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Why Your Online Reputation Matters

February 24, 2022   |   WorkingFeedback

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A long, long time ago before Google became a verb, managing your business reputation was considered a bit of a luxury. Most businesses thought spending time on managing their online reputation was a poor business decision and something not worth investing time or money in. Many of these businesses went about their daily activities completely unaware of the power that the web had given to the average customer.

With the advent of social media platforms, customers began to demand more from the businesses or services they used. Large corporations were forced to become more transparent in their customer service dealing and small businesses were given the opportunity to prove themselves based on merit alone.

When sites like Amazon and TripAdvisor with online reviews blew up, companies that continued to ignore the need for online reputation management services began to suffer. More and more clients, customers and consumers filled these review sites with nasty, negative and revealing testimonials of these companies. The customer empowerment revolution had started and the businesses caught ignoring the need for reputation management services suffered the most.

The Power Of Reputation

Why care what people say about you online? If you are busy running your business, why worry about what someone said about you online?

The answer to these questions lies in one of the most powerful selling tactics known to modern industry: social proofing.

Most customers buy what their friends buy. This has been a long known fact in the business world, but what is it that makes it true? Without delving too much into the psychology of selling, let’s examine the why behind purchasing decisions.

Humans are social creatures. Deeply ingrained in our natures is the need for social affirmation before we do anything. This need for social affirmation extends far beyond our friendly encounters with others, human beings make large life decisions, sometimes without regard to rationality, based solely on this aspect of social affirmation.

The same holds true for individuals making purchases and interacting with businesses online. Users want to ‘see’ that others are socially affirming a business before they proceed. Just taking a look at the popularity of sites like Amazon shows you just how real and powerful social proofing is.

Managing Your Social Proof

One of the most powerful and easily recognisable examples of social proofing can be found in the restaurant industry.

How many times have you been to a restaurant simply because friends’ said they liked it? Now think about how many times you have avoided a restaurant simply because of the reviews that you either read or heard about from your social circle.

Multiply this same example by the power of the internet and mass connectivity, and you can begin to see the trouble that your business might be in if you start ignoring online reputation management.

Imagine running a business successfully in the offline world only to be run out of business simply because a few negative reviews were left on online.

Managing your online reputation requires more than just having a profile on these review sites. Pro-active reputation management includes the act of collecting and updating positive reviews. Building your social brand and starting a stream of positive reviews.

To compete in today’s market, whatever your marketplace, you need the added edge of being noticed online. In order to make sure that your online presence is one that builds your business and not one that tears it down, start taking action to managing your online reputation today!

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