What Is Online Reputation Management?
Imagine coming out with a new product that you know is perfect for your audience, but the launch flops.
You later learn that some bad reviews of your products have been circulating.
If you want to keep that situation from happening, you should use the best reputation management company.
Or if you need to fix your personal online reputation management, there are a few different companies that do it well.
Then, you can keep track of good and bad reviews to make sure people have a good impression of your business.
Why Online Reputation Management Is Important
Reputation management software can help you track and manage your reputation online.
It’s an essential part of your digital marketing strategy, and it may save your business time, money, and stress.
The software will track reviews and posts across multiple platforms.
It will look for any mentions of your business, and it will send you a notification any time it finds something about your company.
Then, you’ll be able to keep track of good and bad reviews.
If you get a lot of bad reviews, you can learn about customer complaints and respond to those reviews to solve the problem.
When you use the best reputation management software, you won’t have to track reviews yourself.
But you can still keep your business up and running.
Why Does Reputation Management Matter?
Your reputation can make a huge difference in whether your business succeeds or fails.
Whether you have a major scandal or a few small negative reviews, you want to get through that negativity.
Then, you can help your business survive and even thrive.
When you do get a negative review, you can respond to the reviewer and help make the situation right, such as by exchanging their purchase.
If you respond kindly to negative reviews, you may be able to regain the trust of those customers.
You may also help others trust you if your response is public, such as with a comment on the review instead of an email response.
Managing your reputation may not take a lot of work when you first launch your business.
But as you grow and get more customers, you won’t be able to track them all on your own, so a good program will help.
How to Choose the Best Online Reputation Management Software
Once you’re ready to start reaping the benefits of reputation management software, it’s time to compare your options.
Brightlocal is another an all-in-one review management solution.
Not every business will need all of the same features, and budgets can vary.
Monitor your reviews across a selection of 80+ general and niche review sites, quickly spot which sites need focus, and never miss customer feedback again.
With every review under one roof, it’s easy to find and respond to the reviews that need attention first.
Thank customers, resolve queries, and fight fires faster.
Easy to Use
It may seem obvious, but you want to select software that will be easy to use for your and your team.
You may have a bit of a learning curve with any program you choose, but think about if you’re willing to go through a steeper learning curve.
If you aren’t you should check out the features and reviews of a program to see how easy it is for beginners.
Then, you’ll be able to decide if the software is worth learning to help grow your business.
Similarly, you should think about how easy the software will integrate with the software you already use.
Even if the programs don’t directly integrate, you want to make sure nothing will contradict anything.
That way, you can keep from confusing yourself or your employees.
Instead, you can make sure everyone is on the same page regarding current and new programs.
Flexible and Ready for Growth
It may also be important for some businesses to use flexible reputation management software.
Be sure to research the program to see how many platforms and websites it can track now.
You should also figure out how often the software tracks new platforms that pop up.
That way, you can make sure to stay on top of mentions and reviews on newer platforms, such as TikTok.
As you look at your options, consider if a reputation management program will support the growth of your business.
You want to make sure that multiple employees can access the account and data.
Even if your business is relatively small now, you want to make sure it can grow.
The last thing you want is to have to switch to a new reputation management tool because your business outgrows the first one.
Social Media Integration
In the past, businesses may have been able to get away with prioritizing review sites to track and manage their reputation.
But with the growth of social media, you have to diversify.
The best reputation management software should work with at least the more popular social networks.
Make sure the software works with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
If your ideal audience is on TikTok, you may want to keep an eye on that platform as well.
Take a look at the platforms your reputation management software covers to make sure you aren’t missing anything.
Then, you’ll be able to decide if your current program works well for you or if you need to change something.
Soon enough, you’ll be able to start tracking posts and reviews on different social networks.
Tracking and Monitoring Features
Regardless of the sites and platforms you want to track, you should consider what tracking and monitoring features you can use.
One reputation management program won’t work the same as another, and they may focus on tracking slightly different things.
Think about the data you want to track, such as reviews, social media posts, and survey responses.
Then, you can make sure the software you set up will work with all of that data to help you manage your reputation.
You should also think about what other insights you may want, such as more detailed reports on surveys.
Some basic reputation management programs won’t give you as much information as the competition.
Consider if you want to track the origin of certain reviews and what types of reports you want to generate.
Knowing that can help you narrow your search to help find the perfect software for your business.
