Move Over SEO – Reputation Marketing is the NEW Sheriff in Town!

In digital marketing, nothing stays constant, one day you are obsessed with Pay-Per-Click (PPC), the next, you are giddy about Search Engine Optimization(SEO). Digital Marketing is a shifting landscape with many moving parts and one has to keep adjusting to stay relevant and to serve your clients. You just need to look at the offerings of the various players in the industry to understand.

So what is Reputation Management exactly?go social or dieWe get asked this question every single day. Let’s explain using a straightforward example. As the word reputation implies, we are talking about your online business brand or character when we speak of Reputation Management. In many instances, however, your personal and professional brand are intricately linked thus a negative in one has the potential to adversely affect the other. Case in point,  according to Forbes Magazine – the Trump business brand has seen a  27% decline  in its share of foot traffic since the start of his presidential campaign. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiesola/2016/08/04/trump-properties-share-of-foot-traffic-declined-up-to-27-since-start-of-presidential-campaign/#2e03c6195bba).  This is undoubtedly attributed  to a decrease in Donald Trump’s own personal brand. It did not matter how well his business holdings were doing prior to the negative issues associated with his persona, the statistics showed that his business took a tumbling as a direct result of his unfavourable personal brand.

Another stats shows a 60% decline in Trump Properties hotel bookings as global-boycott of his Brand continues (Source: http://usuncut.com/politics/trump-campaign-hurting-hotel-business/). Close to home the Huffingtonpost.ca reports that “Talon’s clients are “no longer interested in the Trump brand” because Trump himself has damaged it, company lawyer Symon Zucker said.  (SOURCE: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/05/27/trump-tower-toronto_n_10166292.html)

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Don’t hide from your Reputation – Manage it.

How does this affect you as a local business owner? You may not have the highly publicized status of a Trump brand, but you can still be affected in the same manner. If you operate an animal clinic for example and just ONE of your clients is unhappy with your service or products for some reason and decides to write a negative review about your business on the internet, would that affect your business’ reputation? Oh, you bet it will. It not could hurt your business brand – it can also destroy it.

Did you know that 97-% of consumers age 18 – 34 read online reviews to judge a LOCAL business. (Source: 2015 Local Consumer Review survey).

It does not have to be several people writing negative reviews about you – it could just be that one angry customer and that is enough to damage your reputation severely.

Irrespective of the best SEO package or the biggest PPC budget, front of Google in your keyword/ industry, that will NOT save your reputation.

Your reputation MUST be managed as follows:

  1. You must engage in constant monitoring of your brand.
  2. You must have a mechanism in place that will send you instant alerts, whenever your company’s name is mentioned online.
  3. You must have a process that advises you when you need to respond and resolve a negative review
  4. You must be committed to resolving clients’ concerns expressed in ONLINE reviews
  5. Your business listings must be correct
  6. Your business listings must be claimed
  7. Otherwise potential customers will assume you are out of business.

In order for clients to trust your brand and want to do business with you over your competitors, must have a high reputation score. Do you know your reputation score? Do you know what consumers will find when they review your business?

To get your Reputation Report – click HERE or Click Image below.

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Damali Thomas BA, M.Ed

Damali Thomas is a Managing Partner at Go Social Or Die Digital Agency. She has her Bachelor's in Psychology and Masters in Education and Digital Technology.She has a cat named Cairo.Her favourite business quote: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” —Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder