listening tool can help you monitor a variety of sites and aid your social media efforts.
By Dr Ranjit Nair (PhD AI), CEO and Founder of Germin8 Solutions