Online Reputation Management is the process of crafting strategies that influence the online public perception of a business. It is crucial as it allows businesses to regularly monitor and respond to online conversations about their brand thereby using reputation strategies to manage online reputation.
The process involves monitoring what your audience is saying about your brand on social media platforms. This is followed by taking a proactive approach to what information your audience perceives of your brand online.
They are a number of social media platforms where a brand can be mentioned and should be effectively managed. Online reputation management can seem quite daunting. Here are five actionable strategies you can use to manage your brand’s online reputation.
Respond to the audience promptly
Most consumers today want to have personalized conversations with businesses. They look to interact with brands, through direct messaging on social media platforms. Businesses should aim to promptly respond to their audience mentions, comments, and reviews.
Managing your online reputation means responding to the comments and reviews made by your audience. They could be either positive or negative. It’s important to acknowledge positive responses. A little thank you goes a long way.
As a business, you do not want your disgruntled customer to feel that you are ignoring their concern. Bear in mind when dealing with negative comments that the customers are reaching out for help even when they do it in an angry way. All they want to know is how your brand can help. So, in handling the negative comment do remember also that your potential customers use the same online platforms and might take your silence into consideration before reaching out for your services.
Transparency in Online Reputation management is when a business is open and honest when communicating to its audience about matters pertaining to a bad comment in order to repair its reputation after an online crisis. Transparency plays a huge role in today’s consumers. It’s of utmost importance for businesses to address any negative content honestly. Research results show that 94% of customers would be loyal to a brand that is transparent. And this is simply because transparency in business leads to trust.
Any problem should be addressed honestly and openly. Be honest with your audience about what is going on and take the conversation offline as soon as possible to avoid public arguments. You can then offer suitable compensation to your customer.
Oftentimes businesses tend to be defensive when dealing with angry customers. This does not help in trying to repair your reputation. You will need to acknowledge the customer’s view and state your side of the story calmly and objectively. This would be the right thing to do even if you think the person complaining is wrong. Being defensive on a public platform will damage your reputation more.
Much of the work involved with online reputation management is handled internally by the business. However, it isn’t the case in all businesses since some companies prefer to work with a professional reputation management company.
Businesses that handle their online reputation internally recruit reputation managers. Their duties include taking immediate action when a company’s reputation has been tarnished. They should be prepared to publish positive content in order to neutralize the bad publicity. Your audience would want clear information and facts when responding to an online crisis, but the information needs to be delivered with empathy.
Demonstrating empathy in your social media engagement helps to be customer-centric, thus placing your audience at the heart of everything you do. Many a time taking an empathetic approach can help calm the crisis.
Online Reputation management’s purpose is to combat negative reviews by quickly and openly addressing them. If a business receives negative reviews, it’s important to realize that customers may have genuine, legitimate complaints. These ought to be taken seriously. Every review should be treated with respect and an apology should be offered sincerely and directly.
Never neglect negative comments
A negative comment can negatively affect a brand online. But if handled effectively negative reviews will not cause serious problems. As small and minor as negative comments can be, if not handled with caution, they can generate momentum, easily get out of proportion and create huge problems which can cause severe damage to your brand’s reputation.
Online Reputation Management is involved whenever an angry customer posts a negative comment on your social media platform. The worst thing you can do for your brand is to ignore a negative comment. It will give your audience a reason to dislike your brand. Negative comments should neither be neglected nor deleted as it will create bad blood very quickly.
Neglecting negative comments or trying to cover up for negative feedback will give a very bad image of your brand. Especially considering the fact that online content can be archived and retrieved even if you try to remove it.
Instead, avail yourself and interact directly with your customer and keep things in perspective. Strive to resolve the negative comments responsibly. Take the negative comments as constructive feedback and focus on the good that can from them come and turn the negativity to the advantage of your business.
Use automated Reputation Management
Keeping track of your web and social media channels to assess your business’s reputation and discern how your brand is perceived online can at times be time-consuming and labor-intensive.
Automated reputation management assists in collecting, monitoring and responding to customer feedback. This means that instead of manually going through your website and social media platforms searching for content related to your brand name you can save a lot of resources by using automated reputation management tools.
Automated reputation management can respond to feedback and reviews quickly and effectively. Which to some extent is more cost-effective than hiring dedicated personnel or turning to reputation management companies for a bailout.
Google Alerts is one of the simplest tools your business can use to keep track of your online presence, so after entering your brand name in Google alerts you will be issued notifications whenever your brand name is mentioned online, allowing for prompt responses.