Your online reputation can make or break your business, especially since more and more customers are placing orders digitally instead of heading into a physical store. Reputation management involves both making a great first impression on potential customers and maintaining good digital relationships with long-term clients.
Crafting Your Online Reputation
Whether you’re a salon owner, spa operator or beauty supply shop, your business can benefit from a good online reputation. The three main concerns when you’re managing your digital presence include your search results, social media mentions and online reviews.
To effectively build an online presence and maintain a good digital reputation, you need to allocate resources to that purpose. This might mean hiring a social media manager or assigning social media duties to specific staff members and setting aside time for them to craft posts and respond to comments. Decide on your brand voice for online communications, and make sure all of your posts and responses stick to that brand persona for consistency.
While you should have a single person or small team handling official online communication, it’s also a good idea to get all of your staff on board as brand ambassadors. Encourage stylists or retail sales staff to post about your salon on their own pages, and provide space on your own sites for them to promote their skills or showcase their favorite products.
Tips for Building a Great Reputation Online
The first step to developing your digital reputation is to make sure you’re easy to find, so take some time to create a website and social media profiles that attract attention. You can affect your search results by using SEO techniques to improve your ranking and by frequently producing content that encourages repeat visits. Shareable posts also help improve your overall visibility.
Social media lets you create a community of fans and clients who look to you for the latest beauty news and tips. Posting information isn’t enough, though. Aim to communicate authentically with site visitors and people who comment on your blog or social posts. Reply to fans when they ask questions or speak positively about your shop, and share posts from your best clients showing off their new hair cut from your salon or presenting a fun look they’ve created using products you sell. The beauty industry is highly visual, so spend some of your effort on photo-focused social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest.
Good online reviews build social proof that helps new clients feel comfortable about trying out your services. About 85% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend. Encourage these kinds of reviews by asking frequent customers to review you online. You can send a follow-up email a few days after a client’s appointment with a link to your Facebook, Yelp or Google Business page.
Online Reputation Tools for Pros
Proactive business owners and managers often use specific tools to manage and improve their shop or company’s online reputation. Monitoring your digital reputation helps you keep tabs on what everyone is saying about your business. Services such as Google Alerts and Social Mention let you track when your business is mentioned in blog posts or social media comments. Services such as Review Push track review sites and let you know when someone has posted a review of your shop or salon online.
When it comes to putting your own message online, tools such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social give you the option of scheduling posts and posting simultaneously to multiple sites. This lets you control the timing of posts and respond to events quickly instead of having to go to each platform and create posts individually.
Fixing Your Online Reputation After a Mishap
Customers and clients frequently check reviews before booking an appointment or making a purchase, so you want the information they see to be accurate and positive. If you want to improve your online reputation after someone has tried to damage it, focus on addressing problems quickly and thoroughly.
If you get a bad review, acknowledge the issue, apologize for any errors on your part and attempt to fix the situation. Try to match your offer of recompense to the situation. For example, if someone complains about a long wait for a booked appointment, offer priority scheduling for their next visit. A negative review about a particular product you sell might be solved with a coupon for a discount on a different brand you carry. Even if the person doesn’t accept your offered solution, new customers can see that you made the attempt and may dismiss the negative review as unreasonable.
Responding rapidly to complaints on social media can help defuse the situation and save your reputation. Consumers who complain on social media but receive a response within five minutes actually spend more later than they normally would.
If you’re ready to reach more customers and gain new clients for your business, check out what Evolve Media can do for you.