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3 Helpful Tips to Make Sure Your Online Reputation is Protected!

Your dealerships online reputation can literally make or break your business success.  Why’s that?  Because, statistically speaking, around 90 percent of all consumers use the Internet to research businesses when they are looking for a product or service. 

Your online reputation will determine whether those consumers choose you or one of your competitors.  You can also be sure that if you do not manage your online reputation, it will be managed by other people, who will inevitably post reviews, comment on your business in forums and social media sites, publish blog write-ups concerning your business, and more.  For this reason, you need to do everything you can to ensure that what people see when they find your business online is as positive as possible.  How do you do that?  Here are three helpful tips to make sure your online reputation is protected:

  • Monitor your reputation.  Make use of social media monitoring tools like HootSuite, and web monitoring tools like Google Alerts, to find out what others are saying about you, when they say it.  When you know what you are facing, it makes it much easier to address it in a timely manner, and also to assess your best approach.
     
  • Participate.  It is inevitable that people are going to talk about your business (if you are doing things right).  Your best bet is to involve yourself in the conversation.  Make it a point to respond to both positive and negative feedback, and also to volunteer information that will help keep online conversations about your business going.  Establish your social media presence, maintain a website, write a business blog, or more – the possibilities are really only limited by your imagination (and the amount of effort you are willing to put in).  Just remember that participation is key.
     
  • Optimizing your responses.  Once you have developed the habit of monitoring your online reputation and have established yourself as a willful participant in the development of your online reputation, you need to make sure you are participating in a way that is most conducive to bettering that reputation.  As previously mentioned, participation is key.  However, there are some best practices to consider, especially when it comes to handling negative items: respond in a timely manner (NEVER ignore negative feedback), be diplomatic and fair, avoid using a defensive or demeaning tone (stay positive!), and offer viable solutions.

Online reputation marketing is a complex process, but it is also tantamount to your business success.  To make the most of your online reputation, you may want to enlist the help of qualified and competent professionals like us, Prime Automotive Marketing. We can be reached by phone, at 401-528-7850, or by email: primeautomarketing@gmail.com

Rick Mosca

Founder & CEO Prime Automotive Marketing

Views: 480

Tags: management, marketing, negative, online, reputation, reputation management, review, reviews

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Comment by Tim Mahan on January 12, 2013 at 8:22pm

Tom, I get your point, but perhaps you miss my point. As I said "Google, and people type in either the dealer name, or a keyword, i.e "chevy dealer, city, state. There they see the dealer score (1-30) and a link to reviews. With the keyword searches, they see the 7 box and and compare each one.

How many people actually put in the word reviews as you did ? What if they are just looking for phone numbers, and addresses?   Try the the same search you did "dealer reviews" but with the word reviews, just "dealer" or "car dealer"  You get the Google 7 box, and reviews

Even Google instant suggestion list does not show reviews. As you begin to type "car then d ... it suggests "car dealerships", and "car dealers" again the 7 box and dealerrater is not on page one.

The point is That Google 7 box is RIGHT IN YOUR FACE !  and Google actual searches show people are actually searching "car dealerships", and "car dealers without the word review

Comment by Tom Gorham on January 12, 2013 at 5:24pm

Tim, after reading your comments, I did a search on Google for "dealer reviews"  This is what came up.  I think some people might choose to go to DealerRater... Just sayin'.

Comment by Tim Mahan on January 12, 2013 at 12:41pm

Alexander mentions DealerRater. That's fine but how many people go there or have even heard of them? 85 to 90% use Google, and type in either the dealer name, or a keyword, i.e "chevy dealer, city, state. There they see the dealer score (1-30) and a link to reviews. With the keyword searches, they see the 7 box and and compare each one.

So while 3rd party sites such as DealerRater or OK, The most important sites, are Google places/maps, Google +, Yelp, InsiderPages, CitySearch, Yellow Pages (YP), and few others.

I have seen dealers who have a 4 or 5 star rating on DealerRater, but a 2-3 star (or 10-15 score) on Google.

Where do most consumers actual search ???

Comment by Alexander Lau on December 26, 2012 at 9:31am

There's a bunch of overlap and I suppose it depends on how we're definging "management", in my opinion. You have to still manage your reputation, goes for negative and postive reviews, communication is the key. Sitting around, doing nothing while reviewers knock you down isn't going to help matters. Agreed, it’s a great idea to be proactive and market your ratings, especially if you're near a 5-star at the likes of DealerRater, Edmunds, etc. However, that's if you have a stellar rating. Not all dealers have great ratings and have to start somewhere. Too many dealers have ignored the need to manage their reputation. Review sites don't have to ask for a dealer's permission to create a review page dedicated to them.

Like anything else in a service industry, Social Media and Reputation Management service companies vary in terms of their effectiveness and overall strategy and knowledge of certain markets and demographics. One reason I use a Social and Reputation Management tool (SaaS-based) that strives to support the automotive retail niche market, solely.

Comment by Rick Mosca on December 26, 2012 at 8:35am

@Alexander Lau,

Yes you need to monitor your reputation online but you need to do so much more than being notified when a bad review is posted, you need to be proactive and become a 5 Star Reputation Dealership, and then you need to market that 5 Star Reputation.

Dealers need to be cautious of companies contacting them with Reputation Management services because anyone offering reputation management services is probably new to the game and are not really able to help you with your reputation, what you need is a company that offers Reputation Marketing, then when you get your reputation where you are considered a reputable dealer then you do reputation management.  Reputation Marketing is proactive marketing where as reputation management is re-active marketing.

It is much easier, and cost effective to stay ahead of the reputation game by being proactive rather than playing from behind with a re-active strategy.

Comment by Alexander Lau on December 26, 2012 at 7:33am

It's one of the reasons DealerRater, Edmunds, Cars.com, etc. have grown over the years. 'Tis true, the majority of potential buyers do check this stuff. I know I do, my wife does and I would presume the majority of women buyers (massive buying power) do as well. It's no secret, get yourself a good reputation management (CRM) tool, notifiying you when a negative review has been made. Even if it's positive, jump on the opportunity to highlight yourself as well.

Comment by Tom Gorham on December 23, 2012 at 9:45am

Great advice!  Thank you!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 22, 2012 at 2:55pm

Rick Mosca, Thanks for the post and sound advice... My favorite part is when you describe how a dealership's reputation will be managed either by the dealer, or those who choose to post reviews, blogs and commentary about that dealership.  This is so true.  A dealership's reputation is never left unmanaged, it is really a question of WHO is managing it!

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