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The Psychology Of Online Reputation: How Perception Influences Digital Success

Social media users can be unapologetic while expressing their opinions or feedback about something. They shed their inhibitions which they carry while showing their personality in person. Social media has a surreal effect on them. 

We often see people getting emotional over trivial matters on social media. Regardless of the reason behind their emotions, online reviews and ratings can have a serious impact on a brand’s reputation

Are you an owner of a brand? If yes, we need to tell you a well-kept secret! Brands that understand the psychology of their customers achieve greater success than the brands that don’t. We will discuss customer perception of online reputation in this article. Also, we shall be checking the impact of reviews on the online reputation of brands. 

The Significance of Online Reputation in a Digital World

The Significance of Online Reputation in a Digital World

In real life, first impressions last longer. The same logic applies to the online world as well. In the digital era, people don’t rely on brands blindly. They believe in experiences and what you offer in real-time. 

If you do not care to respond immediately to customer issues, your brand perception will be hampered. Most people engage in online shopping these days. If you manage your social and online image well, people are bound to think highly about your products/services. 

Understanding people’s opinions and using them in your marketing strategies is just one side of the coin. The real deal is influencing people through professional content, powerful messages, and heart-warming conversations. Being empathetic about someone’s plight works in the digital world as well. If your customers are infuriated about your products, they won’t spare your social posts and handles. 

Knowing the psychology behind online reputation is worthless if you don’t employ rigorous measures to maintain it. 

Social media managers get nervous when they see an alarming post or comment from a customer. They know how badly it can affect their online image. People start avoiding their products/services due to negative reviews. This might generate negative sentiments among others and may lead to decreased online sales and reputation! 

Also Read : How & When To Hire An ORM Service

The Cognitive Framework: First Impressions and Lasting Perceptions

The cognitive framework of one’s mind determines how they will react to a particular situation. The impression of customers is determined by the first few seconds spent on your social page or account. So, brands are skeptical about every word that goes out through their official handles and accounts. 

To continue the public perception, you have to dig deeper into the psychology of online reviews. Through consistent management of online reviews, you can create a lasting impression on your audience. The following things can be studied to understand this:

1. Primacy Effect: The Power of Initial Impressions

First impressions matter because people tend to remember the first thing that registered while interacting with your brand. For example, if they liked your company logo/tagline, they will remember it the next time they see your posts. 

Whatever they see first gets stuck in their mind. Through cognitive bias, they do not pay much heed to the pieces of information they receive later on. Similarly, last impressions also matter. 

Suppose that a customer is satisfied after reading your product reviews and goes forward to buy it. Now, if your shopping portal is not responsive enough, they may leave the page out of frustration. This last impression will register in their mind permanently. 

The next time they see your brand name or products on social media, they will not be excited anymore. To maintain your online image, you need to take care of your primary effect and last impressions. 

You may think that the last impression on a customer is beyond your control. The truth, however, is different! Today, AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), and other technologies have evolved to a great scale. If a customer leaves your page or mobile app abruptly, these technologies can help you track it. Mapping customer journeys is one way of knowing what might have triggered a particular response. 

With an omnichannel strategy, you can integrate all the customer touchpoints and offer consistent experiences across the channels. It would help you create a strong first impression on the minds of visitors. 

2. Recency Effect: Nurturing Ongoing Impressions

In psychology, the recency effect means that people tend to remember the most recent thing they see or hear about you. This effect is true in the digital world as well. If your recent post creates a good impression on the viewers, they will remember it. Yet, they won’t remember it forever. You have to come up with another great post shortly after the first one. It will nurture the ongoing impression and create a powerful image in the minds of your customers. 

The Halo Effect: Impact of Positive Associations

Impact of Positive Associations

The halo effect is an example of cognitive bias. It means that once you establish your supremacy in one domain, the customers will accept your leadership in other domains too! This logic applies to online reputation as well. When people experience a positive association with your brand, they will continue to trust your brand in its future endeavors. 

In the real world, people do get influenced by others’ experiences but do not trust them blindly. However, things can be a bit different on social media. Negative reviews are taken seriously as the customers don’t want to be fooled by brands. They want to make the right decisions every time.

Also, the online world presents them with plenty of other options as well. So, they hardly take a chance when they see a negative review or comment. 

As a brand, you have to understand the impact of positive associations on your audience. The following pointers will help you get the clarity on the perspective of this topic:

1. Leveraging Positive Online Interactions 

Creating positive experiences is just one part of the strategy. These experiences won’t count if you don’t leverage the happy interactions you have with your customers or random visitors. 

