If you're not proactively managing your online reputation, someone else is. In 2021, it is impossible to grow and succeed as a company with a bad online reputation. For those that aren't actively online expressing their culture and values, the story gets told for you by unhappy employees and customers. Below is the full scoop on why online reputations are so important and how to maintain a positive one no matter what.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO MAINTAIN YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
Typically, before a potential employee even applies for a job, they will look online for job reviews. There are unfortunate statistics out there that can devastate company reputations. According to Social Media Today, 92% of consumers read online reviews to learn more about a company.
Inc.com also states that of all company reviews, 10% of employees will lie about the company in their Google, Facebook, or Glassdoor reviews.
Thankfully, this is a small percentage of a company's overall reviews, and most people don't set out to directly hurt a brand or company they previously worked for.
There are also ways the company can actively combat these types of reviews to maintain a positive and honest representation of themselves online. One avenue to take is to develop AI with a detailed human element to sweep for negativity and help create a more positive environment.
Working with AI can be expensive and risky because the public can easily spot the difference between actual human reviews and bot reviews.
HERE'S HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
There are many ways you can impact your online reputation without the use of AI. You have to be confident in your culture and values as a company. If you're not, work on that first!
Then, follow these steps to ensure you always receive truthful feedback that helps your company's online reputation:
- Ask positive employees but never ask for positive feedback!
You want your reviews to be as organic as possible. If you ask your employees to leave positive feedback specifically, they will undoubtedly become suspicious and potentially resentful.
Instead, be present on the floor. Get to know your employees as personally as possible. Those that love their job will stick out. Ask those employees to leave an honest review of their experience with the company but leave the choice up to them.
Those that aren't happy with their job work on their happiness first and foremost. Get to the root of the problem. Show you care and want to make sure their experience with the company is a positive one.
2. Strategically time when you ask for employee reviews.
Timing your reviews requests around optimistic company and employee milestones is paramount. Positivity is contagious. Use those positive moments to your advantage.
Here are a few examples:
- Asking employees to leave reviews just after training and orientation practices ensures the company will receive an honest review. Even if the employee has suggestions to benefit the methods, these reviews help the company learn more about what employees need. This also gives you a chance to respond appropriately to show just how much you pay attention to their needs from the very beginning.
- Promotions are another great time to ask for employee reviews. Employees tend to be at their happiest just after this significant milestone in their career.
- Company milestones, anniversaries, company morale events, and just after award ceremonies are perfect times to ask for reviews. Employees are loyal to their employers and tend to feel motivated just after events such as these.
Try not to go overboard with a flood of positive reviews all at once, though. Algorithms are inclined to flag positive feedback floods as suspicious. The most important thing is to monitor the ongoing changes in the company's reputation and respond naturally. Stakeholders realize you are human, and sometimes reputations fluctuate. If yours is overly optimistic, this too can come back to bite you.
3. Be sure to respond to negative reviews.
Entrepreneur states that when a stakeholder first hears about a brand or company, they almost always resort to Google for more information. Potential customers, employees, investors, and partners all do this.
It's common knowledge that you can't always please everybody. Negative reviews aren't necessarily life or death for a company, but how the company responds to those reviews can be. Potential stakeholders want to see how the company handles inevitable negativity.
Communication is critical, especially in adverse situations.
Your online reputation is the lifeblood of your company. Invest in it organically, and you’ll be pleased with the outcome.