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Business reputation management involves monitoring, influencing, and enhancing the public opinion of your brand, company, products, or services. Reputation management, like all marketing approaches, has the ultimate goal of influencing the perception of your brand.
In this article, we discuss reputation management benefits and how reputation management affects your growth and success. We’ll also cover how you can work towards an effective reputation management strategy.
Reputation Management Benefits
Many businesses have grown to rely on an online presence to reach customers better and broaden their customer base. And as these businesses tried to improve their reputation, many found it was not always easy to stand out.
They learned over time that reputation management was the key to improving the brand’s online reputation.
Reputation management in the digital space is not just about fighting bad content or creating good ratings and evaluations. It is about developing a reputation that helps a brand stand out from its competition. It’s also about promoting your core values, visions, mission, and service to your target market.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know what your own ORM strategy is.
A strong online reputation management strategy helps to highlight the company’s strengths and counteract negative comments from users and competitors. It helps to establish the business as an authority in its industry and increases customer confidence in the business.
And that increased consumer confidence means you’re much more likely to convert customers!
Let’s explore what benefits your business can achieve through successful reputation management:
1. Broadcast Your Brand Image
By actively managing your online reputation, you can market your brand’s image and mission to consumers. And you can do it on your terms.
Posting content, interacting with the public, and implementing other key digital strategies can help inform the public about who you are, what you do, and why you matter. You are able to shape and mold the public’s view of your brand into whatever you want it to be.
2. Decrease the Impact of Negative Feedback
Any business or company can receive negative feedback. It’s how you handle that feedback that matters most. No company is perfect, and consumers understand that. What’s most important to them is that your company is listening to them and cares about their needs.
If there is negative feedback about your brand in the digital space, reputation management will need to be implemented swiftly. It’s important that the customer providing the feedback, as well as the general public, knows that your company cares about the issue and is working to make it right.
In fact, negative feedback can actually be a good thing if it’s handled quickly and professionally.
3. Improve Brand Visibility
The more you interact with the public and broadcast your brand image online, the better the visibility will be for your brand. If you aren’t speaking to customers and leads online, whether directly or indirectly, how can they ever learn about you and your business?
As is the case with traditional sales methods, online sales can become dependent on how many times a consumer is exposed to that company, product, or service. That’s why it’s important that your brand interacts regularly with potential consumers online.
4. Build Trust & Credibility
If your brand is being vocal, visible, and transparent online and handling both positive and negative feedback in a prompt and courteous manner, you will build trust with prospects and the general public.
When you build trust, you also build credibility. No company can be successful without consumers first trusting and believing in them and the brand. With a strong and positive online reputation, you can be confident that your potential customers will see your brand as a name they can trust.
5. Boost Sales
Improved visibility and brand awareness combined with trust and credibility often equate to more sales in any industry. That’s just one of the many reputation management benefits your brand can enjoy when they utilize effective strategies for dealing with customers online.
6. Gain Valuable Insights
Hearing from your customers about their experiences with your brand, products, or services is one of the most valuable assets to any company or organization. There is no better way to gain insightful feedback on your brand than to interact with customers who have had both good and bad experiences.
Learning from that feedback is vital to continued success. A brand that is constantly learning and improving is one that is constantly growing.
Successful Reputation Management Recommendations, Tips & Tricks
Now that you know why you should be focusing on managing your brand’s online reputation, it’s time to get down to how.
If you’re just getting started with reputation management, start with a simple Google search.
Seriously. Google your brand’s name and find out what the public sees when they look for you online.
What is the feeling around your brand? Who is directing that conversation? What are customers saying about your business?
If it’s all positive, that’s great news! However, if you find that others have more control over what is being portrayed about your brand, or worse, the results are mostly negative, it’s time to get serious about your reputation management.
Put Together a Plan of Action
If you haven’t already, dedicate a team member to posting content regularly online. Ensure that the content is aligned with your vision and mission and start to let the world know more about your business and your products or services.
This can help you start to build more awareness around your brand. It can also help you steer the conversation to one that is flattering of your brand.
Next, it’s time to assign feedback responses. It’s important that you respond to all customer feedback, especially if it’s in the public, digital space. It’s equally important that you respond quickly and in the spirit of service. Your company may want to put together an agreed-upon response guide to guide your employees to respond in a specific manner depending on the type of feedback received.
Whatever method you choose, ensure that you are responding throughout the day and as close to the time the feedback was received as possible. This shows your customer that you are available and ready to help. It also shows your potential customers that you care and are eager to satisfy every customer.
Online feedback isn’t always easy to find
While many reviews will be posted to Google, Facebook, and other platforms with which you regularly engage, not all feedback will be immediately visible to you. Sometimes, it’s in a digital space that wasn’t on your radar.
That’s why it’s important to implement additional online listening tools. These tools enable you to scan the web, social sites, and other digital spaces for your brand’s name. You can set it up to alert you to mentions of your business or tune in to hashtags using your company name.
We always recommend listening to anything that you can get your hands on. It’s always better to sift through some junk than to miss an important review that has the potential to cause damage to your business.
Other tools, like our Reputation Station, can offer you a complete suite of profile management and content management options. You can schedule, organize, and manage your tasks in one central location, enabling you to control and track your digital image anytime – anywhere. Learn more about robust service today!
Take It Further Than Your Competitors
Once you have the basics in line, it’s time to start expanding your strategy to include content control, syndicated searches, suppression, and executive monitoring. Each of these action plans is a bit more complex and may require the assistance of a marketing agency or reputation management company.
These companies have experience handling brand reputations and can put their skills and experience to work for you.
With an effective SEO content strategy, you can offset negative search results by optimizing positive content. When you give the web more optimized content on your brand, you have a greater chance of downranking the negative content that could be hurting your business.
Suppressing those negative results can make all the difference in how successful your brand can be.
Managing syndicated searches is also important. Search engines like Google use an autocomplete feature on their search engines. It is very useful to users, but it can be devastating to a brand if that autocomplete places something negative after your company name.
The last thing you want is something controversial, negative, or even inappropriate to be associated with your brand and business. Agencies specialize in these matters and can help you to change or eliminate autocomplete searches associated with your name.
Other measures, such as executive monitoring, help you take your reputation management to the next level. Protecting your brand’s image is important, but protecting the image of your executives and personnel is important, too.
By monitoring and applying the same reputation management strategies to your team as you did your brand, you can further increase your credibility and trust with consumers.
Ready to Learn More?
We have a team of experts who can further explain reputation management benefits and help you determine which strategies and services will best serve you or your brand.
Let our experts be your guide to controlling the conversation around your business and help you build your brand and be a success.