What are people saying about your organization?

Today’s fast-paced news cycle never stops. Social media chatter is a constant and websites are dedicated to gathering and disseminating reviews about your organization. If you aren’t monitoring your reputation online every day, you don’t know what is being said about you or you may be missing important comments, which could affect your reputation both negatively and positively.

The statistics are compelling

According to StatCounter, businesses with mostly 1-star or 2-star online reviews posted by consumers fail to convert about 90 percent of prospective customers. That is cause for concern as the Online Marketing Institute reports that more than 85 percent of customers use the Internet to research before making a purchase and that roughly 78 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations either received by social media or by word of mouth over advertising. Approximately 86 percent of people would pay more for services from a company with high reviews online, and 74 percent of consumers depend on social media to guide their purchases, as indicated in a BrandYourself study. 

StatCounter also reports that with more than one billion Google name and business searches a day, and Google controlling 90.62 percent of search traffic, coupled with the fact that 92 percent of North American consumers regularly read online reviews to learn about a business, it is clear to see that organizational reputation is something that needs to be proactively protected on a daily basis.

Even though 58 percent of executives believe that managing its company reputation online is something that should be done, only 15 percent do anything about it. And given that 41 percent of companies that have experienced a negative reputation event experienced a loss of brand value and revenue (Source: Statista/Pew Internet/Hubspot), it is worth doing something about.

Take action

Lukas Partners recommends some initial steps to begin proactively managing your reputation:

Monitor online and traditional news outlets regularly. Try Talkwalker Alerts as well as Google Alerts.

Respond as soon as possible to inquiries and negative posts.

Think about what could cause negative public perception and prepare responses to have on hand.

Monitor daily what people are saying and how they’re reacting to your industry, your products and your service.

Form a rating system that you can understand based on what you’re seeing online (green-yellow-red) – green being the most positive; this will help you place the comments into context.

Tools like Google Analytics are free and help you determine how people are engaging with your brand.

Monitoring your online reputation takes work and dedication, but it is something that should be a given in your day-to-day operations, as it is the first step to developing a comprehensive reputation management program.

About the blogger:
Jim Bush is a senior account executive at Lukas Partners. He is accredited in public relations (APR) via the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Jim is a seasoned communication professional with experience in every aspect of corporate communication and takes pride in helping businesses and organizations better relate to the communities they serve.

To hear more from Lukas Partners, follow us on Twitter @LukasPartners or subscribe to our newsletter.

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