Why Reputation Management Is Essential For Small And Medium-Sized Companies
These are just a handful of the many social media, review platforms and local directories that exist. Reviews about a company can even be published on many of these websites without the company even having a profile there. Reviews about a company can even be published on many of these websites without the company having a profile at all. This means that it could be that a small company has an army of online fans and critics without even knowing about it.
This is not just about feedback. As you will see, local directories and online reviews have a proven impact on a variety of sales and marketing factors. Here are 4 reasons why ORM so essential for small and medium sized companies is.
1. Online reviews affect sales
Customers keep an eye on the ratings — most consumers consider the star rating of a company important and also attach importance to the number of ratings.
The overall impression a customer gets from a company’s rating profile has a direct impact on sales; this goes both ways: Positive reviews are excellent for business, because people would rather visit a local company with positive reviews. Negative reviews, on the other hand, are bad for business — consumers say that they will not use a company with negative reviews and others say have already decided to go to another store because of bad reviews.
2. It is not only about online stores
It is important to remember that reputation management is not only for companies that exist exclusively online. Most people also check the online profiles of physical companies.
Consumer interest in the online profile of physical stores goes far beyond retail: from finding a wedding location to making an appointment with a good chiropractor, people are increasingly turning to the Internet to help them make their decisions: a full 70% of people looking for legal advice use the Internet to decide which law firm to go to.
Online reviews play a similar role to a friend’s personal recommendation, a recent study found that customers must read ten reviews before they trust a local firm.
3. Responding to reviews is good for business
Those who do not respond to their customers are missing a valuable opportunity to strengthen their brand online. Responding to reviews is a great way for a company to differentiate itself from the competition and show its commitment.
Responding quickly is also a proven way to deal with bad reviews: most consumers say they are more likely to visit a company that has negative reviews when these reviews have received a response.
4. Reputation management is good for Google
Google places great value on companies that take the time to manage their reputation. Given Google’s recognition of reputation management, it is likely that the importance of online reviews and local directories as a ranking factor will continue to grow in the future.
Visibility on Google Maps is particularly important for local businesses, making them easier to find via smartphone navigation. 82% of buyers with smartphones have used the search term “near me” at least once to find a local business.