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So you figured out that it's not your father's marketing world anymore…
Like it or not, you're operating your business in a climate that actually encourages consumers to post their opinions and complaints on review and social media sites. Because of this your company's success or failure hinges upon the actions of the potential customers who read the reviews being written about your company.
When a 2012 Nielsen study questioned over 28,000 Internet users in 56 countries worldwide, the findings were telling. They showed that a full 70 percent of consumers regularly put their trust in reviews they read online. Perhaps more important was the fact that a full 72 percent of respondents claimed that a bad review could turn them against a company with which they had already done business with. That means if one of your customers reads a negative review someone posts against your company you stand a good chance of losing that customer. Which is pretty scary when you stop to think about it.
Nielsen's study proves the the marketing theory of social proof. In its simplest terms, social proof describes the process where your prospects rely on the actions of others to determine whether or not they are going to do business with you. They do this in the belief that the other people posting reviews about your company have more information than they do about what you have to offer.
If you have plenty of good reviews being written about your company then you stand a good chance of earning those prospects business. If most of the reviews being written about your company are negative then you probably won't be getting very much business from those prospects. It really is as simple of that.
So make no mistake about it. Social proof plays the starring role in your prospects deciding to do business with you or not to do business with you. These same prospects:
- Look to others for guidance because they are not sure how they feel about your business or product.
- Put more credence in the fact that a number of reviews, whether favorable or not, are in agreement with each other.
- Lend the greatest weight to reviews posted by those who are, in their opinion, the most like themselves.
What Impact Will Our Reputation Marketing Services Have on Your Sales?
A good name is a terrible thing to lose. Unfortunately, it can be lost way too easily, and when it is, your sales are sure to suffer.
In June 2012, the Pepperdine University School of Business surveyed 236 respondents chosen from a cross section of the general public. About half were between the ages of 26 and 35, and 65 percent were female. Of the total, a full 86 percent of respondents claimed to have consulted online review sites before deciding on a company with which to do business.
Then, there's the star system. Anyone who has visited the Yelp site knows that its reviewers rate their level of satisfaction from one to five based on the star system. Other sites are following the pattern, and these stars really do matter. Studies show that the gain or loss of just one star will result in a five to nine percent increase or decrease in revenue. Some businesses have actually lost as much as 20 percent in sales following a negative review.
In fact, we have found that a business usually needs to receive at least 10 five-star reviews before prospects will trust it at all. Given the fact that a large number of satisfied customers will never bother to write a review, this can pose a bit of a problem for you to say the least.
Where is Exactly Your Business Getting Reviewed?
Many online sites today that exist for the sole purpose of providing online reviews are having an increased influence over the purchasing decisions of your prospects. So you need to keep a look out for reviews being posted about your business on Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. In addition, if your business relies on local traffic you will also have to monitor Google Plus, Yahoo Local, Google Maps, City Search and Local.com.
However, those aren't the only sites you need to keep a close watch on. Our reputation management team has identified these others:
- Angie's List, which offers over 1 million paying subscribers unbiased reviews on a local basis.
- The Better Business Bureau, a newcomer to the online reviews scene whose historically trusted reputation has already earned respect.
- Buzzillions, a review site with a focus on electronics, clothing and sporting equipment.
- Epinions, a generic provider of reviews about practically anything a buyer could purchase on line.
- Insider Pages, a site with a focus on the medical and health care fields.
- Judy's Book, a specialist in the provision of such review lists as "The Top 10 Places to Get a Margarita."
- Merchant Circle, a promoter of businesses via a coupon-based advertising system.
- Open Table, which allows visitors to make restaurant reservations online and review the places at which they have eaten.
- Power Reviews, a site that uses SEO and social networking to connect users with products in which they have an interest.
- Site Jabber, a website that reviews websites.
- Trip Advisor, whose reviews target the traveling crowd.
- Wize, a site designed to advise consumers on the best and worst products in the realm of electronics and appliances.
What Are They Saying Behind Your Back?
Anyone who runs a business has to face the truth: people are talking. To find out what they're saying, you have to check the review sites, one by one. It's crucial you do this as well for your own business, because if you don't know that you've left a poor impression, you won't be able to take any steps to correct it.
That's right: It's not enough simply to know what your prospects are saying. You've got to do something about it, and you can't just do it once and be done with it. These sites update constantly and require continuous monitoring. Many business owners have difficulty finding the time to do this. That's where our reputation marketing services come into play.
Proactive Reputation Management
Although the way your business treats your customers, prices your products or performs your services are important factors in building up a good reputation, these things are only part of the story. In this online age, a business that wants to thrive and survive must take proactive steps to protect its good name through positive reputation management.
That's why it is vital to deal with negative reviews in a timely fashion. People remember the bad far longer than they do the good.
How Can Our Reputation Marketing Firm Help You
No company that wants to stay healthy can leave itself vulnerable to the unpredictability of the reviews being written about it online. It's absolutely vital for your business to build and defend your online name through proactive reputation management. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of time and effort. As a business owner you may have neither the inclination nor the expertise to do it effectively.
That's where a reputation management firm that has a talent for reputation marketing can go the extra mile.
As authorities in the field of reputation management, we know how to build or restore your good name, and we will take the necessary time and care to get it done right. Our specialists in reputation marketing will monitor the situation to nip any problems in the bud and turn a bad reputation golden before anyone can take it to heart.
By the time we've performed our reputation marketing magic, your name will be so squeaky clean that new customers will practically fall through your door. After all, happy patrons mean additional sales, and that equates to money in the bank for you.
Reputation management is our business. We have the reputation marketing skills to get these things done, and if you'll give us the opportunity, we can make it happen for you.