Brand reputation is sacrosanct, and it is important to avoid brand reputation damage. Here we look at proactive steps you can take to be on top of reputation management.
As the Internet brings the world closer, businesses must take their online reputation seriously. Reputation goes beyond advertising and corporate communication. Its real test lies in how people perceive your brand. A single incident can tarnish years of effort you put into reputation management.
To fix online reputation, you need a proactive approach rather than reacting to unforeseen events. You shouldn’t wait until your brand has been at the receiving end of bad press or trolling on social media. Let us look at a few proactive reputation management strategies you must adopt now.
Focus on Building Trust
The best fix to online reputation damage is building trust. Modern consumers value trust more than anything else, and once you have earned their trust, it doesn’t fade away easily. If your brand enjoys a high level of trust with your target audience, you are unlikely to bear the brunt of any smear campaign.
Brand trust isn’t built in a day, and it can take months and years of effort for a brand to earn the trust of its customers. Engage your customers actively across all the channels and listen to them. If you hear criticism, take it positively and focus on building a strong relationship with your customer.
Never Let A Comment Go Unanswered
User-generated content is one of the best ways to boost online reputation. You must encourage your customers to write reviews and share their feedback. While all brands do so, you must also get into the habit of responding to reviews and comments, especially those critical of your brand and products. Not responding to negative reviews can hurt your reputation, as potential customers would perceive you as a brand that cares little for its customers.
Keep Employees Happy
Employees are the most important asset for any business and its most trustworthy ambassadors. Your employees share their experiences online across different social media and networking platforms. Encourage employees to share positive content on your brand, as this helps in improving your brand’s online reputation. These reviews and posts are important as they help build trust and brand recognition.
Use Social Media To Increase Brand Connect
Social media is an important reputation management tool. You must use social media platforms to engage with your audience as a brand. Give your customers and potential ones a sneak peek into your story and make them part of your journey.
- Share real customer stories with your audience, as today’s customers love being part of a brand’s journey. It helps establishes a strong emotional connection with customers.
- Update users on the latest events in your industry. It adds value to the users following you on social media
- Reply to positive and negative comments on social media. Be professional and courteous when responding to negative reviews.
- Trigger conversation with customers by asking questions and encouraging them to share their experiences with the brand on a public platform.
- Share behind-the-scenes images, videos, and stories about your brand as it brings customers closer to the brand.
- Network within the business community as it pays dividends in the long run when your brand story is shared.
- Share your mission and vision with the customers and show how you live by those standards
Build A Positive Narrative
You can’t wish away negative content about your brand or products. Unhappy customers, disgruntled former employees, and even your business rivals will post negative things about your brand from time to time. You can mitigate this challenge by building a positive narrative around your brand. Post positive content regularly as they would diminish the impact of negative content. Here are some of the things you can do.
- Create separate social media handles for yourself and your brand, and post regularly
- Start a blog if you haven’t already, and post quality content on your products and industry. Users should find value in your content.
- Research and identify positive, negative, and neutral keywords linked to your brand and create content around it
- Work on an SEO strategy that puts positive content high on the SERP (search engine results pages). Most users don’t look beyond the first few search results or the first page
- Link social media handles, business profiles, listings, and licenses on your website to build authority.
Take Your Privacy Seriously
Business leaders often overlook privacy, and it can be harmful. Privacy and reputation management are interlinked, so you must take privacy seriously. Unparliamentary words on social media or a misleading post from a business leader can hurt a brand. Avoid the need to fix your online reputation after a backlash by following these tips –
- Restrict access to your personal social media handles by updating the privacy settings unless you intend to share it with the world
- Always double-check any personal information you are posting online, as it can have disastrous consequences
- Avoid clicking suspicious links or tools and features on social media that ask for personal information
- The bigger you grow in stature, the more responsible you should be while posting on public platforms. Even if you are posting in a closed group, screenshots of your posts can be shared and cause backlash!
Leverage Positive News
If bad news hurts your reputation, good news can take your brand to newer heights. You need to work actively to get publicity from new agencies and bloggers. It will take your brand name to the masses and help increase your footprint. Here are a few things you can do
- Publish Press Releases for every important milestone for your business, such as product launches
- Network with bloggers and journalists to achieve wider coverage in blogs and news websites
- Share news stories of your brand on social media for wider coverage.
Be In Command of Your Reputation
Finally, to be in complete command over your reputation, you need to track what’s being said and written about your brand in the digital space. You must do a few things to monitor your brand’s reputation online.
- Use Google Alert to stay updated about news, blogs, and comments on your brand. Setting up alerts is easy, and you can use your business name or the name of business leaders to get alerts when anything new is posted online.
- Google your business name regularly and stay updated with the information that ranks on the first page
- Review your social media feed and use social listening tools to track mentions of your brand on these platforms
- Review hashtags on social media linked to your business and see if your business is being mentioned.
The ideal fix to brand reputation damage is to prevent a reputation crisis from arising in the first place. Follow the best practices mentioned above, which will go a long way in averting the crisis. If your brand has been hit by a reputation crisis, you need reputation management experts to get over this crisis.
At Cyrusson Inc., we are experts in online reputation management. We are a full-spectrum agency with expertise in search engine optimization, social media marketing, and online reputation management. Whether you wish to adopt a proactive reputation management approach or need to fight a PR disaster, we fit into the bill perfectly. Call us today @ 415-228-9969 to set-up a free consultation and our team will happily assist you with reputation management services.