Reputation is a growing subject and has expanded to cover a lot of stuff we would not have previously included. For example, there are many ORM solutions out there that deal with online reputation, but in the past year or so driven mostly by the battle for local, the issues that come under this umbrella have spread.
Beginning with the traditional reputation areas, reviews are important. Customers read them and heed them and they are an essential part of selling, not just online, but anywhere.
You need recent good reviews and ideally between 4 and 5 as an aggregate score.
Customer Voice Toolset is our premier tool for managing reviews.
You ideally should show appreciation sometimes and definitely respond to any unfavourable review
Chatter and gossip needs to be kept under control so anything negative is handled professionally.
Citations and listings
Nowadays we are also counting directory listings and citations under reputation as they show your status as a legitimate business.
Unstructured Social media and Forums
More recently, the practice of scanning social media and even forums to collect comments left behind means that most people now feel it necessary to do the same, for their own profile and to regularly post quality pieces that will be found both to fill the search quota with good content and to balance the sentiment.
Finding leads on Social Media
Many sales-people find that monitoring social media also provides immediate opportunities to reach out to people who are asking around for recommendations on your product, or have set a status such as “searching for a new home”, choosing a holiday”. These opportunities, when handles by a pro can produce lots of quality leads.
Do I really need to go to these lengths?
Well if you are serious about doing business online, the answer I’m afraid is yes and it will probably get worse before it gets better. The sooner you get things under control and establish a manageable routine for handling things the easier it will be.