Every business should have a Brand Reputation Management strategy to monitor how others perceive your brand whether you’ve been in business for a while or you are a new brand getting ready to launch your product or service, it’s essential to listen to what people say about you. Reputation Management is the “influencing and controlling of an individual’s or group’s reputation.” Originally more of a public relations effort, with the growth of the Internet and Social Media, search results are now part of a reputation management strategy. In this post, we’ll explore how to manage your brand reputation online.
Here are 3 ways how to manage your brand online reputation:
1. Monitor Social Media
Your business needs to be where the consumers are and watch what they are saying about your products/services. You need to know what is being said. While it is impossible to be everywhere online, there are specific sites that pertain to your business, whether it is by industry or location you need to understand where most of your consumers are and be there too.
- Watch the big sites like Facebook and Twitter, check Google Reviews, etc. as often as possible. Making sure to respond to all comments and reviews. Connect with your audience by liking, responding to comments, and sharing their posts. If someone leaves a negative comment on your profile, don’t block them, ignore or delete the feedback. Instead, focus on how you can address their issue. Be honest. If you made a mistake, show up and admit to it. Be polite and friendly, and let them know how you’re resolving the issue.
- Google Search Results – People love reading reviews when they’re researching what to buy. That’s why it’s important to set up Google alerts about your business to stay on top of negative feedback about your business. When someone leaves a nasty comment, use it as an opportunity for your business to grow so you can better serve your clients. Respond gracefully and make an effort to build rapport with your customers.
2. Develop a Response Plan to manage your brand reputation online
Once you can see what consumers are saying about your business you can respond. It’s important to respond to all reviews, comments, etc. helps develop a positive online identity. If you want to be quick to react to bad press or negative comments, it’s smart to build a plan, so your team understands the best way to handle these situations. Ignoring comments or reviews can cost you money and you risk creating more damage to your brand’s reputation.
However, here are some helpful practices to implement:
Accentuate the Positive
Build on the positive reviews and comments and be sure that these positive updates are visible to all. 90% of Social Media users are “lurkers” providing positive content for their viewing is important.
90% of consumers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.
Search Engine Optimazation (SEO)
You need to stay on top of the keywords that you want to rank for, when you’re creating a content marketing plan for your brand, keep in mind where you want to show up on Google. Be proactive and create valuable content about your brand. The last thing you want is for bad news to be the first thing your customers see when researching your business.
Create guidelines for responding to an unhappy customer or negative press. The last thing you want is to feel blindsided. Knowing how and when to react will give you the chance to rebuild trust with your audience.
Be Transparent. Nobody is perfect.
Don’t blame your mistakes on someone or something else. Show up, admit your mistake, and apologize. Prove that you’re willing to make changes to improve the customer experience. Ask questions to see how you can better solve your customer’s problems and provide value in your email newsletter. Remember why you got in the business in the first place, and check in with your team to make sure you’re sticking to your core values in everything you do.
3. Actively Gather Testimonials
Word-of-Mouth is a powerful method of recommendation. Encouraging positive reviews and responding to positive reviews will help your business build an honest and good reputation, and an honest reputation is a path to consumer trust and customer loyalty.
You can’t legally stop anybody from negatively reviewing your company on Google Reviews. Your only hope is if you can prove that their review or testimonial was incorrect or malicious. You can also actively encourage, gather, publish and distribute all the good feedback from your happy customers, clients and employees. It’s a good practice to include testimonials on search-engine-optimized interior pages within your website. Because with the proper formatting, this will allow your site to show coloured ranking stars within Google’s search pages, which in turn helps you manage your brand reputation
Mistakes happen, but it’s how you react to them that can make or break your brand. Take a moment to review your brand online reputation management strategy to make sure you and your team have a plan in place to handle negative press or comments.
Build audits into your brand reputation strategy and check-in to make sure what you think about your brand aligns with what people are saying about you.
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