How Should Brands Manage Their Online Reputation?

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Your brand name is heavily reliant on its reputation and a company’s online reputation is more sensitive than ever in these digital times. Given the extensive internet and social media use, consumers instantaneously share their positive and negative experiences with a global audience.

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What is Online Reputation Management?

The practice of monitoring, influencing, and maintaining a brand’s image and credibility on the Internet is known as online reputation management (ORM).

It entails a variety of methods and techniques targeted at ensuring that an organization’s target audience and stakeholders see it positively.  Some of these strategies include SEO, social media, and public relations outreach campaigns.

ORM comprises all online venues, forums, and review websites where a brand’s reputation can be discussed and evaluated, in addition to social media and search engines.

The Digital Age and Reputation

The digital age has resulted in major shifts in how brands are seen and reputations are built. Almost everything has been digitized, and knowledge travels like wildfire across the internet.

As a result, a brand’s reputation is increasingly shaped and impacted by online interactions and information than conventional word-of-mouth.

When you have a positive reputation, you encourage client loyalty, which is a significant generator of revenue and growth. A bad reputation can hurt sales and customer retention, but it also teaches you about what people appreciate, which can help you change the way you operate to better match consumer needs.

The Importance of Online Reputation Management

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1) Trust and Credibility

In a world where consumers have a multitude of options, trust and credibility are essential. A positive online reputation helps in the development of trust among potential consumers, investors, and collaborators. Consumers are more likely to do business with a brand they trust, and developing that relationship requires a good online reputation.

2) Customer Perception

The internet reputation of a brand has a direct impact on how potential buyers perceive it. Prospective clients may be put off if online reviews, comments, or news items constantly reflect poor experiences. A positive online reputation, on the other hand, can attract new customers and encourage brand loyalty.

3) Competitive Advantage

A favorable online reputation can give you a substantial competitive edge. Consumers are more likely to choose a renowned business over an unknown or negatively assessed one. Therefore brands with great online reputations frequently outperform their competition.

4) Crisis Management

ORM is more than simply maintaining a positive reputation; it is also about defending your brand amid a crisis. When a negative incident occurs, whether it is a product recall, a public relations disaster, or a viral customer complaint, efficient online reputation management can help minimize the damage and reduce the impact on your brand.

5) Search Engine Visibility

When calculating search ranks, search engines such as Google use a brand’s online reputation. A positive online reputation can boost your search engine presence, resulting in more organic visitors and brand exposure.

Ways to Manage Your Brand’s Online Reputation

These strategies are essential for both building a strong online reputation and for repairing it in the face of negative feedback or crises.

1) Monitoring Your Online Reputation

To manage your online reputation efficiently, you must be aware of what is being said about your brand online. To receive real-time notifications when your brand is referenced on the internet, use monitoring tools and services such as Google Alerts or Brandwatch.

Social media platforms are a hive of brand-related debate. Monitor social media comments, messages, and mentions on a regular basis to gauge public mood and respond to customer problems as soon as possible.

Additionally, you should keep an eye on review and feedback websites for your industry. Consumers routinely post their experiences on websites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon, Glassdoor, and Google Reviews.

Engage actively in both favorable and negative feedback, and answer professionally.

2) Deliver Exceptional Customer Service

Delivering outstanding customer service on a constant basis is one of the most effective methods to develop and maintain a strong online reputation.

Customers who are pleased with your product or service are more likely to leave good feedback and promote it to others. In every engagement, strive to exceed the customer’s expectations.

3) Create High-Quality Content

Publishing high-quality content on your website, blog, and social media channels not only engages your audience but also helps establish your brand as an authority in your industry. When you publish useful and helpful information, you develop beneficial relationships and a positive online reputation.

You can also proactively shape your brand’s online narrative. Develop and share positive news stories, achievements, and testimonials.

When your audience sees the good side of your brand consistently, they are more likely to perceive your brand in a favorable light.

4) Engage with Your Audience

Building a positive online reputation requires active participation and engagement. Respond to comments and messages as soon as possible, and show genuine interest in your audience’s thoughts and suggestions. Participating in your online community indicates your dedication to client satisfaction.

5) Crisis Management

Create a proactive crisis response plan outlining the measures to take in the case of a catastrophe. Determine key team members in charge of crisis management, establish communication channels, and create response templates for specific scenarios.

Time is of the essence during a crisis. Address the problem as soon as possible, both online and offline. Recognize the issue, share your plans to remedy it, and provide regular updates to keep stakeholders informed.

During a crisis, transparency is critical. Tell the truth about what happened and what steps you’re taking to make things right.

Responding to Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is inevitable, but how you handle it can make all the difference in your online reputation. Here’s how to respond to negative feedback effectively:

  1. Maintain a calm and professional demeanor. Avoid responding emotionally
  2. Acknowledge the customer’s concern and address the issue. Apologize if necessary and offer a solution.
  3. In some cases, it might be best to take the conversation offline. Provide a contact email or phone number for further communication.
  4. Use negative feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve.

Online Reputation Management Tools and Services

  1. Reputation management software, such as BrandYourself, helps you monitor and improve your online reputation.
  2. Social media management platforms like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social help you schedule posts, engage with your audience, and analyze social media data to improve your brand’s online presence.
  3. Review management platforms, like Trustpilot and BirdEye, help you manage and respond to customer reviews across various review websites.

Building and Maintaining a Positive Online Reputation

Online reputation management is an ongoing and continuous process. Here are some key principles to keep in mind as you work to build and maintain a positive online reputation:

  • Consistency is key in online reputation management.
  • Regularly update your website content and social media profiles with fresh and engaging content.
  • Encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews on relevant review websites. You can do this through email campaigns, social media, or by simply asking in person.
  • Your team members play a vital role in maintaining your brand’s online reputation. Provide training and guidelines on how to represent the brand online and respond to customer inquiries and reviews.
  • Stay up-to-date with industry trends and evolving online platforms. What’s effective today may not be tomorrow.

To thrive in today’s competitive marketplace, brands must take proactive steps to monitor, influence, and maintain a positive online reputation.

While online reputation management may seem complicated, it doesn’t have to be. With North Rose Technologies, you get a custom strategy that focuses on your goals and vision.