What is online reputation?
Simply put, your online reputation is the sum total of all the information which is available about your business online. This includes all of the reviews about your business – on Google, Yelp and all of the other places they can be found – as well as comments and other details which produce a snapshot of how reputable your salon is in the eye of the searcher.
Online reputation management (sometimes abbreviated as ORM) is all about managing your digital reputation. Your aim will be to manage and control the bad and promote the good.
Why is my salon's reputation important?
There are several important reasons why businesses large and small concentrate so much on their online reputation management:
1) Trust and sales
These days, people trust online reviews almost as much as they trust word of mouth recommendations. What's more, your online reputation can have a direct impact on your sales:
A negative online reputation – will put off potential customers, meaning they will look to your competitors when they need a hair or beauty appointment.
A positive online reputation – will mean that the 35% of all search traffic which is local (i.e. people looking for a salon to actually go to) will be much more likely to make a booking with you.
2) Search rankings
What's more, several studies have shown that the quality of your online reviews will affect how well your website ranks in organic search results – when someone searches for a “hair salon” or “beauty salon” close to them. This makes ensuring your salon's reputation is positive a double win – both for attracting more customers and for your search rankings.
3) Social proof
Social media reputation management is a vital part of your overall ORM. Social media – particularly Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, which have the ability to very visual as well as very popular – are great places to advertise your salon, showing potential clients what you have to offer. Unfortunately, many salon owners treat social media as nothing more than a casual project. This is almost always a very costly mistake:
- Facebook alone has over 32.7 million users in the UK. That's a huge potential audience to be missing out on even in your local area.
- Social media gives you great possibilities in terms of customer service as well as marketing.
- Google also checks how popular your pages are on social media when it's calculating your website ranking.
But, possibly more important than anything else, your social media pages show an awful lot of information about your salon on top of what's written there in black and white. Even a cursory glance over most businesses' social media pages will tell you:
- Do they respond quickly to posts?
- How do they respond? Are they polite and helpful? Rude...?
- Is the business a lively and engaging one?
You want your responses to make it clear that you respond quickly, politely, helpfully and always listen to what is being said.
Online reputation management – what's said about your salon online
In the modern world, it's vital that any potential customers can see that your salon's reputation is a positive one. Planning how you're going to handle your online reputation management ahead of time will help you keep your digital reputation spotless.