According to studies in June 2021, there are over two billion daily active users on Facebook alone. Not counting the other handful of popular social media platforms, billions of people are constantly in touch with each other exchanging ideas. This is what this century is all about – the exchange of ideas.
More often than not, these ideas explore businesses and brands, such as which company is the best for ordering online groceries and which brand is the best for getting the next batch of shirts. From purchasing to feedback, everything has been streamlined into a little, inconspicuous sphere over the internet.
Brands can get kicks from this kind of exposure by having that many people on the internet. But this is not a one-off thing because it takes a complete strategy and its execution to stand out from the crowd with such a tough crowd to entertain.
In this post, we are going to explore how to create a brand reputation and keep it afloat through a complete guide on business reputation management.
Make sure you read it till the end to get a complete look at the theory and how to apply it.
Before we delve into how to create a business reputation, it is important to address what business reputation management is.
What is the concept of business reputation management?
In simple words, it is about managing the perception of people of what your business is all about. It includes perfecting your public profiles on the internet and being in constant contact with the world regarding new products and services.
But, when you look at it technically, brand reputation management is about putting in a good word about a company as well as addressing concerns and negative feedback in an amicable fashion.
There are three steps in creating, maintaining, and taking the offensive in a business reputation strategy.
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Essentially, this part is a one-off and carried out by new and up-and-coming enterprises.
This part makes the whole process dynamic and fluent. In a sense, this is what the day-to-day work of a brand is when it has already created its reputation. It is about getting the information out, acting, and reacting with potential clients and customers.
When actions and reactions become heated and put a twisted ring to the name of your brand and its perception, companies go into recovery mode. Again, it employs putting out a good word about your company and resolving grievances in the best possible way. So basically, it is about putting out fires, when they arise.
How to work for online business reputation management?
As we established in the opening remarks, there are a lot of people over the internet and they are craving new and exciting information. As a company that is promising to give the best product or service, you need to get out there and communicate in the best possible way.
Here are five proven ways to engage with online users. When continued and camped on properly, you are sure to reap financial and social rewards in the long run by going this road.
When you interact with the internet users online as a brand, it is not always about sharing details of the latest and greatest product, even on the contrary. These days, companies create engagement by appearing as a leader in the field and sell without selling. For instance, a clothing brand keeps and updates a blog where it shares tips and how-to posts related to fashion and style.
When you follow this technique, it means your brand is the product, instead of the actual product. Once you achieve this feat, the two become synonymous.
In the virtual world, it pays off to invest optimum resources in SEO. SEO is all about weaving a convincing net over the internet around your brand. This cements your reputation for users as well as sends positive signals to the search engine that your business is legitimate. When executed properly, it results in free organic traffic and consumer trust.
There are literally hundreds of business directories that offer both free and premium plans for companies to make profiles. There is no need to claim listings on all listing directories. Based on your niche and other factors, here are some universal and versatile directories to explore.
Basic postings are usually free. But, if you want a complete digital marketing suite, you need to pay the premium.
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3. Online feedback
Online feedback started as a mundane thing, but now it is a must if you want to create, maintain or recover the reputation of your business. According to surveys, over ninety percent of internet users go through feedback before purchasing goods or hiring services. The trust index of this feedback is still above eighty percent. These numbers tell us that feedback is not to be taken lightly.
The first thing about building a reputation through feedback is to encourage clients to leave their thoughts regarding conduct. This will show prospects that your company delivers on promises. If feedback is negative, there is no need to panic. You should follow on the feedback and make sure you resolve the issue publicly.
Whether feedback is positive or negative, you need to acknowledge it and build upon it, keeping your advantage in mind.
Your brand cannot exist in a vacuum or inside self-styled walls. You need to get out there and pursue avenues to get noticed. One of the ways to start with a bang is to get paid advertisements. All major outlets like Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., offer paid advertisements. In many cases, it is cost-effective and puts you in charge of the demographics and exposure of the message.
By tailoring ads according to your intended audience, you can capitalize on the resources.
5. Social media
There is no way you can overestimate the importance and impact of social media in current times. It is hard to find so many places in close virtual proximity anywhere else. If you are a new brand who is thinking about leaving a lasting impression or an established company that needs to stay relevant, social media is the place to start and continue going.
How to do online business reputation management?
Many companies feel vulnerable and exposed to the internet because of its volatility and uncertainty. But with professional help, you can turn the tables in your favor.
Here are some tips to be in control of the circumstances even when you think you are not.
Tip 1: Understand your limits
It may seem counterintuitive to talk about acknowledging your limits after ranting about power and exposure over the internet. In real terms, you do not and cannot control how people react to your brand online. What you can do is damage control. Instead of going all-in on feedback, give priority to search engine rankings. It may appear to be time demanding, but it will be worthwhile in the long term.
Tip 2: Use well-calibrated metrics
It is good to see thousands of reactions on your social media posts. It says a lot about the engagement and rapport you have going on with your audience. But you cannot rely on apparent means alone without digging deeper. Using meaningful tools and metrics allows you to keep tabs on both short- and long-term campaigns and their eventual results.
Tip 3: Think digital
Even if you run and own a family-owned business and have no ambitions to go digital, it does not hurt to think digital. It is because even if you do not rely on the internet for your business, your clients and prospects do find and react to you. Having a digital presence will ensure you can reach out to them and interact in a way that will benefit your brand.
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The whole point of maintaining a constant and effective link with clients and prospects is to stay afloat and relevant. In brand reputation management, there are three-step cycles or a three-pronged process. If you are having a hard time doing what you do, it will help.
- If a campaign is going as expected, keep going. There is no point in risky experimentation.
- If results are less than expected, tweak a little bit but not too much.
- If there is a storm brewing against your company, make sure to plug the leaks before it starts. It means you need to get back to the drawing board and come up with new ideas.
Business reputation management is still a meta idea with no clear boundaries. Still, the goal is clear. As a brand, you need to appear as an industry leader to create a deeper connection, a rapport, with your clients and prospects. Using this guide as a checklist, you can devise a solid strategy about where to start and how to keep doing it.