7 Effective Ways To Boost Online Reputation Management for Your Multi-Location Business
Reputation and trust have always mattered for businesses. There’s nothing new about social proof. Only the execution channels have changed and digitization has scaled the concept. As consumers, we believe in actual customer experience and word of mouth more than any other source of advertisement. Today, online reviews and ratings by consumers have taken over.
As consumer lives become increasingly intertwined with the internet, our collective reliance on online searches has become more pronounced than ever before. A staggering 77% of consumers now read online reviews, up from 60% in 2020.
Think about it: the last time you wanted to find a nearby restaurant, research a potential employer, or even locate a new healthcare provider, where did you turn? Chances are, it was Google or another search engine. So, in an era where every click, like, and share leaves a digital footprint, the importance of online reputation management has soared to new heights.
Whether you’re a global corporation with 1000s of branches or a regional business with several locations, your online reputation matters. A positive online reputation can enhance trust, credibility, and opportunities, while a negative one can have adverse consequences. If you own a multi-location business, it becomes even more important to establish a prolific, all-star reputation and work on it actively.
In this blog, we will delve into the ever-increasing importance of online reputation. We’ll also uncover the intricacies of maintaining a stellar online presence and discuss effective ways of online reputation management in the digital age for multi-location businesses.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online Reputation Management is a set of practices that involve creating, controlling and shaping how consumers perceive your brand or your business, especially in the digital world. It primarily focuses on managing how you are viewed on the internet and social media platforms.
It involves actions such as-
- Crafting and managing your brand online
- Soliciting and tracking reviews and ratings on search engines like Google and third party review sites.
- Responding to those reviews.
- Addressing negative comments and reviews.
- Actively promoting a favorable digital image through social media, search engines, and other online platforms.
The goal of online reputation management is to ensure that the online presence aligns with the desired image and to safeguard a positive reputation, which is crucial in today’s digital age for building trust and credibility.
Let’s take a look at a few statistics that establish the prominence of online reputation management in this context.
|50% of sales are lost because customers can’t find any information about the brand online.
When a product gets five reviews, the likelihood of it being purchased increases by 270%.
If a business improves its online rating from 3 stars to 5 stars, then it can expect to see 25% more traffic.
A 1% increase in online reputation rates can increase revenues by 1.42%.
For every 1 star increase that a business gets on Yelp, they see a 5-9% increase in revenue.
Around 95% of high purchase intent consumers read reviews before buying anything.
These statistics highlight how vital it is to manage your online reputation effectively.
In fact, 73% of consumers believe that reviews that are older than three months are not trustworthy enough.
Hence, constant review acquisition and reputation management is crucial. .
Customers when you have an established online reputation
Why is Online Reputation Management Vital for Multi-location Businesses?
Let’s say you own a car dealership with outlets in five cities in your state. In a highly competitive automotive market, consumers have a plethora of options to choose from. Let’s consider a potential car buyer in one of the cities where your dealership has a presence. They’re in the market for a new car and begin their research by exploring different models and their features. They read expert reviews, compare prices, and perhaps even seek recommendations from friends and family. At this stage, your reputation may not yet be on their radar.
However, as they narrow down their options and start considering where to make their purchase, the dealership’s reputation becomes a crucial factor. In this case, your multi-location business stands to gain or lose a customer based on what they find online. Positive reviews, high ratings, and a strong online presence can give your dealership an edge, instilling trust and confidence in potential customers.
Now, if your reputation is actively managed and consistently positive across all your locations, the customer’s decision becomes easier. On the other hand, if they come across negative reviews, unaddressed concerns, or a lack of online presence for one or more of your locations, it could raise doubts in their mind. In the end, this potential customer might choose a competitor with a better online reputation, resulting in a loss of business for your dealership.
In summary, online reputation management services are the linchpin that can either bolster or hinder the success of multi-location business. If you want your business to drive customer engagement and loyalty, being present online and maintaining an active reputation is a necessity.
1) More Reviews Ensure a Higher Ranking in Search Results
Reviews are the single largest ranking factor for “near me” search rankings on Google.. 78% of businesses go online to find out about local businesses more than once a week. In fact, Google has confirmed that positive reviews will influence your rank on search results by 7%.
The number of reviews, continuity and frequency of reviews play a major role in determining which businesses appear in the Local Pack and their rankings within it.
The Local Pack is the section of search results that displays a set of local businesses or services, typically accompanied by a map.
When users search for businesses or services with a local intent, such as “coffee shops near me” or “car repair in Jaipur,” search engines like Google aim to provide the most relevant and reputable options. They prioritize businesses with a substantial number of positive reviews. This is because reviews serve as a key indicator of a business’s credibility and reliability.
Apart from the credibility, reviews also affect local SEO. About 16% of the search engine decision-making is driven by reviews. The reason is simple – search engines want their users to find the best businesses and review and add the trust factor. Hence, your local business listing ranks higher if you have more reviews.
