Digital Reputation Management for Franchisees: Why it’s important and why YOU need it

In today’s society we are well beyond just online marketing and advertising. Thanks to Web 2.0, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), Google, Ask.com and more, it is crucial for business success to monitor not just what you say about yourself online, but most importantly, what others say about you.

Many business owners shy away from embracing online marketing, social media and more because of the vulnerabilities it opens up. However, whether or not you have an online presence, your customers will undoubtedly talk about you, both positively and negatively, so it’s in your best interest to embrace the digital age, be present on these digital networks and effectively manage your reputation through these online channels. As a franchisee, you have the support of a bigger brand with a local appeal. As you develop an online presence with your local community, it’s important that you manage and maintain your brand representation and franchise reputation effectively. Here are a few tips to help you manage your digital reputation.

  • Just as in any business venture, it’s crucial that you know your market. Who is your audience and what websites are they using to provide feedback, reviews and comments? Is it Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp? Do a little homework to find the top sites where your customers are talking about you and vigilantly monitor them.
  • Bad reviews and comments only fester if left unattended. People tend to feed off of them and a conversation can become destructive very quickly. However, some customers just like to complain for the sake of complaining. Ensure that you respond to every negative comment or review where you can provide legitimate and positive feedback. Choose your battles and decide which ones will redeem your reputation and help your business in the long run.
  • Encourage your customers to voice their positive experiences online. Whether that means heading to your Facebook page to rave, writing a review on Yelp or rehashing their visit on TripAdvisor, tell your customers where they can go to let others know about positive experiences. Many businesses offer incentives such as coupons, free products/services or other perks to enhance participation. See what works best for you and your customers.
  • As a franchisee owner, chances are high that you conduct all marketing efforts, in addition to the overall business management responsibilities. Trolling websites for reviews and comments isn’t another task you can afford to add to your growing to-do list. Thankfully there are many online and software options ranging from free to very pricey that can help you manage your online reputation more effectively and efficiently. Hiring an agency is also an option to better manage your digital efforts. We, as an agency, are very good at what we do and if hiring us allows you to better manage your business, then it’s a win-win partnership.

In today’s economy, 65% of buyers are checking out reviews before making a final purchase for services and/or goods. It’s inevitable that there’s chatter on the internet about your business, it’s how you manage it that makes the difference.

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