Reputation Management, Staying on Top of Your Online Reputation

Learn the ins and outs of managing your brand’s reputation.

WHY YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK

Do you know—I mean, really know—what people think of your organization? Are you paying close attention to the conversation around your brand?

This is what online reputation management is all about. It’s a way to influence how people perceive your brand. And if you think it’s optional, think again.

Consider this scenario: a customer had a problem with your service or product and wrote a one-star review about it. Without a reputation management team, you did not see it—or saw it and did not respond to it, thinking the problem would just fade away. Worse: you answered, but with a tinge of aggression.

You tell yourself that it’s no big deal. It’s just the one review, right? Right?

No. This is the digital age. Vocal, transparent and respectful online presence is not a plus; it’s expected. People notice when you don’t respond to criticism, and they will draw conclusions from your silence. And a response in bad faith will never help your case.

That one poor review soon becomes a thread filled with outrage. A few screenshots later and you’re sucked in a social media nightmare.

HOW YOU CAN MAKE YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION WORK FOR YOU

How often do consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews when searching for a local business?

Reputation management is your first defense line, true, but it’s also a powerful marketing tool.

Once you have a strong online reputation management in place, you can use it along with community management to help propel your brand. According to this BrightLocal survey, 93% of consumers use online reviews and score to find a local business. That’s 93% of your prospects looking up your online reputation before they even consider buying anything from you.

Back when the internet was all static websites, businesses presented and sold their products to customers online, yet they had no way to engage them in any meaningful way. That led to a lot of businesses struggling to take the pulse of their audience.

The online landscape is completely different now. Consumer- and fan-generated content is a huge part of the internet. That means your audience is talking about you. Your brand shows up in tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures. The conversation is happening whether you like it or not, so you might as well weigh in to spark discussion, clarify information and apologize if need be.

Maybe the real reputation was the enemies we made along the way.

5 TIPS FOR SMART ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT

It’s a scary world out there for a business. One misstep is all you need to have your reputation ruined. That why you need reputation management: to fortify, protect and heal your brand image.

Business is people, and people make mistakes all the time. However foolproof you think your marketing strategy is, something is bound to go south at some point. When that happens, be prepared for a storm of questions, comments, and potentially condemnations.

A proper reputation management plan will help build transparency, establish relationships with your customers, stay on top of the conversation, put out fires and deal with reputation crises.

  1. Transparency
    Show full transparency within company staff and across all channels. Be authentic and as a brand. Working on your online presence will help build a strong reputation.

  2. Trust
    Make sure you set up one-to-one channels with your customers to get their feedback. Listen to what they have to say and respond to any concerns they might have. Reputation management is about forging healthy, lasting relationships with your audience.

  3. Attentiveness
    Use monitoring tools to get an idea of your public reputation and choose when and how to react. Sometimes a reaction is not warranted, while other times a slow reaction will cost you.

  4. Level-headed Response
    In some cases, you might have to fight back. Most of the time though, brands deal with complaints on social media and negative reviews, not actual smear campaigns from illegitimate attackers. When addressing criticism publicly, respond with kindness and professionalism. Double-check your answer for any bad wording or passive-aggressive undertones, and, whatever you do, stay polite.

  5. Crisis De-Escalation
    Safeguard your brand with reputation management techniques that can make the crisis go away. Anticipating backlash and staying on message can help you weather the storm and reduce the long-term negative impacts of a reputation crisis.

SOMETIMES YOU NEED AN EXPERT

Online reputation management is one of those things most businesses won’t think much about… until they’re knee-deep in a controversy.

If you want to stay above the fray, the experts at EMPOWER can help you with your reputation management needs, by:

  • Ensuring a clear, radically transparent online voice for your brand
  • Getting actionable insights from activity on all social media platforms
  • Offering educated advice on what might not play well with your target audience
  • Managing customer complaints and concerns
  • Dealing with a reputation crisis and reducing its negative effects in the long run

Get the EMPOWER treatment now. Sit back and watch as we keep your brand reputation intact!

EMPOWERED TOGETHER. 

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