The definitive guide to online reputation management
Online Reputation Management as defined by Wikipedia refers to the influencing and controlling of an individual’s or group’s reputation. Originally a public relations term, the growth of the internet and social media, along with reputation management companies, have made search results a core part of an individual’s or group’s reputation.
Online reputation is one of the most important factors that you need to consider when you are developing and improving your own brand. The reasoning behind this is very simple: first impressions matter a lot and they are a great way to show your target audience that you mean business as a brand.
Therefore, having a proper reputation management in place (or as it is called in this case, online reputation management) is something that all brands need, whether it’s on the internet and/or off it. It’s a set of strategies and techniques that are going to make a difference in the way your brand is perceived online and your online reputation is developed.
So here we are going to present some strategies that are going to help you attain and maintain the best possible online reputation you can get for your business.
1. Embrace negative and/or constructive criticism
Regardless of the service you provide as a brand, it’s impossible not to receive criticism at any given time and this is particularly true on the internet where people’s voices are a lot more notorious, but this is where a lot of brands fail when it comes to online reputation: they tend to take it the wrong way and react harshly or downright ignore that criticism.
Don’t be that way. Listen to what your audience is trying to say and embrace it, trying to improve based on this criticism. Why? Because your brand is not perfect and your target audience’s opinion is essential given that they are the consumers.
Customer feedback is an essential part of your online reputation and you must value it.
2. Be transparent
I can’t begin to properly emphasize how important transparency is when it comes to online reputation and to deal with customer feedback. A lot of brands tend to hide certain conversations and/or information because they are usually scared of how they might be perceived, but the reality is that being transparent can come a long way to develop your reputation.
There are many ways to be transparent with your brand:
- Ask for feedback.
- If they have a complaint about their products, address it.
- If they contact through private messaging on social media, answer them.
- Establish direct communication with your target audience.
Transparency is one of the most important factors when developing online reputation management and it’s the best way to maintain a certain level of consistency as a brand in terms of communication.
3. Don’t attract negative attention
This is a key factor when dealing with online reputation: negative attention can be a tremendous detriment to your brand and it can have a lot of consequences on the way your business is perceived.
For example, if you insult a client on social media platforms, that is very likely to spread and create the perception that your brand is lacking professionalism. On the other hand, if you are offering a product of subpar quality, then you are very likely to draw less people because of the poor reception that your product has received.
4. Monitor what people are saying about you
Now, we are not telling you to stalk or anything, but rather keep tabs on what people are saying these days about you and determine the elements that might be helpful to take into account when trying to improve your brand.
For example, you may Google your brand and you discover that there are insightful articles about your products, showing what is working and what isn’t. This is good: you can use that information to improve yourself and even going as far as dropping a comment saying “Thank you for your helpful feedback. We’ll start working on it!”
Online reputation management is built under the notion that what other people think and say about you matters and you need to keep a critical perception about yourself in order to not become complacent. This is why monitoring what is being said about you is such a useful strategy.
It’s not enough to have a presence on social media; your brand has to be active on said platforms and contribute in a positive manner in order to have much more positive results. This is really important when it comes to online reputation because if you offer a friendly, approachable and respectful personality on social media, then there is a higher chance of people rating you and valuing your brand has one of quality.
They often say that any publicity is good publicity, but I disagree: make sure to look good when you are engaging on social media. Be the fun brand, the mature one and the respectful one. Think long term of the consequences of this and you will understand how important this is.
6. Use an online reputation management tool for best results
There are so many factors that contribute to your business online presence some of which are reviews, listings, mentions and random feedback from customers to name a few. All these contents about your business are generated from different platforms all across the internet and keeping track of them manually and individually can take a lot of your valuable time. As a business owner you want to concentrate on delivering the best service/product to your customers, this should be your number one priority and definitely will take most of your time.
Engaging an online reputation management tool like the Reputation Manager will automate the process of monitoring, analysing, optimising and responding to what the online community is saying about you and your business thereby freeing up more time for you. Some of the common benefits of this tool are:
- Enables you to easily resolve customer complaints fast
- Easily propagate customer service activities
- Fast and personalised service helps you earn customer trust
- Generate more positive word-of-mouth about your business online as you engage with customers
- Improves business transparency
- Opens window for more business opportunities.
- Strengthens business growth and presence in digital channels.
- Helps you get and promotes online endorsements
- Helps you in addressing negative reviews and comments about your business online
These are some of the advantages of using a tool to manage your online reputation. To get a better understanding of what an online reputation management tool can do your you and your business, learn more about our Reputation Manager Solution
One thing you should know about online reputation management is that a lot of brands start paying attention to it once their reputations have been tarnished and it shouldn’t be like that. You should hit that ground running. Listening to your customer feedback and do more research on what you can do to improve.
Online reputation is a very important subject and it’s in your hands to make a difference in this regard.