I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Perception is reality.”

If you want to break it down, perception is defined as “a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.” Reality is defined as “the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.”

This is saying that you have a mental impression of something, and it defines how you see that something, regardless of the truth. It reminds me of another saying, “There are two sides to every story.” While this may be true, the perceived reality of each side of the story is believed to be the truth to the people telling it.

Apply this to your marketing – it’s a little scary. What your audience sees allows them to create an opinion of who you are as a company. Your online presence, from your website to your social media pages, play a role in shaping how people perceive your brand.

The even scarier part? Letting OTHER people define your company.

Eighty-eight percent of people read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business. This means that nearly 9 out of every 10 people who are researching your company online are letting the opinions of people outside of your company, who may or may not have had a good experience with your services, form a perception of your company without ever experiencing your service themselves.

Additionally, 72 percent of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust your business more.

So, is it really that easy? If people write positive reviews about your business online, will it help other people trust your business more?

A Zendesk survey found that 95 percent of people who have bad experiences are likely to share that experience, while only 87 percent of people who have a good experience are inclined to share it.

Now what?

Your online presence is crucial for your business. You can use the power of online reviews to help shape the perceptions of prospects and candidates. Take an active role in seeking out positive reviews to help share the reality of your business’s values, mission, goals and culture. Take advantage of the opportunity to use your online presence to gain trust from people you’ve never interacted with yet.

If you’re ready to change the online perception of your company – reach out to the Haley Marketing team to learn how we can help you create a positive and realistic presence for your brand online.

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