Digital advertising is one of the toughest digital marketing tactics for businesses to embrace. The reason for this is due to the pre-conceived notion that “nobody clicks on ads.” This is not always the case. In fact, digital ads are an opportunity for businesses to jump ahead of their ad-wary competitors. The info-graphic below provides us with 4 truths to digital advertising.
Building a strong online reputation is more important than ever. A study by Harvard Business Review found that a difference of one “star” in the average rating in a typical online business profile can lead to a 5-9% difference in revenue.But how can you influence customer feedback and proactively manage your online reputation?
Step 1: Listen to Your Customers: Your customers are your best resource for discovering how to make improvements to your business, so establish a system to genuinely listen to and engage with what your customers are saying about you.
Step 2: Target Relevant Review Websites: You can refine your monitoring process by focusing on the review websites that matter most to your target audience – knowing which review sites are most influential will help you plan an appropriate reputation management process.
Step 3: Gather Customer Feedback: Don’t leave the review process to chance; request customer feedback from both online and offline customer touch points. Be creative, be polite and be direct.
Step 4: Share Your Customer Feedback: Positive customer reviews make excellent marketing content, so make sure to publicly thank customers for their time and their comments – your social media profiles are an ideal place to share your customers’ praise.
Step 5: Learn and Improve: Be ready to learn from negative feedback, and make improvements. Remember to respond quickly and positively to bad reviews and your reputation will be enhanced rather than damaged by the poor review.
Online review sites are growing in popularity as customer feedback has become a key factor in consumers’ buying decisions – you can either leave it to chance, or take steps to manage your online reputation and gain the marketing advantage.
With unlimited access to the internet, many people are more frequently searching online for information regarding a brand, service or product prior to purchasing. As such, third party reviews and word of mouth have become more powerful in swaying opinions than traditional advertising. Satisfied consumers will usually tell approximately 3 people about their positive experience whereas individuals who have had an unfavourable experience will tell anyone and everyone who will listen. This phenomenon makes online reputation monitoring and online reputation management essential to a company’s credibility and sustainability. Below, our digital marketing agency details how to manage and respond to reviews:
What Are Third Party Review Sites?
Important third party review sites include:
- Google Reviews
- And More
Online Reputation Monitoring
Online Reputation Monitoring is all about listening to what people are saying about you online. This task has become increasingly more important as consumers have become much more vocal in regards to publishing their opinions, questions and experiences with brands, products and services in public forums and online review platforms.
Your companies’ reputation can easily be monitored by setting up alerts that will notify you of instances when your company is mentioned in conversations held online. By doing this, you will be much more aware of what your customers are saying about you. The simplest way to do this is to set up “Google Alerts” corresponding to your name, your business name, etc.
Online Reputation Management
The management of your online reputation involves becoming engaged in the conversations taking place about you online, as well as responding to third party reviews. The best way to manage your reputation is to respond to both positive and negative reviews. Should you only respond to the negative, you will appear defensive and could possibly begin to convey a negative overall image, not to mention neglecting reviewers who have provided you with priceless third party promotion of your brand/service/product.
Benefits of Online Reputation Monitoring and Management
By monitoring and managing your online reputation you will:
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Strengthen or salvage relationships with your customers
- Increase brand awareness
- Learn more about your customers opinions, thoughts, and expectations
- Potentially increase in sales
- Develop stronger sense of loyalty within your current customers
Do’s and Don’ts When Responding to Reviews
- Thank them for their feedback
- Respond to positive reviews in a friendly manner
- In the case of a negative review – apologize for their experience
- Explain the steps that you or your organization will take to prevent the situation in the future
- Take it offline and invite the customer to contact you directly if they wish
- If it is an ongoing situation, post updates on the social media channel to show potential customers that you are taking steps to rectify the issue
- If the reviewer tends to rant, you should try to fix the issue they highlighted but avoid giving them much online attention
- Take the feedback personally
- Respond in an angry or abusive way and, most of all, do not attack the customer
- Question the individual’s legitimacy
- Use industry jargon that is not meaningful as you will appear to be robotic and insincere in your reply
To limit the impact of negative reviews:
- Have a plan of action in regards to how to deal with them
- Have a target response time (24 hours) to help minimize the impact
- Educate your staff regarding how to respond to negative reviews
Unjust or Fake Reviews
Unjust or fake reviews could include reviews from disgruntled former employees or fake negative reviews written by a competitor. If you suspect a review is fake or unjust:
- Flag it.Most online review sites emphasize trustworthy information and want to eliminate and filter fake reviews in order to provide accurate data to their clients. When you flag an unjust or fake review, be sure to point out any inconsistent information that can help prove that the review is clearly fake.
