3 Ways to Approach Online Presence Management
Internet use is at an all-time high. Whether people are looking to order food, are shopping, are scrolling through social media, or are simply looking to answer a question, people turn to the internet first. In fact, 97% of consumers use the internet to find a business during their buyer journey.
Consequently, it’s very important that businesses manage their online presence to ensure that they’re viewed positively online, whether through a dedicated internal team or online marketing company.
A well-established and curated online presence helps consumers find what they’re looking for and feel confident in their buying decisions. In comparison, companies that don’t build up their digital presence seem less trustworthy
By building up your business’s reputation, you establish credibility and attract customers. Here are a few tips to help you can develop your online presence:
- Ask for reviews
- Engage on social media
- Invest in content
1. Ask for Reviews
To feel more confident about their purchases, buyers conduct research before making their decision. As a result, both positive and negative reviews can influence buyer behavior.
Often, consumers look at reviews because they’re objective and are written by another customer.
People looking for restaurants, for example, are likely to go to Yelp. There, they can find endless lists of the top eats in the area. Reviews with high star ratings show that customers consistently have a good experience at the restaurant.
Yelp even includes filtering options and tags that help people narrow down their search by cuisine, location, and more.
Positive reviews can make your business appear trustworthy, making it more likely for potential customers to buy your products or services, while negative reviews can turn away customers. Additionally, an extensive catalog of reviews can expand your reach and attract new customers to your site.
Therefore, businesses should incentivize their happy customers to leave reviews — positive feedback can top negative reviews and balance out ratings, helping companies stand out on top. It’s also important to respond to negative reviews, showing that you care about your customer experience.
While the benefit of reviews is universal, the platform that you would want your reviews to be posted on will vary depending on your industry and focus. Yelp and Google Reviews are valuable for B2C businesses such as local restaurants, dentists, beauty salons, and plumbers. These platforms may not be the best option for B2B companies. However, they can still reap the benefits of online reviews on B2B-specific review sites.
To start building out a portfolio of customer reviews, come up with a strategy that will engage customers and encourage them to leave comments online. Here are a few ways you can address this topic with your customers:
- Send follow-up emails to recent customers asking for feedback
- Link to your review profile on digital receipts
- Have staff members ask happy customers to leave a review
- Include a clear call-to-action on product pages, giving customers the opportunity to leave comments
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your customers! No matter what industry you’re in, reviews are an essential part of your clients’ decision-making process.
2. Engage Customers on Social Media
Building your online presence is all about building relationships with customers, and there’s no better way to connect with customers than through social media.
Active social media accounts and quality content help businesses appear more professional and trustworthy. This is particularly important for startups and smaller businesses that don’t have brand name recognition.
Rather than investing solely in creating original content for your platforms, you can get more out of your social media strategy by interacting with individual customers. You can do this by:
- Responding to comments and direct messages
- Commenting on posts related to your business
- Sharing user-generated content
- Creating challenges that attract followers
Chewy, an online retailer for pet products, does an exceptional job of interacting with their customers on social media. They often repost pictures of pets using their products, respond to comments, and host Q&As on Twitter.
For example, they responded to an Instagram story they were tagged in. In the post, a dog posed in a box that Chewy products were shipped in.
Chewy’s witty banter kept the customer engaged with their social media, which helped build a lasting impression. Customers who have personal interactions like this with brands are more likely to feel a connection to that company and become repeat buyers.
Your business can build brand loyalty by interacting with customers online. Seek advice from a social media consultant or someone on your social media team to make sure there is someone in charge of responses and be sure to keep your messaging consistent with your brand.
3. Invest in Content
The more content you release, the more prominent your brand can be. Your social media profiles, ads, blogs, and everything else you produce online contribute to your online reputation.
Posting regularly shows that your business is active online and can improve your search engine optimization (SEO).
Create new, interesting content that targets different audiences by changing up the format. Although blogging and social media are great ways to regularly post regularly, hosting webinars, creating videos, or even launching a podcast about your industry are great ways to set your brand apart.
While it takes a lot of effort and resources to create content, it is well worth the investment. By providing useful information to your readers, you can establish yourself as an industry leader. For companies without internal resources, content marketing services can help populate your website with useful content designed to engage users online.
To manage your content strategy effectively, create a calendar for your editorial content. This will help you plan ahead and stay organized. You can streamline this process further by using an automation platform. Platforms like HubSpot, HootSuite, and Buzzsumo can reduce the time you spend on tedious tasks like publishing.
With a well-planned and organized content strategy, you can establish your business and an industry leader, grow brand awareness, and encourage engagement.
An Online Presence is Crucial to Business Success
Before making a purchase, most people go online to learn more about the products, services, and companies they’re interested in. What they find can sway their decision and impact what they buy.
As a result, developing a strong online presence and managing your brand’s reputation is key to your business’s success
To grow your presence online and build credibility, ask your customers to leave online reviews. Be sure to respond to negative feedback as well to show that you care about your customers’ success.
You should also engage with customers on social media to build brand loyalty. In addition to creating new content, speak with your customers directly. This will help you create a lasting impression and earn their trust.
Finally, create useful content — whether that’s through blog posts, podcasts, videos, or social media posts. Fresh content can establish your brand as an industry leader that people can turn to.
With a well-established online presence, your business will create brand recognition online and build trust with your customers.