Suppose that a customer discusses their issues with your support team. Now, the support executive will try to convince them first. However, if things don’t go as planned, you can ask the executive to utilize the up-sell strategy. In this strategy, the executive will suggest a higher variant of the product to resolve the customer issue. 

Finally, your team will manage to make the customer happy. Now, to leverage this online interaction, send an email apologizing to the customer for the inconvenience caused to them. Also, in the same email, attach the product catalog containing the same products that your executive pitched while resolving the issue. 

Read How Turnaround Time (TAT) in Response Affects Brand Image

2. Building a Consistent and Trustworthy Online Persona

Establish a brand personality that resonates with your customers. Ensure that your brand values and perception remain consistent throughout the customer journey. For that, you can adopt an omnichannel digital marketing strategy

Integrating all the communication channels and maintaining consistency in the content will generate trust among the customers. To win their trust, you can also offer a seamless experience when customers switch from one channel to another. 

Maintain quality in products and services. Do not confuse the customers by using a different tone, content, and marketing gimmicks at every touchpoint. Be consistent to reinforce trust and earn repeat business! 

Did you read about these factors which can affect your online reputation?

Confirmation Bias: Strengthening Existing Perceptions

Positive impressions lead to a good online reputation. However, the customers need something extra that influences them to click on the ‘buy’ or ‘subscribe’ button. In psychology, we use the term confirmation bias. It means that when customers get convinced about something, they will take the desired action. They will even ignore the signs that have the power to shake their beliefs. 

Apply the same logic to strengthen your brand’s perception among the customers. Usually, brands use social proofs like user testimonials and reviews to strengthen their online perception. You can use the same idea or fine-tune it as per your strategies. Analyze the psychology of online reviews. Understanding people’s opinions and using your content strategies to influence their thinking can make a difference. 

1. Reinforcing Positive Reputation Through Consistent Actions

To build a good reputation, you have to be consistent with your efforts. However, a single bad remark can spoil all your efforts and damage your reputation. 

So, companies tend to hire reputation management agencies to handle their online reputation. These agencies suppress the negative content circling your brand. Through SEO ORM services, they highlight the positive reviews and take your brand reputation to the next level. 

You must employ ORM strategies and tools to maintain your online reputation. Social listening tools can be used to identify reputation risks in real-time. The customer perception of the online reputation of your brand may change with time. Other brands can steal your spot through relentless marketing and active campaigns.

To steer ahead of your competitors, you must keep targeting for the high-quality and relevant content in the market. Establish your thought leadership in the market by being a generator of path-breaking ideas in your domain.

2. Overcoming Negative Bias with Strategic Engagement

Overcoming Negative Bias with Strategic Engagement

Certain customer reviews and feedback can create a negative bias in the minds of your customers. Negative things have a more powerful impact on our minds as compared to positive ones.  A negative bias is created when customers tend to pay more attention to the negative comments or reviews for your brand. 

To overcome negative bias, you must engage strategically with your customers. Firstly, you must prioritize the negative reviews and comments and try to resolve them. Your engagement with the upset customers must be such that the entire thread of comments reflects your brand’s willingness to resolve customer issues. 

Secondly, you must manage your pages, website blogs, and communities in such a way that the positive things become more visible. If certain touchpoints are being bombarded with negative comments, you can avoid using them while interacting. 

For example, if your Facebook page is ridden with negative content, you can focus on directing your customers to other channels. At the same time, you must deal proactively with the negative comments and try to solve them. For that, you must indulge in a thorough introspection and understanding of people’s opinions. 

Social Proof and Digital Success 

Brands use social proof to establish the authenticity of their tall claims. Collecting social proofs and using them as evidence of your customer-centric approach is a great idea. It leads to digital success and helps you to change customer beliefs. Here are some ways to utilize social proofs:

1. Harnessing the Influence of Social Proof

Stop using customer testimonials and online reviews in the old-fashioned way. 

For example,  you can ask your customers to share their favorite moments with your products/services. You can encourage them to share the pictures (if available) to highlight that particular moment. Finally, you can shortlist some of the best comments and send them discount coupons and gifts. Using strategies like these will help to strengthen your existing perception among your customers. 

2. Curating Positive Online Reviews and Testimonials

To make the customer reviews and testimonials engaging, you can weave emotional stories around them. You can use images and video reviews to increase their impact on your audience. 

Finally, you can use quotes and special customer moments to amplify their effect. To curate the positive reviews, you can ask the customer to rate and review your products. You can encourage the customers by offering special discounts or offers to the reviewers. 

You can also collaborate with third-party review sites to add more authenticity to your online image. 

