An article by Jon Hall published by Forbes last year says that business owners need to move from managing their reputations online to actively marketing them.

While the article has a distinct US flavour, the points he makes are just as valid in New Zealand. The reality is that that people are looking online at reviews before picking up the phone – they are motivated by the value of reviews and are informed by the currency of reviews – consistency, volume and how recent they are.

Realising that consumers trust online reviews is a huge advantage to business owners who are proactive about making their reputations work for them.

“We need to think about our reputations as a constant, competitive advantage; a driver of growth and prosperity; and a strategic asset,” Jon Hall says.

The point he makes over and over is that managing your reputation online is akin to crisis management – playing behind the eight ball when the damage has already been done, or worse, doing nothing at all.

Reputation marketing is a different proposition – it is recognising the opportunities that online reviews present and proactively working to turn them into business.

“Reputation, consisting of mentions, comments, recommendations and reviews across a buzzing, shape-shifting universe of online publishers and apps isn’t a problem center [sic] but a value center [sic] for brands and businesses. Our online reputations are our key differentiator in the marketplace . . .”

It’s well worth reading what Hall has to say – the whole article can be read here.

If you want to realise the potential of your online reputation, check out NoCowboys