Brand Reputation Management in the Age of Digital
Online brand reputation management is something that many businesses don’t think about until they stumble across or become alerted to negative comments about their business online.
It often comes to light when searching for your business online that you notice some strange results, anything that could include blog comments, forum posts to whole articles dedicated to your business with bad reviews, negative sentiments or complaints.
The alarm bells start ringing, you start to panic and worry about what impact these negative results are having on your business and how it could impact your brand in the future.
That’s where online brand reputation management steps in.
Online brand reputation management involves thorough research into what content, positive and negative, is currently accessible to the searching public. Once this is determined, a strategy needs to be devised that includes removal, where possible, of negative or off brand content, either through negotiation, mediation or providing more relevant content for the search engines to list.
For those comments that are from genuinely dissatisfied customers, simply responding and asking for the opportunity to make things right can be the greatest form of online reputation management as it portrays honesty, accountability and a willingness to rectify the situation.
Of course, not all situations can be resolved amicably, especially if the problem has had time to escalate into something bigger and this can result in a more concerted effort to find a solution that the client is happy with.
Everything discussed so far concerning reputation management has been reactive. By that, it is reacting to something that has already happened. The key to long term success with online brand reputation is to work fastidiously to promote good working practices and excellent customer service attitudes throughout your entire organisation.
By putting your customer front and centre of everything you do, you are being proactive about your brand reputation and this will be reflected in the positive feedback that your business receives online.
When you get into the position of exciting your customers through your excellent service and you get the feedback to prove it, make sure that you share those positive stories with as many people as possible by letting everyone online know how great other people think your business is.
Share your positive feedback through social media, write blog posts, produce a press release and syndicate across local and national news sites. The more internet real estate your business claims that paints your business in a positive light, the better it will be when those who know nothing about your business and are looking for reassurance before becoming a partner of yours.
3 Golden Rules of Online Brand Reputation Management
Work on Building a Positive Brand from Day One
One of the most valuable assets for any business is their brand. Be synonymous with customer excellence, great value and great service and you will see the benefits online and offline. A business that has ten great, positive stories online versus a business that has two negative reviews will get more new clients through the door. Be proactive and see every new client as a long term business partner who will be happy over time to introduce their friends and family.
Make the Most of the Internet to Share Your Clients Positive Stories
There are many ways that your client’s comments, stories and feedback can be distributed on the internet. Embrace them and make sure that the positive sentiment about your business is being heard all across the internet.
Be Alert to What is Being Said About You.
You can do everything in your power to promote customer excellence but there will always be someone that you can’t satisfy. When it happens and the negative comment does appear, don’t panic, don’t sensor the comment, simply make it clear to prying eyes that you will do everything you can to rectify the situation.
Online brand reputation management is important to all businesses, not just celebrities, politicians and high profile individuals. It’s so easy for your clients and competitors to publish content online these days that it is in your best interests to be proactive, promote excellence and deal with negative issues in a timely and courteous manner.