It can be hard to be the groundbreaker, but it’s a job that has to get done. If you’re one of the first people at your organization to recognize the value of online reputation and review management, it’s time to come up with a plan.
It’s easy to get an idea shot down, but it’s just as easy to take some time to prepare a solid case that will end up with this project being green-lighted. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know if you want to educate your team. That way, you can get them on board with online reputation management.
Let’s get started.
Educate Them with Solid Data
One of the first steps you’ll need to take is to educate them. People are less likely to agree to something they don’t understand (and rightfully so!). To start off on the right foot, think about the types of questions you had when you were first learning about online reputation management. These are likely to be similar to the questions your team will also be asking.
Once you have a list of questions, gather information to support your answers. We already know that online reputation management can boost your business’s success. We already know that search engines are using online ratings and reviews to influence the rankings on search results pages.
So, start building a case. There are plenty of studies out there that show the connection between an increase in revenue and a rise of one star in a business’s rating.
Audit and Benchmark Your Current Performance
To make this process go as smoothly as possible, take the time to audit and benchmark your organization’s current performance. Nothing is more convincing than being presented with the facts about an organization and a plan for improvement.
Go ahead and create a list of critical profiles that your business must enhance and manage. Then, note whether or not your company already has a profile on that platform. If you do, note the following:
- If the profile is claimed or not
- If business information (like the address, phone number, or open hours) is correct
- The overall rating
- The number of reviews present
With this information entered into a spreadsheet, you’ll have a good grasp of how your organization is currently performing. This will make it easy to gauge how much improvement could happen if you were able to incorporate online reputation management into your schedule.
Online Must Reflect the Offline Reality
Now that you’ve audited and benchmarked how your organization is currently performing, it’s time to get a little abstract.
Online reputation management is all about helping your business stay well-represented online. You may have the #1 business in town, with regular customers coming into your store every day, but that may not be the case online.
Compare the offline reality of your business (like being voted #1 restaurant for three years in a row) with the online representation of it. Does it align? If you’re a five-star business, but only have three stars on Yelp – there’s an issue. And it may be causing you to miss out on a lot of revenue as people pass up your organization to go to a competitor with a better online reputation.
Be ready to discuss these points with your team to further reinforce the necessity of online reputation management.
Create a Plan
With all of this information at hand, you’re ready to present your case and win over the team. Practice how you will lay out all of the data and selling points that you’ve found throughout your research. Remember, you’re going into this meeting as the expert.
That means that you know which next steps will best help the organization, but you don’t want to overwhelm them. Having a clear plan of attack will make sure that you are conveying all of the most critical information to help them understand why an investment in online reputation management is an investment in future successes.