Nearly every business conducting business in the DC or Northern Virginia area (and elsewhere) is finding that more and more effort is required to manage their online reviews and feedback. Particularly for local or regional businesses, the very first thing online consumers do in considering to visit or buy, is to seek out online reviews, search for online reputation or trust signals, and canvass their social media networks for trusted advice and opinion.
More often than not, the aggregate perception developed in a consumer’s mind, from this online collection of “reputation proof points”, will overcome ANY direct marketing, advertising or SEO efforts being made.
It’s hard to fight back, and lawsuits really aren’t the answer. This recent example here in Northern Virginia and DC may result in some compensation – but the damage is done, and will last for a long time on the Internet.
Establishing consistent, durable and very positive online messaging isn’t easy, and requires constant attention. There’s also no specific, simple answer, tool or web service – and furthermore, any tools or methods that are working today, will not be as effective tomorrow, given the constant changes and updates being made to social sites, search engines and competitive reactions.
What is absolutely necessary, to maintain a very positive, trustworthy, engaging and respectable professional presence online – is professional care and feeding of your online reputation paired with superior products, services and customer engagement. It’s not necessarily expensive, but requires time spent determining your status, planning your approach, executing an ongoing strategy and staying on top of the reviews.
Your response to online review and PR challenges also requires absolutely professional, high-quality American English copywriting and communications skills (i.e. you can’t outsource it overseas, and you shouldn’t attempt if you aren’t already a great writer), with innate knowledge and understanding of your locality and local news, your market and customers, and your products, services and technical vocabulary.
KME Internet Marketing can help – as they do for all of their clients. The customer, community and revenue fallout from bad Google or Yelp reviews can be diluted, overcome, even officially retracted if unfair. Critics and negativity can be promptly, effectively, legally addressed. Positive feedback and testimonials can be solicited, collected and expertly highlighted. Great experiences and news can be prominently placed and optimized for maximum visibility. Professional public relations (PR) and communications strategies can be implemented, at extremely reasonable rates – and far more proactively and effectively than traditional advertising, web design, media publishers or PR firms can offer.
This is a difficult, quickly-growing issue that will always take time to address and monitor, and has to be an extremely important part of every business marketing and outreach plan. Contact KME Internet Marketing today for more information, or to discuss the many ways they can help.