- If you can’t remove it, respond to it. When you reply, be sure to respond strategically and carefully – never abrasively. Be matter of fact and call the review into question by stating that you have no record of working with the reviewer; this will raise a flag for any potential customers reading the review and make them question its validity.
- One exception to this rule is Yelp. If you receive a fake review on Yelp, do not respond immediately, wait at least 10 days. Yelp uses an algorithm that filters reviews, so the fake review may get pushed down on its own, but not if you’ve already replied to it. The review has a higher likelihood of being filtered if is it from a new account that has posted less than 10 reviews.
- Bury it. The more positive reviews your business has, the less credible the negative and fake ones seem. If your business has a 4 star average rating, your potential customers will see right through the fake review(s).
Online reputation management and monitoring should be essential components to any online marketing strategy. By staying engaged with your customers and participating in their online conversations, you are able to have a better understanding of how you are viewed by your customers, acquire valuable feedback regarding your brand, and target areas of your business that may require improvement. It’s time to join the conversation!
In just over 5 years, Pinterest has quickly grown to become one of the world’s largest social media platforms; the network is now ranked fourth, sitting behind social giants Facebook and Twitter, and a couple million subscribers behind LinkedIn. But – I bet your business isn’t on it. In fact, often overlooked as a social media platform for women searching for cooking recipes and wedding inspiration, many brands are still reluctant to consider the network as a marketing tool. But it’s time to re-consider! Below, our digital marketing agency has listed the top 4 benefits of using Pinterest for your business, along with a couple of tips to get you started.
1. Ideal for Showcasing Your Products or Services
Due to its emphasis on visuals, Pinterest is a great platform for showcasing your brand’s products or services. Use this to your advantage by creating boards that highlight your different product categories and your business portfolio. If your business is a service, pin images of your facilities to take followers on a virtual tour of your business. Notably, the social network is not limited to images, as you can also pin videos to your boards. Of course, make sure the images and videos you pin are of high quality and are the right dimensions; a blurry thumbnail image isn’t going to attract anyone’s attention.
2. Generates Traffic to Your Site
Pinterest is a great source of back links for your website. Notably, whenever you pin an image, a link is automatically included back to the source of the image; this makes it simple for brands to link their images back to their website or blog. Notably, Pinterest is one of the most efficient social networks at generating traffic to your website.
And the best part? The majority of the work is done for you by other users; it’s estimated that 80% of pins on Pinterest are re-pins. That means that every time your pin is re-pinned or liked, additional inbound links to your website are created. Having reputable inbound links is a big benefit for SEO as it demonstrates your credibility to Google and results in a better ranking for your site.
Tip: be sure to include “Pin It” buttons on the images on your Website or blog to incite visitors to pin your content to their boards easily themselves.
3. Great for Brand Visibility
Pinterest makes it simple to reach your target market and build your audience. Notably, users are able to search content by category, which helps users who are interested in your business category come across your brand. As mentioned above, the key to generating traffic on Pinterest is getting your images pinned by other Pinterest users. Re-pins spread the word and increase the visibility of your pin and of your business; this generates an increase your brand’s reach and helps organically grow your audience within your target market.