2) Engaging With Customers Online Builds Trust for Your Brand
Engaging with customers online is a fundamental practice that fosters trust in your brand. 89% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand responding to reviews.
Consumers seek more than just products or services; they seek meaningful connections and experiences. Responding promptly to inquiries, addressing concerns, and actively participating in online conversations demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction.
Additionally, responding to reviews, particularly negative ones, shows that you take feedback seriously and are dedicated to resolving issues, which in turn reinforces trust in your brand. You’ll be amazed to know that 45% of consumers are more likely to visit a business that responds to negative feedback. On the other hand, when people see a string of unanswered negative reviews, it can erode their confidence in your brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction.
Hence, active engagement and addressing customer feedback is the key here.
3) Social Listening Helps You Understand Consumers’ Needs
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses avoid this, but constantly monitoring your reviews and comments immensely helps in knowing what’s working and what isn’t. In order to improve as a business and grow, analyzing complaints and reflecting upon them by bringing required updates is a great way to move forward.
4) Optimal Management Helps Your Brand Shine
How your customers and the target audience view your brand is directly related to how you manage your online reputation. Social media has become the mainstream source of information and platform to exchange opinions. So constantly monitoring and engaging with reviews, social content and publishing content for your audience, helps in bringing your brand to the front.
How to Manage Online Reputation for Multi-location Businesses Effectively?
Standing out as a multi-location business is more about getting the basics right. However, with multiple business listings, reviewing platforms and social channels, managing all of it without a plan can be a little overwhelming. We have curated a list of best online reputation management strategies that you can follow for your multi-location business in a hassle-free way.
1) Establish Online Presence for Each of Your Business Locations
All of your outlets which are active at various locations need to be found online through location-based search. Ensure accurate and consistent information like visiting hours, address, contact details and basic business description are present across business listings like Google Business Profile and Facebook business.
2) Remind Your Customers To Leave a Review and Actively Respond to Them
Given the credibility and SEO weightage reviews bring to your arsenal, it’s totally worth it to ask your customers to review your business profile on platforms like Google and Facebook. Reply to all the reviews – no matter positive or negative, in order to enhance the trust factor and magnify your engagement. Reviews and ratings are two of the biggest social proofs that your online audience wants to check.
3) Create Locally Relevant Content for Your Social Media
The first thing that you should make sure of is to have different social profiles for each of your business locations. Further, as you’re aiming to convert the local audiences to your customers through online location-based search, it’s really important to create content that is relatable to the local audiences. Content plays a major role in building business awareness as well as brand engagement, so make sure you are consistent with it.
4) Link to Your Online Listings and Other Review Sites From Your Website
One of the most underrated methods to attract more reviews as well as highlight your credibility to prospects is by adding review links to your website. You should make sure your Google Business Profile and Facebook Profile, along with other listings are accessible through your website (so that the customers can review you and visitors can check those reviews). Many third-party reviewing sites also allow adding badges to your website which adds up a great amount of trust.
5) Create a Digital Brand on Social Platforms
Pay attention towards a careful curation of your business’s digital brand on social media platforms. This multifaceted approach encompasses the art of social listening, where the business keenly tunes into what the customers are saying, both positive and negative remarks. It allows the business to respond timely and showcase its commitment to meaningful customer engagement.
Social listening can defuse negative situations and instill a sense of trust and goodwill. Moreover, sharing relevant and engaging content on social media is akin to crafting a narrative that resonates with the audience. This narrative shapes a digital brand that exudes credibility, responsiveness, and reliability.
6) Use Unified Online Reputation Management Tools and Platforms for All Your Locations
Managing and engaging with hundreds (and ideally thousands) of reviews for your multi-location business can be too much of a task.
Fortunately, you have Zceppa – a one-stop solution that not only manages your digital discovery, reviews, social content and online-to-offline experience but also automates the tedious task and serves you with seamless near-me marketing.
Zceppa’s unified platform helps you get found, get chosen and maximize your offline revenue. How do we make it happen? Let’s find out.
[BONUS] Boost Your Online Reputation With Zceppa
Zceppa helps you skyrocket your online reputation across multiple digital platforms and manage it with ease for your multi-location business.
- Manage all your locations through a single window
- Get instantly notified of customer queries
- Leverage intelligence & automation to respond to all your customer reviews in real time
- Personalize your messaging
- Collect and manage your customer reviews from a simple easy to use interface/mobile app
- Get access to location-specific performance data to improve your marketing efforts
- Enhance brand awareness and increase your reach through localized social content
Double down on your online reputation management with Zceppa’s proven and scalable solutions for your multi-location brand today!
Signup for a free trial
Zceppa’s products empower your business to win every mobile-first consumer interaction across the buying journey.