No matter what business you're in, you should assume that a large majority of your prospective customers will use the internet to research your company. If your construction business is large or small, some people will talk about you online, others will want to know what was said, and these conversations will impact your business reputation and in turn, your bottom line.
Even more than other kinds of businesses, the success of builders rests upon their good reputation. In contrast, a poor or nonexistent reputation will create obstacles. Find out why it's critically important to ensure that your construction company participates in online discussions about your brand, and then learn how to get started.
How Online Mentions Impact Your Construction Business
According to SearchEngineJournal survey data, over 90 percent of potential customers will look for information about your brand online. Of particular interest to builders, they cited a Spiegel study that found the importance of finding reviews increases dramatically for more expensive purchases. Since many builders sell the most expensive purchases that most people ever make, like homes, reviews matter even more than they would for a company selling typical consumer goods.
Even more, over 80 percent of prospects will specifically search for negative reviews. An occasional less-than-perfect review shouldn't cause marketers to panic. Today's consumers are savvy, and survey data showed that too many perfect reviews may not even appear credible or authentic. Within reason, the way that companies respond to negative press matters more than entirely avoiding it in the first place.
While positive brand mentions should outweight negative ones, the quantity of all online reviews and other mentions improved sales and lead conversion rates. Having lots of reviews worked even better when companies responded well to both positive and less-than-positive reviews. For more information about the importance of online mentions, explore the top reasons your construction business needs reviews.
How Should Builders Start Managing Their Online Reputation?
What do you need to add to your online reputation management plan? As marketing guru Neil Patel says, you probably don't need to include the online qualifier. Online or offline, your company's reputation factors into overall brand perception. Both your online and offline presence will intertwine to form an overall brand perception.
Managed well, a positive business image serves your company as a valuable asset that brings in more business and improves returns for any other marketing or advertising that you invest in, no matter the media or platform. With that in mind, begin by managing reviews, controlling media platforms, and establishing a consistent brand voice.
The internet's a big place, so serious businesses rely upon software to seek out business citations, respond to them, and encourage more of them. The software that we offer to our clients not only finds business mentions, it also helps encourage positive reviews and private feedback from not-so-pleased customers. It also makes it easy to respond to all kinds of reviews on various internet platforms.
Because this software makes the entire process easier, faster, and more effective, it reduces the time and money needed to consistently keep up with online reputation management. In turn, this helps our clients enjoy even better returns from improving and enhancing their brands.
Control Internet Platforms
Besides reviews, people also discuss their perceptions and experiences with businesses on social and business sites. Whenever possible, you should claim and build these pages. This makes your business easier to find and helps encourage conversations.
Just a few examples of these platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and Google My Business. Besides setting up these pages with logos and contact information, you should also make it a habit to respond to posts, tags, or direct messages.
Of course, you can also further manage brand perceptions by posting stories about your latest projects, outstanding employees, support for worthy causes, and with permission, customers. Posting engaging content, using tags, and getting reactions will help improve your image and expand your reach.
Maintain Your Positive Brand Voice and Image
Marketing research supports the idea that businesses should encourage and respond to reviews and other brand mentions. You can also actively work to let your market know about all of the good things you do. With that in mind, exercise some care to ensure that you promote an authentic, positive brand perception online.
- Never solicit or encourage fake reviews: An occasional poor review won't sink your brand; however, any suggestion of fake reviews can. You should encourage positive reviews, but never manufacture them. Sometimes, competitors or mischief makers may post fake reviews that can damage your brand. On some platforms, like Google, you can report fake reviews to ask for removal.
- Respond to poor reviews in a way that supports your overall good image: Express empathy, offer assistance, and open up direct lines of communication. Even if you don't admit fault, you can acknowledge the customer's feelings, explain a miscommunication, or apologize for dissatisfaction. Maintain the sort of professional tone that you won't regret later. If the reviewer contacts you privately, encourage them to leave positive feedback about your interaction.
- Promote your positive brand image: Your business can't generate its own reviews and can only encourage satisfied customers to leave them. On the other hand, you can use your business website and blog, press releases, and social sites to post positive stories about your company to engage your audience. Some examples might include sponsoring a local team, completing a challenging project, or even introducing an employee's newest family member.
Don't Leave Your Business Reputation to Chance
You can bet that your future customers will research your company online before they make an important purchase decision. It's also likely that some of your past customers have already discussed your business on their social networks or review sites. Online reputation management gives you a chance to hear what these people say and participate in the conversation.
Meanwhile, your website, social networking platforms, and business website allow you to introduce your business to a wider audience. Not only will online reputation management produce more leads, you will find that your prospects are already warmed up before you even speak with them.
Besides serving you with sophisticated reputation management software to automate the process, we can also work with your company to produce other aspects of your internet platform, like your website and social networking pages. Contact us today to tell us more about your construction business, and we'll explain how we will help.