If you want to make your life even easier, you should look for reputation management software with a simple dashboard.
You shouldn’t have to log into a ton of different pages to learn how your business is doing online.
When the software you use has one dashboard, you can keep track of one password.
Any time you log into the program, you will be able to see new reviews from tons of websites and social networks.
Going through your notifications should be easy, and you should be able to check them quickly.
Then, you can take note of where you have new reviews, and you can make time to respond to them.
Alternatively, you can assign those responses to members of your customer services team.
They can take the time to resolve any complaints and to thank the happy customers for their positive reviews.
Before you add any new piece of software to your business, you need to examine its security.
You should make sure that the program’s website is secure and that you can download the program safely.
A lot of risks can pop up when you use an online program or download software from the internet.
While your computer may catch some problems, others can get past your anti-virus software.
Be sure that you choose reputation management software with a secure system.
That way, you and your team will be able to log in and out of the program without compromising your computers.
This is particularly important if you have any remote employees because they won’t use an office computer.
Choosing a secure option will give everyone peace of mind as you work on your reputation.
Notifications in Real-Time
The best reputation management software will alert you whenever someone posts a new review about your business.
Not only will the software alert you within the dashboard, but it should send you an alert by email or text message.
That way, you won’t have to keep the software open all day just to keep up with new reviews.
Instead, you can keep your phone nearby or keep your email open on your computer.
When you get a notification, you can stop what you’re doing and take a look at the alert.
Then, you can decide if you should take care of it immediately or if it can wait.
You’ll also have a chance to decide if you should be the one to respond or if you can assign the response to someone on your team.
Either way, you can focus most of your time on other tasks without letting reputation management slip through the cracks.
If you want to keep a close eye on reviews, you may want to choose reputation management with a mobile app.
At the very least, it helps to choose a program that offers a good user experience in your mobile browser.
Then, you won’t have to spend all of your time near a computer to check on your reviews.
Of course, you can get text or email updates on any device with an internet connection.
But you may not be able to examine the details with just the notification.
You also might not want to wait until the next working day to check the review, especially if a long weekend just started.
While you don’t need to respond to reviews immediately, it helps to know when they come in.
Then, you can decide if you want to respond right away or if your reply can wait.
Analytics and Other Reports
You may also want to consider what types of analytics and reports the software offers.
Think about the types of data you want to track and how often you want to track it.
Analytics are a great way to help you recognize trends in reviews overall or in certain types of reviews.
You can use the data to figure out how you can improve your business and get more good reviews.
It also helps to choose a program that lets you export your reports.
Then, you’ll be able to share the data with shareholders or other executives so that you can all make decisions together.
While you can grant everyone access to the program, people may not want to learn how it works.
Sometimes, sending them a report can save everyone time.
If you struggle to get customers, you may want to figure out what your competitors are doing.
Competitor research is vital for every step of growing a business because it can tell you what to do or avoid.
Then, you can learn how to make your reputation better than your biggest competitors.
But you shouldn’t just conduct the analysis once.
It’s an ongoing process, and it doesn’t stop when your reputation gets better than that of your competition.
Make sure your reputation management software offers some insights into other businesses.
That way, you can compare reputations in one place.
Of course, you should also think about your business budget before you choose the best reputation management software.
Consider your entire budget as well as your budget for marketing and other aspects.
Figure out if you can make room in the budget to add reputation management software.
You don’t need to gut other parts of your budget to allow for a good program.
However, you should make sure it doesn’t cut too much into your profits.
Then, you can still have money to give to owners and shareholders, and you can invest in other things to help the business grow.
Every business and budget is different, so take a look at your numbers.
Choose a budget that makes sense, and you can always increase it or decrease it as necessary.
Get a Demo
One of the most important steps in choosing the best reputation management software is testing it out.
Consider if the company offers a demo that you can either watch or use yourself.
You can watch the demo to see if you like the look of the program and the various features.
That way, you’ll be able to confirm that the program is a good fit before you spend money on it.
Sure, you could choose something without trying it, but you don’t want to waste your time or money.
If a program doesn’t offer a clear demo on their site, contact them to ask about a demo or trial.
Then, you’ll have time to figure out if you like how the software works or not.
How to Use Reputation Management Software
Once you select the best online reputation management software, you should consider a few ways in which you can use it.
Then, you’ll be able to make the most of the program to help your business succeed.
