Your brand reputation is one of your most valuable assets. It’s what people think of you when they hear your business name, and it can be the difference between success and failure. That’s why you need a good reputation management strategy.
You may have the best products or services in your industry, but if you don’t have a good online reputation management strategy, you could be losing out on business. A strong reputation can help you attract customers and partners, while a weak one can drive them away.
That’s why it’s important to have a clear understanding of what your brand’s reputation is, and how you can manage it effectively. Reputation management strategy is centred around monitoring and protecting your brand’s online reputation.
In this article, we’ll talk you through the steps you need to take when you’re creating an online reputation management strategy.
Why is Reputation Management Important?
There are several reasons why having a reputation management strategy is important. First, a good reputation can help you attract customers and partners. A recent study found that 85% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Second, a poor reputation can hurt your business. Negative reviews or news stories can tarnish your company’s image and drive away potential customers. For example, if you own a hotel and there are negative reviews of your property on TripAdvisor, potential guests may be less likely to book a room at your hotel.
Reputation management is crucial because it can help you protect your brand. Your brand is one of your most valuable assets, and it can take years to build. A strong reputation can help you preserve your brand and prevent damage from negative publicity.
What are the benefits of a good reputation?
A good reputation can have several benefits for your business. First, it can help you attract new customers. When potential customers know that your company has a good reputation, they’re more likely to do business with you. Additionally, a strong reputation can help you build brand loyalty. Customers who are loyal to your brand will be more likely to come back and recommend you to others.
A good reputation can also help you protect your brand from negative publicity. If something goes wrong and there’s a lot of negative press about your company, a strong reputation can help minimise the damage. By managing your brand’s reputation effectively, you can prevent these negative stories from harming your business.
Tips for Improving Your Brand Reputation
There are several steps you can take to improve your brand’s reputation. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Monitor your online reputation.
You need to monitor your online presence and track any mentions of your company, good or bad. This means keeping an eye on what people are saying about you online. There are several tools you can use to do this, including Google Alerts and Social Mention. Have a look at this list we put together in our previous article.
Encourage customers to leave reviews.
You can’t control what customers say about you, but you can encourage them to leave reviews by making it easy for them to do so. What’s more, you can add links to review websites on your website or send follow-up emails after a purchase is made.
Respond to negative reviews.
If you receive a negative review, don’t ignore it. Responding professionally can help diffuse the situation and show customers that you care about their experience.
You need to remember to respond quickly, acknowledge the customer’s complaint, apologise, take responsibility, and make it right. However, it’s best after replying, if you could take the discussion offline. If the conversation continues offline, you might be tempted to ask the gruntled customer to take down their review – do not do so. This could add fuel to the fire, as the customer wants to feel heard and not coerced.
Create a crisis management plan.
No one wants to think about a crisis, but it’s important to be prepared in case one arises. Having a plan in place will help you respond quickly and effectively if your company is ever faced with negative publicity.
What is Reputation Management Strategy?
Companies need to manage their reputation and think about it as an asset that can help protect the organisation in trying times.
Maintaining reputation – delivering on what your company has promised to its stakeholders.
Enhancing reputation – you can do is by specific announcements or initiatives to deliver your firm’s goals.
Protecting reputation – Ensure your business is strong and has a plan when a crisis or an issue happens.
Leveraging a reputation – this includes utilising the company’s reputation to better achieve the company’s goals. A company needs to maintain a good reputation, as it provides the company with customer trust, loyalty, sales, and business growth.
How To Build Your Brand Reputation Management Strategy?
Building a brand reputation management strategy is essential for any company. This involves creating a plan to ensure that your company’s reputation remains strong and positive online.
The procedure that follows is a framework. Your unique business will determine the specifics. But we’ll provide you with an outline to follow when repairing, shaping, or protecting an online reputation.
2. Find out your brand sentiment
3. Absorb the information researched
4. Create a SWOT analysis
5. Identify your strongest levers when it comes to your reputation
6. Find out about your reputational vulnerabilities
7. Look up to your successful competitors
Your first task is to conduct research. You’ll need to look for every variation of your company name and product and record the findings.
You need to find out your business reputation, google search your brand, services, and every key person in your business. Pay attention to every comment – both positive and negative. Don’t forget to use an incognito window, so your searches will be less influenced by your browser history and cache.
- Your company name (see what search results come up)
- Company products
- Executives (not just their full names, but every variation of the names)
- Search for your business online reviews, news, scams
- Find our if there is any false information about your company
- If you have offices in other areas, search according to other locations
- Research your social media account
- Look through your bran’s online profiles
- Research the same that did on Google to every social media platform as well
- Look through review sites and all the sites your product and services you might have a presence on
You need to get proactive with the information you found while doing the research. Everything you find, you need to write down – this will help you create your reputation plan. If you found positive content, think about how you can leverage it. But if you found negative content you need to take strategic action and think of the ways to improve your brand and its reputation.
Analyse your brand sentiment
After you’ve gathered all the information, it’s time to analyse your brand sentiment. This will give you an idea of how others perceive your company. To do this, read each mention and decide whether it’s positive, negative, or neutral.
Absorb the information researched
Once you know what people are saying about your business, it’s time to take it all in. Read each mention and try to understand why people feel that way.
Here are some of the questions you need to address:
- What is your overall brand sentiment?
- How does it compare to your competitors?
- What is your brand story?
- Are there any aspects can you control?
- Is there any new information can you create that would improve your reputation?
- Which one of your competitors has the strongest reputation?
- Are there any industry influencers available for outreach?
- Is there any negative information about your business online?
- What is the reputation of the leaders you researched?
Create a SWOT analysis
Once you will start to gather all of the information, you will start understanding the strategy.
You will need to create a list of action items for each of the four following categories: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This is a strategic planning technique known as the SWOT analysis.
Determine what is the most harmful element in your reputation, and make a list of solutions. This should go first, especially for a firm that has had a reputation blunder.
Example: Your brand has two-star ratings on average, resulting from bad customer service from one specific employee. This is your weakest area, and it must be addressed right away.
Identify your strongest levers when it comes to your reputation
Identify your most powerful content or intangible assets in terms of reputation. Apply the right approach to other content channels. Concentrate on strategies that would improve your reputation the most.
Find out about your reputational vulnerabilities
Every brand has some risks to its reputation. Determine what areas are most vulnerable to a reputation attack and create a plan to strengthen those properties.
Look up to your successful competitors
During your research, you found your competitors. You now need to see which one of them has the best reputation. This is your opportunity to see what they’re doing and see what you could be doing to achieve similar results. In other words, reverse engineer the online reputation strategies that led to their success.
Implementing an online reputation management strategy can be a lot of work, but it is essential for maintaining a strong online presence.
Start by taking inventory of your current reputation and then put a plan in place to proactively build and protect it. Monitoring your brand’s online reputation is an important part of any reputation management strategy. You need to be aware of what people are saying about your company so that you can address any negative comments or reviews quickly and effectively.
A good reputation management strategy is essential for any business that wants to succeed online. By monitoring your reputation, responding to negative comments, and proactively building a positive reputation, you can make sure that people think of you in a positive light.
Do you have a reputation management strategy?
If not, what are you waiting for? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you protect and build your online reputation.