The Power of Visual Perception: Profile Pictures and Visual Content

Visuals have a powerful impact on our minds as compared to plain text. So, your social accounts, websites, and other touchpoints must present high-quality visual content. Here are a few ways through which you can tap the power of visual perception:

1. Establishing Professional and Approachable Visuals

You can use different types of product photos, user-generated content, and lifestyle images to convey your brand message. While creative and engaging visuals can be impactful, we recommend you avoid using fancy images and infographics. These can impact the purpose of your content in the wrong direction. 

Instead, we would ask you to use professional visuals in your content marketing campaigns. The visuals you post should not be objectionable in any way. The audiences must not find them disturbing or the visuals must not hurt their religious, political, or social sentiments. 

For reference, you can check the images that top brands of your segment use in their promotional and marketing content. Create a checklist of what to avoid and think of the visuals from every perspective before posting them. 

2. Using Visual Storytelling to Shape Perception

Visuals can be integrated into blogs, posts, email marketing, and other content marketing strategies. To create more impact, you can use visual storytelling. It will enable you to connect to your audiences on an emotional level. 

By using strong visuals to convey your message, you can shape their perception as per your goals. Using the right layout, colors, and visuals is essential for improving your storytelling. You can also use typography to add more meaning and context to your visuals. 

To improve your visual storytelling, you can use books, comics, and other online resources. Develop high-quality imagery and be consistent in your efforts to develop a lasting impression on the customers. 

For example, you can see how Amul uses visual storytelling to talk about the latest events and trending topics. A blend of humor and artistic visuals makes their banner ads and content more engaging. At the same time, you must focus on their efforts to remain consistent with the type of imagery or animations they use. 

Emotional Resonance and Online Engagement

Emotions have a huge role to play in your digital success. Understanding the psychology of online reputation management is essential. However, if you focus on the sentiments that are reflected in these reviews, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level. 

Your content must trigger emotions like happiness, nostalgia, etc. rather than fear or anger. Emotional resonance means using emotions to drive the emotions of others. By showing empathy, you can stir the feeling of reassurance in your customers. Similarly, other emotions can be used to trigger specific responses from the customers. Here are a few strategies to shape their perception of users through emotions:

1. Eliciting Positive Emotions through Content

Your content must evoke positive emotions each time. Whenever a customer sees your posts, blogs, and other marketing materials, they must derive a sense of positivity from them. To blend emotions in your content, you must focus on curating content around common issues faced by the customers. Creating positive characters and a reassuring brand voice is essential to connect with your audience. 

2. Addressing Negative Feedback with Empathy

Negative feedback can damage your online reputation. So, you must be polite while addressing customer concerns. Also, your tone must reflect empathy and care while engaging with troubled customers. You must avoid triggering unwanted emotions like anger, frustration, or helplessness while dealing with them. 

Perception Management: Strategies for Positive Online Reputation

Strategies for Positive Online Reputation

Here are a few strategies to manage your online reputation: 

1. Consistency Across Platforms

Your brand values, ethics, and tone must be consistent across the platform. The messaging and information should also remain uniform across all channels. It will generate trust among your audience

2. Addressing Criticism Constructively

Avoid being harsh or rude while dealing with criticism. Instead, try to be constructive in your efforts to resolve their issues. You can share the negative feedback and reviews with your product development, sales, and other departments. The negative feedback can improve your offering and services to a great extent. So, taking them positively is important. 

3. Highlighting Thought Leadership and Expertise

By generating high-quality and relevant content, you can emerge as a thought leader in your sector or domain. Your content must reflect your expertise and highlight the common issues faced by customers. By resolving their issues, you can win their respect and admiration. It will help you in creating loyal customers for your brand. 

4. Embracing Authenticity and Transparency

Being authentic and transparent while dealing with customers is a must. You must not promise what you cannot deliver. Being empathetic is a must but you should not get carried away and make any false claims.

The Ripple Effect: From Individual to Business Success

When you hurl a stone in water, it creates ripples all around. Similarly, one right move in the market can create ripples in the market. Creating happy moments for customers is like creating small ripples that will ultimately help your business flourish. You must emphasize creating positive experiences for every individual associated with your business. 

Also Read : An Overview Of How To Create A Positive Brand Influence


We hope you have understood how to use the psychology of online reviews and feedback to your advantage. We have also tried to present an overview of ORM in a way that relates to the psychology and opinions of customers. All these things cannot be managed without technological assistance. 

For instance, you can use Konnect Insights to manage customer experiences. Konnect Insights is an omnichannel customer experience management suite. It is integrated with BI (Business Intelligence), social analytics, social listening, and other capabilities. Using it, you can develop a deeper understanding of people’s opinions. Check the website today and integrate new ways to shape customer perceptions! 

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