4. Build Your Corporate Identity
Notably, like all social networks, the content you pin on Pinterest shouldn’t be exclusively brand focused; followers don’t just want to learn about your products, they want to get to know the personality behind the brand. Create pin boards relating to your business, trade, industry, and events that you participate in. For example, if your Pinterest account is for a spa, on top of pinning images of your services and facilities, create boards about wellness and health that promote your brand’s personality and values. Use Pinterest to create a lifestyle for your brand that customers can relate to.
So what do you think? Is Pinterest right for your business? Of course, as with all social media marketing endeavors, if you want to reap the benefits of the platform, you need to know how to properly use the medium for your business. Our Montreal web designteam will leave you with a couple of tips to help make the most of your new Pinterest account:
- Stay active: consistently pinning images will keep your followers interested and build brand visibility.
- Be sure to have a complete and optimised “About” section; include keywords in your description and include a link to your website.
- Embrace the re-pin! Social media is about interaction; if you re-pin them, maybe they’ll re-pin you!
- Monitor your pins: always respond to any comments or questions on your pins. Name your images strategically: use descriptive file names and alt text to optimise your pins for SEO.
- Prepare your website or blog for pinning! “Pin It” and “Follow Me” buttons are a must!
- Be a follower! Follow users and boards that relate to your field. Connecting with relevant users will help you build a community around your industry and (hopefully!) your brand.
- Once is not enough: regularly remind clients and followers that you are on Pinterest by sharing it on your social profiles, blog posts, email signature, etc.
Happy pinning! Oh, and while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our WSI Montreal Pinterest profile! We have pinned many infographics, articles, and blog posts that offer a wealth of information about online marketing, including social media, SEO, and blogging.
When it comes to your social media strategy, there’s one thing that you need before anything else – an audience. Of course, building a following is easier said than done. To help you out, our digital marketing agency has outlined several simple methods to help you grow your audience.
1. Reach out to your current clients and subscribers
You already have a substantial contact list from your email marketing efforts – use it! Send out a newsletter notifying your subscribers of the social platforms you’re on, and ask them to connect with your brand. Similarly, if you already have friends, family, or long term clients that are on the network, don’t be shy to ask them to connect with your business. Spread the word!
2. Invite your current followers to connect with you on the new platform
If your company’s already on one social network, use this to your advantage! Use your established account to attract followers to your new platform. Tweet about your new Facebook page or post about your new Twitter account; it’s that simple. The truth is, the majority of your followers are likely to be on more than one social network, and will be more than willing to follow you on more than one platform.
3. Integrate social icons everywhere!
Your website, your blog, your email signature – you should continuously be informing and reminding clients and prospects that you’re active on social media and directing them to your profiles. As well, always be sure to integrate social media icons with your existing marketing efforts; any advertisements, brochures, or business cards should prominently identify which platforms you’re on and the corresponding URLs or handles.
4. Be active online and join the conversation
Social media is about interaction; be sure to engage on relevant industry sites, forums, blogs, and pages. Become part of the conversation! The more active you are online, the more likely potential followers are to come across your brand. Significantly, when you come across relevant accounts, be sure to follow them; if you follow them, there’s a high probability of them following you back.
5. Pay to play
The unfortunate truth: the more popular a medium becomes, the more expensive it is to get noticed on that platform. More than ever this is true for social media. If you want your account to get noticed, you may have to pay a little. Occasionally promoting posts, tweets, pins, pages, or even running contests, can do a lot to rapidly increase your following. And if the content’s good, your audience will stick around.
Building a social audience isn’t impossible or difficult, but it does take time and effort. Don’t expect it to happen overnight. Good luck!
Curious about other areas of social media? Visit our social media marketing page and be sure to contact us to find out how our social media services can help your business. And- last but not least – don’t forget to like us on Facebook for all the latest digital marketing news and trends!