You can use the software in a few ways, and you can choose which options make the most sense for you.
The team will be able to learn the program and implement it in different ways based on the various job titles people have.
No matter your industry or company size, consider a few ways you can take advantage of your new program.
Your marketing team can use the reputation management software to find good reviews of your company.
When creating marketing materials, the team can use those reviews in a couple of ways.
First, they can take the average rating from the reviews on a specific review site.
Then, they can include the total number of reviews and add those details to a flyer or a social media post.
As long as the average rating is four or five stars, this can be a great way to market your business.
Marketers can also take individual positive reviews and use them as social proof.
If you use the software to send and receive surveys, the marketing team can use those.
Make sure to keep the responses anonymous so that you can use them to promote your company.
Customer service representatives can use the software to find and respond to negative reviews.
You can also find out if a review website has a reply feature.
If so, someone from customer service will be able to leave a note for the people who left negative reviews saying that they want to help.
Customer service reps can tell reviews to contact the company for assistance.
Then, the team should follow through and do what they can to make things right when customers are unhappy.
Also, reviews can tell customer service employees how they’re doing when interacting with customers.
The team can learn from reviews and posts about negative experiences customers have had.
Product managers can use the reports from the software to figure out what customers do or don’t like about products.
Then, when looking to develop a new product, the product managers will have a better idea of what to create.
Your team may have ideas that excite them and that they think your ideal customers want.
However, it can be hard to make sure something will sell without hearing from your customers directly.
Use your reputation management software to look for trends regarding products you and your customers offer.
Whether you need to create a new product or update an existing one, you can make sure to offer something people will want.
You can keep from wasting time and money developing something that won’t sell.
And you can minimize the number of problems with the product to help get more good reviews.
Special Considerations When Using the Software
You shouldn’t just jump into using the software as soon as you sign up for it.
Like other programs, you have to consider things like access and how to use the program.
Then, you can make sure the software will be a natural fit with the rest of your systems.
Be sure to consider the following things as you choose and use the software in your business.
Ownership vs. Access
First, you should consider that one department may control the software.
You may tell the customer service team to buy the software and create an account for your company.
However, that doesn’t mean the customer service team will be the only group of people to use it.
As mentioned, different departments should take advantage of a good reputation management program.
Be sure to consider who will have control over the software and who all will be able to access the program.
Not every employee will need to use the software, but some will.
Knowing who controls the access can help ensure everyone who needs access can get it.
If you don’t want one department to control access, you can sign up for the program and have top managers run it.
Respond Instead of Delete
It can be easy to use reputation management software to find and delete bad reviews.
However, this can cause a few problems if a website even lets you delete the review.
For one, think about how that may make the review writer feel.
They may feel like you don’t care about their opinion, and they may leave another, worse review.
Deleting reviews can also affect others’ trust in you.
If someone sees a bad review and doesn’t see it later, they may think your company deleted it to hide something.
It can also be suspicious to see a business with only positive reviews.
Sure, some companies may be that great, but having a couple of bad reviews that you respond to and resolve can help people trust your business.
Don’t Forget Compliance
Depending on your industry, you may need to comply with strict regulations when using any software.
One of the biggest examples of this is businesses in the healthcare industry.
If you have a clinic, insurance company, or a similar business, you want to choose the best reputation management software for healthcare companies.
That way, you can keep from breaking HIPAA rules.
Banks and other financial businesses may also need to be careful when dealing with financial details.
So consider what regulations your business has to follow in general to make sure using reputation management software won’t affect your overall compliance.
Some businesses may not need to worry too much about compliance.
However, it’s essential to consider before you choose software so that you don’t break any rules by accident.
The Learning Curve
Even if you choose the easiest reputation management software, you may still experience a learning curve.
Because of that, you need to account for the time it will take to set up the program and learn how to use it.
If a lot of employees will use it, you may want to set aside time to train people.
That way, you can keep from getting tons of questions that require you to work with people individually as they use the software.
You can ask a company how long it will take to learn to use their software.
Once you can get an estimate on the time it takes to learn the program, you will be able to plan for that when implementing the tool.
Then, you won’t expect to receive a detailed report on reviews the day you start using the new system.
Will You Use the Best Reputation Management Software?
The best reputation management software can do a lot of good for many businesses.
Whether you want to save time or make sure you sell the right things, you should use the right program.
Give it a try to see if you should start using the program in your business.