Factiva Insight’s Reputation Intelligence offers a more comprehensive look, monitoring what is going on with your brand across virtually all media. Offered as a joint venture of Dow Jones and Reuters, Factiva tracks company mentions in mainstream media such as radio and TV and in posts on Web sites, blogs, and discussion groups.
The firm also employs a “reputation analysis tool,” which automatically sifts through all mentions of your company and churns out reports about potential problem areas. Reputation Intelligence can also portray such public opinion data in graphical form for easier company-wide dissemination. Other reputation management services providers such as Radian 6 and Visible Technologies are also worth checking out.
Generate Own Positive Buzz
Meanwhile, extremely proactive food service businesses may want to start generating their own positive buzz on the Internet by contracting the services of an online review service provider. Essentially, these firms provide turnkey solutions for business Web sites that enable customers to post positive reviews of their experiences for the entire Web to see.
Popular for the past few years, online review domains really began turning heads last year with the release of reports like the one released by Opinion Research in June 2008, which found that 83% of all online consumers confirmed that online evaluations and reviews influence their buying decisions. The company also found that 32% of the same sample group said they had personally posted a product or service review online.
“We expect online reviews to get more sophisticated in the coming years, giving rise to new features like social navigation, review syndication, personalized reviews, and review-based quality metrics,” says Megan Burns, lead author of Forrester’s January 2008 ” The Design Guide for Online Customer Reviews .”
Genuosity’s KudosWorks solution, for example, solicits positive testimonials from your customers via contact tools it places on your Web site and in your marketing e-mails. Customers who take the bait are directed to a post-your-own-testimonial module, which includes tips on how to write a humdinger of a fan letter that will be posted on your Web site.
Another service provider is the keep-it-positive route space Zuberance . Taking a somewhat different approach, Zuberance specializes in building an entire cyber-community around your Web site, which it says will eventually become filled with naturally occurring “evangelists”-people who are truly jazzed about your service.
Zuberance’s governing principal: Devote your energy to providing as many online/offline tools as possible to enable these evangelists to express themselves positively about your business, and the rest will take care of itself.
Food manufacturing and service businesses that opt for the Zuberance approach should find that it is often easy to entice reviews from people who stop by. Some businesses using this approach, for example, have had great success singling out star reviewers with special titles, such as “power member” or “community greybeard.” Others offer to donate a dollar or so to charity for every review that is posted. Still others create special sub-domains for their star reviewers, where they allow the reviewers to be cast as community experts-complete with their picture, bio, and a link to their personal or business Web site.
Yet another reviews solution provider, BazaarVoice , takes a decidedly different approach to image building via social media. Essentially, BazaarVoice’s founders believe firms should allow customers to post both positive and negative reviews of a firm’s products and services.
While painful in the short run, this ethic of complete transparency will earn a business much deeper credibility with both existing and new customers over time, according to BazaarVoice’s founders.
Its flagship product, “Ratings & Reviews,” is designed to solicit unvarnished reviews about an organization’s performance, which are published on the company’s Web site-although all reviews are subject to organization approval. “Ask & Answer,” another popular review tool from the company, enables consumers to swap info about goods and services in an equally straightforward question and answer format.