The concept of reputation management originated when the Internet became available to most people. This happened over ten years ago. Then people began to actively communicate on the Internet, social networks, industry forums appeared, and people’s reviews of products and services appeared. People shared their opinions on forums, marketers realized this and started working with it.
Then there were fake, customized reviews. They quickly became very numerous, and reputation management became associated with them. It was not clear then how to evaluate the results of such reviews. It was a chaotic job in the early days of the industry.
The market has changed now.
Forums, review platforms and search engines have evolved. They check and moderate user recommendations, filtering out fakes. Their algorithms change very quickly, and it is not easy for authors of custom reviews to adapt to more and more new rules.
The approach of marketers is also changing. According to Wordstat, the number of “Reputation Management” queries has more than doubled over the year.
More and more people are becoming interested in reputation management – both the popularity of the service and the level of knowledge in the market are growing. Because of this, the approach to working on reputation is changing.
Marketers strive to understand what opportunities are provided by reputation management and how the result can be measured. They connect mention monitoring systems, SERMs, work with content and use other tools.
Changes to how reviews are handled
Why can’t we work with reviews as before – just post fake recommendations?
Firstly, the moderation algorithms have become more complicated on the review sites. So, when writing a review, you need to prove that you really were a client of this company. In addition, where you are is also important, because the site tracks geolocation, and how often you post reviews. In addition to the fact that the system keeps track of where the user entered the account from, it also analyzes what the user is doing there.
Secondly, Yandex analyzes information from various sources. The collection of information about the company occurs in all directions – from offers to leave a review and evaluate the organization, to hiring people who walk around the city and check the real addresses of companies.
Third, legitimacy and ethics are becoming increasingly important to a company’s reputation. In Europe, legislation is already emerging to regulate the work with reviews. And large companies themselves understand that it is not worth deceiving customers, it is much more important to ensure that they are really happy with the purchase and write about it.
Now, when working with reviews, it is important to stimulate the publication of real impressions from customers, respond to them and work with all sites.
Thoughtful answers, and not just negative
In general, more and more companies are working with reviews, and doing it right. You need to surpass them. To do this, it is important to abandon templates and respond to all clients, and not only to the negative. Leave answers for positive customer reviews. Just say “thank you” to them, it’s not difficult. But the person will be pleased, it will reinforce the positive impression of the interaction with the brand.
Previously, many companies sinned by not working out the negative, but simply “bombarding” it with positive reviews. Now this does not work, and the issue of limiting the penetration of negativity into the network becomes urgent.
To do this, you need to immediately collect feedback from customers – through forms, applications, questions. It is necessary to create controlled feedback platforms – negative hubs. These are special pages created for claims where you can quickly see and repay the negative. Many customer problems can be resolved immediately on the spot – this should be used.
Promotion in cartographic services
Yandex and Google. Maps, 2GIS are convenient services used by millions. These cartographic services have been supplemented with the capabilities of a navigator, reference books, and advertising platforms. They are developing rapidly, and it is important to keep track of the reviews that appear on these sites.
SERM and SMRM
Two tools are becoming increasingly important in reputation management: Search engine reputation management and Social media reputation management.
SERM is the optimization of search results for reputation queries. How it works? Let’s say a person has a desire to find information about a company. Our goal is to ensure that in the TOP-20 search results for their queries, he finds only interesting, useful information about the brand, which strengthens its reputation.
- displacement of negativity and optimization of search results;
- removal of irrelevant links and illegal content from search results through communication with the support of search engines;
- work with the reference mass;
- creation of additional controlled sites (depending on the subject matter and competition).
In addition, it is necessary to connect work with content: fill the information field with interesting, catchy materials (these are articles, videos, and much more), create as many points of contact with a future buyer as possible, and optimize it for low-frequency queries.
SMRM is a tool with the same mechanics aimed at promotion on social networks.
This is important, because sometimes large companies’ social media pages do not even get into aggregators. In addition, within the framework of SMRM, negativity is worked out in social networks. This allows you to very quickly respond to negative mentions on social networks, and prevent the negative from being pulled off the site.
In general, SMRM includes:
- optimization of social networks to fill in search results;
- creating negative hubs on social media pages;
- moderation and working out negativity in communities;
- monitoring of social networks with the development of the detected negative.
Integration of ORM into business processes
A company’s reputation is one of the important factors in making a purchase decision, which means that reputation management is part of the business process.
The customer’s journey to purchase starts with getting their attention. After that, he has a desire to communicate with the company. And then comes the target action – purchase. However, there is a chasm between wanting and buying. Before deciding on the choice of a company, a person is looking for information about it – about 80% of people study reviews before buying – and takes it into account.
Reputation management affects the recognition of a company, its credibility, its image of an expert. It is difficult to calculate and measure, it is an intangible asset. But it works, and it works very well.
Therefore, many large companies build reputation work into marketing processes as part of a single development strategy. Among other things, this allows you to very quickly respond to negativity and resolve emerging reputation problems. In addition, this way companies do not waste time rebuilding work when changing agencies. In this case, external contractors provide tools for working with reputation, are engaged in the development of a strategy, analytics, and support.
No negative work will work without improving business processes.
The material was prepared by Nikita Platonov, Reputation Management Specialist “ Ashmanov & Partners “.