This article has been adapted from the original Spanish published by María Eugenia Coppola.
Imagine that you want to go out for dinner in a new city. Would you choose a restaurant that your friends have criticised for bad service and high prices? I imagine not.
The same happens on the internet. Thanks to social media, the voice of the consumer is louder than ever before. And it's likely that even the most costly advertising isn't as persuasive as hundreds of users recommending your product... or rejecting it.
The era of online reputation is here to stay. Is your business prepared for it?
Simply put, your company's online reputation reflects its credibility on the internet.
It's worth emphasising now that you can't have a good and steady reputation without offering a good service to customers (sounds fair, right?) Saying that, this doesn't mean that everything has to be perfect. In fact, some of the best brands aren't afraid to make a few errors, ask for forgiveness, and find solutions to these problems.
How do you build your online reputation? With comments, news, opinions, reviews and information shared on the web.
For this reason, it's extremely important that your brand is part of online conversations. It's not enough to have your own website anymore - you need to draw up a good social media strategy and adjust it constantly. By doing so, you can play a part in the construction of your online reputation. This is especially true if you share interesting content and build a respectful dialogue with users.
A good reputation will nurture the interest of consumers in your company, while a bad reputation can quickly alienate them from your brand.
Keep in mind that 95% of respondents in a TrustYou survey said they read travel reviews (an average of 6-7) before booking. This means that potential customers might reject your business if it doesn't have a good online reputation – there are simply so many other options out there.
(To start building a glowing online reputation, I'd recommend that you check out our blog post on the best ways to improve your TripAdvisor ranking).
The first step you should take to improve your online reputation is to know what others are saying about you
Are people saying good things about you? Bad? Neutral? Nothing at all? What you discover will help you know if your business is on the right track or if you need to address a few things.
To help you discover the current state of your online reputation, we have five free tools to share with you.
- Google Alerts: This is a simple yet comprehensive tool that sends you updates via email. You just have to tell the search engine which keyword you want to monitor, then it will pass on the relevant news articles, web pages, blog posts, and social media messages to your inbox. You can then personalise your alerts according to region, frequency, language, etc.
- Rankur: The free version allows you to monitor in real-time the presence of your brand on social media, in blog posts and news articles, and on the wider web.
- Social Defender: This tool has a free version that gives you detailed analytics of social networking and the sentiment of comments, among other features.
- Buzzmonitor: They offer a free version that includes all of the functionality you need. You can measure, analyse, and compare the online reputation of different brands with the tool.
- Buzzsumo: You can use the free version of Buzzsumo to locate top-performing content on social networks, based on certain keywords. The tool also helps you find influencers.
Of course, there are many other online tools that you can use to monitor the online reputation of your tourism company. The important thing is that you don't just collect lots of data.
For brand monitoring to be useful, you should analyse the results and reflect on what they mean. Ask yourself...
- What words repeatedly appear in conversations about your brand?
- What's the dominant mood?
- Are there positive comments?
- Negative ones?
Remember that monitoring your online reputation is a continual project, and it's not enough to do it once and forget about it.
As well as offering a great service to your customers, be sure to spend time creating quality content (such as videos or blog posts), responding thoughtfully to any comments, and providing quick solutions to any issues or complaints.
Pay attention to criticism, because it can highlight the problems that are worth solving sooner rather than later (for instance, not providing a way for customers book and pay on your website).
Once you've begun to actively participate in building your online reputation, it will be interesting for you to monitor how it affects your web traffic. For this, Google Analytics is a great ally and, to make it even simpler, TrekkSoft offers a Google Analytics integration.
If you have any questions about how you can get more website visits and conversations, don't hesitate to contact us. We'd be happy to give you some free advice.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Visit our Library to find more free tips and tricks on how to better your business.
Written by Lucy Fuggle
Lucy is Head of Content Marketing at TrekkSoft. She tries to read a book a week, travel solo every month, and share ideas on lucyfuggle.com. You can usually find her in Switzerland's Berner Oberland.