A tarnished brand image fails to capture and retain customers.
A case in point is the drop in the stocks of the United Airlines by 10% when it damaged musician, David Caroll’s guitar. The company refused to pay for it, turning a blind eye to its reputation by declining to do so.
Consequently, the musician wrote the song United Breaks Guitars that turned into a hit with 15 million plus views. And, cost United$180 million in shareholder value. The takeaway is simple – reputation management is of utmost importance for your brand.
Moreover, your PR does not relate to the offline world only. In fact, managing your brand’s image is equally important in the online sphere, or maybe more because customers instantly take to social media to defame or complain about a poor product, customer experience or so.
To add to this, 97% of the individuals read online reviews to find a localbusiness according to BrightLocal. So, you need to ensure that your customers don’t come across something that turns them away from your business. Of course, gathering fake reviews is not an option here. Such reviews speak for themselves, and you don’t want to be caught red-handed by review sites.
So, steer clear from such an approach and try the following six ideas for managing your brand’s online reputation effectively:
Pay attention to local SEO
Put on your thinking cap and ask yourself, ‘what would you do when you face a problem?’ Or, when you are looking for something. You would instantly pull out your phone and look up the issue on your browser. Your customers are no different.
They instantly go over to Google, which owns 74.5% of the search engine market share, and type their query. In such an instance, your business should pop up onthe first page of the results that the search engine churns out. 95% of the web traffic goes to the first search engine results page with only 5% going to the other pages.
So, ranking among the top results is essential. What’s evenmore important is that you show up for positive results as discussed in the next point.
Expand your web presence
A user researching your business is immediately repelled if he comes across something negative about you, say, a bad, unacknowledged review. You can’t control angry customers and their negative feedback. However, you can attempt to manage the online content about you by diversifying your online presence.
So, when you have a blog, a strong social media presence on sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and more, and a Google+ presence as well, the search engine will pull out those results. Note that Google views these social sites as trustworthy and authoritative, so your activities on the networks easily show up on the search engine.
Resultantly, such content will dominate over the negative one. Therefore, you can hide the negative search by blanketing it with positive results and managing your reputation effectively.
Maintain an engaged social media presence
Social media is a great source of product reviews. Facebook alone accounts for 64% of the total social revenue and 50% of the total social referrals. Moreover, potential customers use social media as a stellar resource for learning about a brand.
Hence, managing your reputation, brand voice, and the way you talk to your customers on social media is crucial. Keep in mind that you’re being watched so managing your impression here is of the essence. A commonmistake here is setting up and forgetting about a social profile that you make for your brand.
Merely making your accounts on social media is not going to cut the deal. Instead, actively using it, sharing valuable content, solving customer problems on social, and so on will make a positive difference. Another interesting fact here is that the more you are engaged on social media, the greater your opportunity to clarify your position should your brand reputation come in jeopardy.
Always keep tabs on what people are saying about you
Another important tip for online brand reputation is to keep tabs on what people are saying about your brand. The Internet is a vast entity, and you can’t track everything that your audience says about you no matter how active you are on social platforms and review sites.
In such a case, a Reputation Management Tool comes in handy. Such a tool can help pick up everything and anything that people say about you. For instance, the tool alerts you when people review your product or services. It also puts together all the reviews so that you can respond to them adequately.
On top of the reviews, a reputation management tool also notes down any mentions of your brand. It can also encourage folks to review your business, which is a must as your work won’t automatically get reviews but will take a lot of prompting for customers to give you their feedback.
Start blogging if you aren’t already
A blog that is centered around well-researched keywords is great for upping your search engine ranking. This is, as discussed, important for your reputation as it allows you to rank high on the results page when your target audience searches for your business.
Moreover, blog content can provide excellent fodder for your social media accounts. Therefore, blogging is also related to assisting you in maintaining an active and engaged social media profile.
Lastly, an active blog that attracts readers provide ground for directly responding to any assertions that are made about your brand. Plus, you can engage with your audience as wellvia your blog. In simple words, you can boost their customer experience, helping lift your reputation as a professional and good customer experience-friendly business.
Do a value audit
Lastly, provide value. The more value you provide, the better name you will establish for yourself. In this regard, don’t overpromise and under-deliver. Try vice versa instead. Providing value also calls for the need to conduct a value audit for your brand.
Tina Dietz of the StartSomething Creative Business Solutions advises about this in the Forbes Council. Dietz highlights, “First, check in with your own values: Does the wording and look and feel on your website, social media profiles and materials match up with those values? Look to make all your messages and images congruent with your values, and the world will notice.”
Therefore, don’t forget to offer value to your customers. That’s the most basic step when it comes to developing and maintaining a positive brand image.