There are a lot of components that make up your online reputation and they can have a significant impact on sales. How you respond to twitterinquiries, how often you address conflict or bad PR, and what your customers are saying about you to their friends and family are all examples of things that can make or break your online reputation.
According to this graph, positive reviews have a huge impact on the trust a potential customer has of your business. When you're trying to win over customers, trust is everything. Think about all of the time, energy, and money you spend crafting nurturing emails, trying to ease your potential customers in and make them see you as trustworthy and reliable. All that work can be helped with just a few positive reviews. What's really scary is: all of it can be damaged by a negative review.
This graph offers more support for the argument that customer reviews matter. They matter just as much as word of mouth recommendations from friends and family. People are trusting the online world more and more (see the increase from the blue to the orange bar), which is great news if your online reputation is solid.
This stat is based on the assumption that a website is not always the first place people hear about your service or product. It’s also helping support the idea that your website still needs to be authentic and add credibility to your brand. If it will not be the first place people learn about you, then there’s a good chance it will be the second place. Be real, and confirm all those awesome things someone just read about you.
You can have the best website in the world, but if you have negative reviews online, the user may never make it to your site. You’ve already lost credibility before you’ve had the chance to impress them with your strong messaging, cool animations, and beautiful photos. And that's because…
Your online reputation is important. Now, we aren't just talking about Facebook or Amazon reviews. Someone writing something negative on twitter, someone sharing a youtube video defaming your company, all of these things have potentially horrific impacts on a company's bottom line.
Want a tip? Invest in finding brand ambassadors, or people who like your product and take the time to express their love for you or what you sell. You can find these people by sending out surveys, scanning your product reviews, or just by being on the lookout for anyone who gives you a shout out on social media. When you find these people, cherish them. Since they already like using your product, it won't take much to encourage them to share their experiences to a broader audience or to write a review. Usually, you can reward these behaviors through providing discounts or special statuses (Salesforce uses Airbnb as an example of this here) which can eventually come back to help your company.
The internet is a great opportunity for a marketer, but it is sink or swim. If you take your online reputation seriously and actively cultivate vocal, happy customers, the folks upstairs will thank you.
How healthy is your brand? Take this free 20-question survey to find out.