What is Reputation Management & Why is it Important?
The definition of reputation management is simply: listening and responding to information (feedback, comments, complaints, praise, etc) about your business online. Sounds simple enough, right?
Social media has created an entirely new landscape for how people can find and share information. Facebook’s Founder & CEO, Mark Zuckerberg recently reported that on Facebook alone, there are 4 BILLION pieces of information shared every single day. 4,000,000,000 – that is a lot of zeros! This makes chances almost certain that one of the billions of pieces of information being passed around every day is something about you or your business.
Obviously, sharing is not a new concept. Back in the olden days, before Facebook and Twitter and Yelp took over the world, people still shared information about their life experiences with others. This information simply wasn’t necessarily broadcast worldwide, nor did it come along with a permanent digital record. But your reputation has always mattered.
There is an old saying that we all have a circle of influence of about 10 people. When something happens to you, good or bad, you share your experience with at least 10 people whose decisions may be influenced by your experience. Now, everyone in your little 10 person circle comes with an average of 130 Facebook Friends.
But managing your reputation online is about much more than being popular:
- Search Engine Visibility – Google cares if and what people are saying about your business. Ratings and reviews now play a role in where your website will show up in search engine results.
- Trust & Credibility – Not only do reviews help you build credibility with the search engines, they help you build credibility with your target audience.
- Feedback – Understand what you’re doing well so you can keep on doing it, understand what you’re not doing so well so that you can change things for the better.
Reputation Management matters because all it can take is one person, saying one good or bad thing about your business to have a profound rippling effect on your reputation.
And it matters because in this new social-landscape, consumers don’t just like to, they expect to be able to communicate with and about your business online.
In Part II of this discussion, I’ll cover the steps you’ll need to take to get started!
What are you doing to protect your business’ reputation online? What questions do you have?