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To me, we’ve all clearly moved past the Reputation Management phase:  Now, it’s “Reputation MARKETING”.  Before I explain that, let’s talk about where we have been so far with Reputation Management.

Reputation Management is the ability to monitor and defend your online reputation.  And, although folks gaming the system have been rightly and roundly condemned, some companies still try and sell some type of “review ballot-box stuffing” service much like Black Hat SEO companies still try and sell their schtick.  I think we all know, or can learn now, however, how to get the best reviews ourselves from our customers.  And, SURPRISE, they can do the review at the dealership.  I see it done every day, even for Google Places.  In my case, Presto Reviews (which we still use) taught me that.

Reputation Marketing, as they say, “begins at home”:  Are you pressing folks to your review sites and your Google Places throughout your media efforts?  Does your print point to the review site, does your TV/radio mention it, and are you making efforts on your website, review site, and Google Places to show videos, pics, and positive customer reviews?  And do all your email efforts—from responding to Internet Leads to email blasts—have a link to all your best online reputation?  Finally, but more importantly than you realize, are you marketing your reputation to your social media like Facebook?  Do you capture short videos of happy customers to share?  

So, put your reviews on your social media and website.  Blog about them.  Talk about them in your print, TV, Radio, and email efforts.  Marketing makes online and store traffic through hope-inducing advertising—REPUTATION Marketing makes you and your advertising look REAL to your shoppers.  After all, other real customers said real things about you. 

We will all still certainly manage to a positive reputation, but to get "bang for the buck" we must now MARKET the result.  Don’t just let your online reputation sit there to be found as part of an SEO strategy, advertise it!  Blow your horn, folks, and let it be known:  NOBODY in your market sells better or treats customers better.

And Reputation Marketing will make sure everyone knows that!


by Keith Shetterly, Copyright 2011 

Views: 288


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Comment by Keith Shetterly on September 14, 2011 at 8:40pm
Tom, for you:  “Only those who dare, truly live.” ― Ruth Freedman  :)
Comment by Tom Gorham on September 14, 2011 at 8:28pm

Hey Keith, nothing's really for free, is it?  I understand the value of what you're saying.


Steve, welcome.  Imagine what you could do with their fantastic reputations, develop a plan, explain what a great asset they have in their reputation and the many ways it can utilized and marketed and present it.  Never know where it might lead...

Comment by Keith Shetterly on September 14, 2011 at 2:04pm
"Hey folks, love us like everybody else, just look at w w w . put the name of your dealership here_reviews . c o m and come on in!"
Comment by Steve Davern on September 14, 2011 at 1:11pm
I have dealers who have fantastic reputations and I have encouraged them to "advertise" the relationships they have but it seems like a new concept to them. You make some great points!
Comment by Keith Shetterly on September 14, 2011 at 10:37am
Tom, didn't think you were "dissing" PR.  Just wanted to lay out the value and why I use that product.  I agree it all starts with great customer service, but one thing to remember about Google Places:  it's a free service, and people don't understand the danger of that.  We don't pay for it, so there's no contract, just Google's usage rules which can change by their agenda.  If I let you have billboards for free, and at first I put you on the main drag, you think "Great!".  If I next put you on the wrong-facing side in the wrong location, what can you say?  It's FREE.  Free makes it up to them, and lining up all the reviews ONLY on GP is . . . risky, imho.
Comment by Stephanie Young on September 14, 2011 at 8:00am
Tom, I can't take credit for Raving Fans but I love it too.  So much so, that I asked Tony Provost to send me his Raving Fan poster and it now proudly hangs in my office.
Comment by Tom Gorham on September 14, 2011 at 7:43am
Hey Steph, I like both names but Raving Fans is great!
Comment by Stephanie Young on September 14, 2011 at 7:32am
Consumer Evangelist, or as Tony Provost calls them, Raving Fans are the powerful and most economical source for marketing.  Great post on how to increase your Consumer Evangelist ROI.
Comment by Tom Gorham on September 14, 2011 at 6:10am
BTW, I think the most important step a dealer can take is ensuring great customer service.  Those dealers generate reviews that are authentic to the intelligent customers reading them... no cosmetics required.
Comment by Tom Gorham on September 14, 2011 at 6:01am
I agree Ralph.  In fact it's truly a coincidence that I was having a written conversation recently with Scott (about a different matter).  We agreed to find time for lunch.  Perhaps this conversation will come up...

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