Oct 20, 2016

Run an Online Reputation Audit to Show Off Your Business's Best Self

When was the last time you took a good hard look at how your business is being perceived online? Chances are, you’re elbows deep in specific success metrics across your social networsks that you’re forgetting to look at the big picture of your online reputation.

That’s why it might be time for you to run an online reputation audit on your business. Here are some ways to get started.

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Give Your Online Reviews a Glance (and a Chance)

Your business is receiving reviews all over the internet – Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook, TripAdvisor, etc. – and those reviews may not be consistent across the various platforms.

Check out your business’s page on each of your most frequented review sites. If you’re rocking five stars already, great! If there’s some room for improvement, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I responding to every review, good and bad? (Hint: you should be.)
  • Are my review pages an accurate representation of my business as it exists today? Is there anything I can update?
  • Am I giving enough attention to the review sites that have the most effect on my SEO (Google Reviews and Yelp)?
  • Have I worked to right any wrongs in the reviews on my pages?

What you do offline will directly affect the way you’re perceived online. Be sure to take as much time righting any wrongs for unsatisfied customers as you do keeping your loyal customers happy.

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Dive Deep into the Success of Your Social Channels

Chances are you have some social posts that work really well and some that fall flat. Sometimes, with prescheduling social posts and trying to keep up with the latest social trends and content types, it can be difficult to take a step back and really understand what’s working in your social strategy – and what isn’t.

Find Your Top Performing Social Posts (and Your Lowest Performing Ones)

First things first, figure out which social posts are really working for you. Which posts have the highest number of shares and comments? You can start by:

  • Looking at your social media scheduler or posting tool for detailed metrics, or use the free tools available from most social networks
  • Writing down your top ten high-performing posts, but make sure that there are a variety of posts to work with
  • Analyzing the content of these posts to see what they have in common: are they personal stories, announcements, or questions?
  • Listing any other common attribute of the post (photos, links, emojis, slang terms, time of day that you posted it, day you posted it, etc.)
  • Grouping these posts into subject matter categories

Yes, you’re going to want to do this for each of your social channels – but it’ll get easier the next time you run an audit like this. More on that below.

From there, you’ll want to look at your lowest performing posts. You may have more than ten posts that have equally as low engagement, and that’s okay. The important thing is to view your low-performing posts from a high level first, then dive into the details of what these posts contain and why they’re not performing as well.

Complete the above checklist again with your low-performing posts. Then, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do any of my top performing posts have certain things in common with my lowest performing posts? What are they?
  • Are there certain times / days where my content doesn’t perform well? Are there certain times / days where I see more engagement?
  • Do different types of images / links perform better than others?

Once you have an idea of what makes a good social post for your channels, start incorporating more and more of those types of posts into your strategy. Don’t saturate your social media strategy with the same type of post over and over – make sure that you’re using different forms of content posts that you know work well.

Take a High Level Look at Your Social Platform Usage

Now’s the time to get a high-level view of your social platform performance as a whole. Are you spreading yourself too thin by trying to be on all of the social networks, without paying much attention to them?

Take a look at your 3-4 most popular channels – and ditch the rest. Focusing on fewer social channels will help you put your efforts where your engagement already is, leading to higher search engine results and even more followers.

Check Your Customers’ Social Posts About You

If you have a rewards program, you’re probably awarding points to your customers that check in to your business on Facebook or Twitter, or those that are contributing Facebook photos to one of your social campaigns.

Search your business’s name on Facebook and Twitter to see what people are saying about you. You can also search for your hashtag associated with your Facebook photo campaign to bring up a selection of the photos your customers are sharing out to their networks.

If you see any really stellar photos, ask your customers if you can share them out on your social pages. You should also comment and / or like the photo and check-in to make your customers feel like they’re appreciated.

If you’re not seeing as many referrals and social posts as you had hoped, you may need to focus on getting the word out about your rewards program or increasing the amount of points that you offer for these actions.

Ultimately, your customers’ posts will give you an idea of how you’re being talked about on platforms that aren’t review sites – and what they say is just as important as the reviews they leave.

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Make Sure Your Website is Up To Date

Lastly, take a good look at your website. You may not have updated anything in a few months, and with new offerings happening in your business, you’ll want your online presence to best reflect what potential and current customers can expect from your business. You can get started by:

  • Making sure your offerings and prices are up-to-date
  • Adding updated photos or testimonials to your website
  • Updating your mission if it’s changed in any way
  • Making sure that your customers have ample opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter

Your online presence is often the first point of reference for your customers. Online review sites, social networks, and your customers themselves all play a role in your online reputation. Run an audit at least once every six months to make sure that you’re presenting yourself in the best light possible.