Yes, Yes it is! Gone are the days where “word of mouth” advertising happened at social gatherings or during conversations between neighbors. In today’s digital world, social media mentions and online review sites fuel consumer opinions and influence their decisions on everything from what to watch, where to eat, what to wear, and whether or not they should engage with your business. This new-age version of word of mouth advertising heavily influences a consumer’s decision to do business with you – so your company should be monitoring these conversations to improve your reputation online.
Many companies overlook their online reputation or fail to use review sites to their advantage. Ask yourself these questions – Are you aware of your overall review scores on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook? How do your negative and positive reviews compare to your competitions? Are you seeking out positive reviews? Or are you just waiting for customers to leave a review if they feel like it or actively encouraging customers to engage?
Research shows that 91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. And 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from family and friends. This decision is being made quickly: 68% form an opinion after reading between one and six online reviews.
You must go beyond just monitoring your online reputation. It takes 5x as many good reviews to counteract one bad one. Happy customers are less likely to leave an online review and need to be prompted to share their experience. If there is no active plan within your marketing model to ‘ask’ for these reviews, you’re missing out! Review monitoring and gathering helps build your business’ appeal to prospective customers in various stages of the purchase cycle.
Top Three Benefits of Online Reputation Management
- Higher trust: Consumers have more confidence in a brand or person with a good reputation
- Increased profits: Companies with more reviews and higher star-ratings get more business
- Highly desirable applicants: Brands with a positive reputation draw better employees