Online Reputation Management
Media is changing and companies are now left having to deal with a variety of publications from traditional print and broadcast media to social media and review sites. So what does this mean? A “one size fits all” approach for bad publicity or simply ignoring these publications will no longer suffice. Reputation is what establishes your brand and drives revenue growth. Word-of-mouth has now gone global with online review sites, blogs, and social media marketing. It’s easier than ever for customers to learn about brands and what others think about them as well. Although some people think that online reputation management is just social media monitoring and others believe it has something to do with public relations, many still have no idea how it can impact business and sales. Your reputation is made up of many things ranging from how your audience perceives you, your brand, your products, and your actions. To a large degree your online reputation is a measure of trust and unfortunately a bad one can stick around.
Managing Your Reputation
Managing your online reputation is possible. It is all about having a plan to deal with fallout when something goes wrong. Good online reputation management consists of monitoring your public reputation on a regular basis, not just when a customer has a complaint or problem. Having a plan in place is critical due to the change in customers’ expectations and their demand of an immediate response. To help with this there are many practices you can undertake to manage your reputation:
Social Media Monitoring
Using social media is a great way to build your online reputation, engage with current and potential customers and build a community. Providing customer service on social media is also no longer an option for businesses anymore. Your customers now have various channels that they can communicate with you through and you in turn can respond. Developing a comprehensive social media strategy is a key tool in helping you manage your online reputation effectively. A social media strategy will also ensure you are using the right platforms, engaging with your target audience and monitoring your account properly. Keep in mind it is also vitally important to monitor social media for any indirect mentions of your brand name. Studies have shown that 31% of tweets containing company names do not include their Twitter handle.
Blogs are extremely easy to start and use which makes them an ideal platform for a business to publish quality content. A blog can be a great way to maintain a positive brand image. Having a blog also builds your profile as an industry expert and leader, allows you to connect with your customers and share information, and will attract more SEO traffic to your site.
Encourage your fans to interact and promote your brand. Thanks to YouTube, Vine, Instagram and other social platforms it has become incredibly easy to develop creative relationships with your followers. Engaging with your community will help drive loyalty, create brand ambassadors and show how community focused you are.
You cannot stop someone from posting a bad review about your company online. Dissatisfied customers are quick to express any disappointment with your brand on online review sites, their social media profiles and through other online channels. However, user reviews work to a business’ advantage because they increase conversion and eliminate doubts other customers may have. Studies have also shown that customers are more likely to purchase from a site with reviews. Criticism can actually add creditability, especially if you have a customer service team that responds in a respectable fashion. Showing your customers that you are actually listening and responding to complaints or problems can go a long way. If you have negative reviews, do not ignore them. It is okay to have some negative reviews as it adds legitimacy to a business’ page and creates a conversation that raises brand awareness.
Understanding that effective brand reputation management is an ongoing relationship with your community is the key to success. Listen to what your customers have to say and take action. Always be accessible and stay connected with your community. Your customers can be one of the best low-cost advertising investments you can make and if you create a customer experience that actually adds value it will ensure a positive reputation with them going forward.
If you are a vendor of BMT Micro, an analysis of your digital reputation management results and ways to improve is currently available with our Marketing Analysis. The Marketing Analysis also includes an analysis of your current website and ways to improve, SEO and Social Media performance, Target Market, what your competitors are doing, and ways to improve Advertising and Branding. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, please contact our Marketing Specialist via email at email@example.com for more information.