The Correlation Between Business Reputation Management and News Consumption
Your business's online reputation is fluid. Seasonal trends can impact who's looking for your business and their expectations. Positive and negative reviews across social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram or local business directories like Yelp and TripAdvisor can either invite prospective leads out to your business or scare them away and push them toward competitors.
Maintaining or improving your company's online brand reputation can feel like you're fighting against a maelstrom of opinions and changes, but the effort is well worth the challenge. Focusing on your business's reputation on social media channels alone can shore up your existing revenue and bring in new shoppers.
According to HubSpot, "As of last October, 4.55 Billion people are using some type of social media outlet to get news." So before you sink more time and effort into your brand reputation strategies, take a second look at how your target market interacts with social media, how they get their news, and where they stay informed about local businesses they're considering buying from.
What Is Business Reputation Management?
Your brand reputation is the impression that returning customers, first-time visitors, and general audiences have of your business, products, and service. Elements such as reviews, testimonials, the values your business adheres to, and even the cleanliness of your storefront or the smooth operation of your website influence your business's reputation. Business reputation management is the active process of
- Monitoring your reputation by constantly tracking mentions of your brand and industry on the news, on social media, in SERPs, and on review sites
- Taking steps to encourage positive reviews, or press, and resolve or respond to negative reviews and publications
- Actively addressing inaccurate information, false claims, and negative, unfounded news about your brand, especially on social media
Traditional business reputation efforts required a great deal of manual effort. Your team would constantly need to monitor your profile pages on social media channels and local business directories, as well as constantly search online for mentions of your industry or business.
You might have had a single individual devoted to these tasks, or, for enterprise organizations, an entire team would try to stay informed up to the minute. These manual efforts were unending, as your company needed to be immediately aware of bad press, negative reviews, and any sign of a pending marketing crisis. While essential, these efforts were tedious, cumbersome, and costly.
Today's automated solutions can streamline the process by using bots and software to flag mentions and developments based on your preferred criteria. When the tasks of sifting through raw data and online sources are lifted off your team's shoulders, you can spend more time on the strategic aspects of business reputation management, such as crafting responses to negative news, encouraging positive reviews, and cementing the positive aspects of your business's reputation.
How Does News Consumption Affect Your Digital Reputation?
All of these efforts tie back to one core premise: consumers use online sources, especially social media, to get most of their news and information. Before potential shoppers even see your business or consider making a purchase, their impression of your business is formed by news articles, posts, and reviews.
Social media posts and images, word-of-mouth reviews, local business directories or third-party review sites, and social media comments all play a critical role in the environment where shoppers spend the vast majority of their time.
According to the World Economic Forum, younger demographics spend over two and a half hours a day on social media, with millennials spending two hours and 38 minutes a day plugged in and Gen Z audiences reaching two hours and 55 minutes.
Because social media takes up so much attention, you don't just want to avoid negative mentions or fade into the background. You want to be actively noticed as a positive brand that can solve your target market's problems better than your competitors. Consider these two examples of how audiences may perceive your brand online:
Negative or Unmonitored Business Reputations
A prospective customer sees an ad for your clothing business because you're actively maintaining paid ad campaigns. But before the shopper visits your store, they run a search on your business. They encounter negative reviews about the sizes running small, how a customer tried to return a purchase but was turned away or had to fight too hard to return the items. The shopper will absorb the negative impression of your brand, even without shopping at your store themselves, and will remember you as an unfriendly store that handles returns badly and doesn't have reliable sizes.
Positive Business Reputations
If you stay on top of reviews (both by encouraging positive reviews and by helpfully addressing negative ones), that same shopper will see happy interactions with your store, your commitment to good customer experiences, and more positive emotions. This builds trust and makes them more likely to visit your store and make a purchase. Even if you have those same negative reviews about sizing and returns, demonstrating your awareness of the problem and commitment to improve will minimize that sour first impression online audiences could have.
How Can I Boost My Business's Digital Reputation?
Boosting your business's digital reputation is a great way to minimize negative first impressions, connect with more shoppers, and cultivate a better reputation overall. Follow these three steps to start your digital reputation management efforts:
1. Start interacting on social media.
Adding a layer of engagement to your social media pages can help boost customer interest and spark positive first impressions. Make time for simple tasks like:
- Responding to comments
- Liking tagged photos of your business or products
- Replying to reviews on social media
2. Develop in-depth responses to positive and negative reviews.
You want to engage with both positive and negative reviews. Giving responses to positive reviews can encourage even more positive reviews in the future and build customer relationships. Responding to negative reviews by addressing their concerns and discussing how you can do better in the future can salvage a damaged relationship and show new prospects that you care about their experiences.
3. Find the right tool for unbiased news and media monitoring.
At Turbine Labs, we've developed a media monitoring solution that can automatically monitor news sources, social media, and online mentions based on your preferred criteria and filters. Then our solution can alert you immediately of high-priority changes or send scheduled reports that fit into your reputation management workflow.
Turbine Labs Is Here to Help You Manage Your Business's Reputation Through Better Media Monitoring
Because billions of users are paying attention to social media, your business needs to pay attention, too. Turbine Labs is here to help take the manual work of monitoring countless social media channels, news sites, local business directories, and forums off your team's shoulders so you can devote more time to campaigns and dynamic responses. Contact us today to get started staying on top of your brand's reputation.