With online reviews a fingertip away, your businesses online reputation is more important now than ever.  One bad review can cost your business thousands in revenue, which is why managing user generated content is crucial to the wellbeing of your business.

When it comes to managing user generated content, most business are reactive instead of proactive.  Being reactive leads to more bad reviews because it is proven that consumers are more likely to share their bad experiences more so than their good ones.

Therefore, improving your online reputation requires a system to be in place that consistently reaches out to your customers and asks for their feedback.  Furthermore, this system should filter bad reviews from being posted publicly while encouraging consumers to post good reviews publicly.

5 ways a business can be proactive in managing user generated content and improving online reputation

Pre-Screen Reviews

Pre-screening reviews is important because it helps reduce the number of 1, 2 or 3 star ratings a business could receive.  To pre-screen reviews a business needs to be proactive in reaching out to its customers and have a system in place to filter out bad reviews.

At Concrete Internet Marketing, we developed a 5 star rating system that filters out bad reviews and encourages 4 and 5 star public reviews.

How it works is simple yet effective.  Implementing a marketing strategy that reaches out to current customers, they are provided with a link to a landing page that contains the 5 star rating system.

Consumers who rate your business a 3 star or lower are encouraged to fill out a form.  Once the form is filled out, it is delivered via email to the business so they can respond on a 1 on 1 basis.  This allows the business to handle issues internally without negatively impacting how their business looks online.

Consumers who rate your business 4 or 5 stars are encouraged to head over to a public review site, like Google or Facebook, to leave their review.  This method is effective because it gives the consumer easy access to leave a review on a platform they have an account with.

Email Blast

Email blast are a cheap and effective way to reach out to your current customer base.  Since the consumer has already interacted with your business, it is likely your email will be opened.

For best responses to your email blast, you need to know your sales cycle and deliver your message at precisely the right time.

The most efficient way to send out an email blast is by using an autoresponder like GetResponse or Aweber.  Not only can you set up your email blast once and forget about it but autoresponders provide crucial data about your campaign.  From open rate to click through rate, an autoresponder is going to tell you how well your message is resonating with your audience.

Furthermore, an autoresponder gives you the option to run an A/B test.  This means you can craft 2 separate emails with different headlines and different calls to action to see which one performs best.  You deliver email A to 50% of your list and email B to the other 50% and move forward with the email that provides the best results.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are another creative way to proactively reach out to your clients for reviews.  With the creation of custom audiences, a business can upload email addresses of previous customers into Facebook and deliver specific ads to just those individuals whose email address matches a Facebook profile.

Furthermore, with the new Facebook Pixel installed, Facebook can track in page events such as a 1 star of 5 star click on your landing page.  This is important because Facebook also allows advertisers to create “look-a-like” audiences to advertise to.

Just imagine being able to target Facebook users who have the same demographics and characteristics as your best customers.  Do you think this would help locate new customers and increase your ROI?  You bet it will!!

If that’s not enough to get you excited, maybe all the engagement you will receive will.  Facebook’s algorithm rewards business pages that receive engagement in the news feed.  Interaction with your Facebook Ads and consistent new reviews will have get your business in front of more eyes for free.

Speaking of free, engagement on social media has proven to have an impact on search engines.  Therefore, your business can start showing up in organic search results on Google, Yahoo and other popular search engines as your Facebook’s page engagement grows.

Social Monitoring

Social monitoring is the process of monitoring user generated content on social media platforms to understand what consumers are saying about your business, competitors and industry.

Social monitoring is a proactive activity because it allows businesses to identify customer pain points and provide direct responses to questions, complaints and comments.  Furthermore, social monitoring allows marketing teams to develop new marketing messages that zero in on customer pain points and offer first to market solutions.

Social monitoring can improve your online reputation because it shows that you are listening to what your audience is saying.  It provides you with a way to interact with your audience and differentiates you from your competitors.

So how does social monitoring work?  In simple terms, social monitoring works like search engines except they monitor social media sites and user generated sites such as blogs, forums and review sites.

There are several free and paid social monitoring tools available on the web that allow you to monitor keywords, hashtags, brands and so on.  Whenever one of your keywords, hashtags or brand is mentioned online, the social monitoring tool will alert you and provide you with a link to the mention.  From there it is up to you whether you want to interact with the user generated content or not.

Respond

Responding to online reviews is by far one of the most important reactive ways to improve your online reputation.

Receiving a bad review sucks but it doesn’t have to bring down your reputation.  The worst thing you can do when receiving a bad review is nothing.  At very least apologize to the customer and then reach out to them via direct message, email or phone and see if there is anything you can do for them to change their mind about your product or service.

It’s also important to respond to good reviews.  A simple “thank you” or “it was a pleasure working with you” will let your customer know that you appreciate them as well.  Furthermore, this additional content adds an engagement to your review.