When was the last time you were searching for a good Chinese restaurant online and ended up reading several reviews before you decided which restaurant you were going to call? Most likely, not very long ago. And you are not the only one; most people that know how to use the internet now use this medium to find businesses in their local area.
Unfortunately, this also makes it hard to keep anything hidden from the public. You have a restaurant, and a guest was not satisfied with the service? Chances are, you might find a review from that same customer online just a day or so later.
Thus, it is safe to state that your online reputation proceeds you. Online reputation management is the process of using this understanding and actively influencing the reputation of (in most cases) businesses online. This form of online marketing is becoming increasingly popular and in fact, a real necessity. You may visit Streamshare website for more details about online reputation.
You see, what happened when you were searching for this Chinese restaurant not too long ago? You probably browsed the Yellowpages or Yelp and did not even give a second look to any restaurant with less than the overall 4-star rating. If a restaurant had 4 or 5 stars, you probably read the reviews and made your decision primarily based on these. But did you see what happened here? All the restaurants that did not have at least a 4-star rating did not even have a chance.
How many customers do you suspect a business can lose in this manner? So much in fact, that it could potentially lead all the way to bankruptcy. Businesses depend on their positive reputation online. If they do not have that, there is plenty of competition that is willing to take over.
On the other hand, this also presents a business with many opportunities to establish a good name and a positive online presence. This, in turn, will also greatly affect the number of new customers coming in, customer retention and of course, revenue.
The truth of the matter, however, is that competition can be fierce, and some of this competition is willing to do anything in order to run a business. This also means that they might post fake negative reviews for a direct competitor, just in order to steal his clients. Unbelievable, but it does happen.
Because of these situations, some businesses are forced to use online reputation management services to reestablish positive reviews and to undo the damage of negative (and often fake) reviews. Online reputation management is, therefore, an essential part of anyone’s online marketing plan and should be considered in case of negative reviews.
Nonetheless, if you find yourself in such a situation and need to make use of such services, always consider that the company you are hiring should perform white-hat reputation management, meaning completely legal and moral ways to reestablish a positive reputation. Black-hat methods can get you into even more trouble and should always be avoided.