11 Ways To Ensure Your Reputation Management Is On Point
Online brand reputation management is becoming of increasing importance as more and more companies move to the web and realise that monitoring the way their brand is viewed online hugely impacts customer engagement, conversions and can even – if not handled correctly – have the power to reduce or stop sales altogether.
Brand reputation management comes down to a five-pronged attack:
1. Ensuring your online profiles are at their best, by being accurate and consistent
2. Preventing brand reputation damage by posting good content regularly
3. Taking up search result real estate by claiming social accounts, creating a Google My Business Listing, buying useful, relevant domains and answering featured snippet questions
4. Posting respectfully and professionally
5. Managing reviews and customer comments online, especially negative ones, with compassion, respect and in a timely manner
Much of online reputation management comes down to social media reputation management, such as responding to customer comments on your posts which, even if the comments are positive, should be done in a timely fashion. This will help to promote you or your brand as attentive and caring, build up trust between brand and customer and promote a positive online reputation to other customers.
In the same way your social media reputation management revolves around responding to comments, your business reputation management (also known as corporate reputation management) should revolve around business reviews such as those on Google My Business. Having reviews will improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and help you get found for your services, so having reviews is imperative – but of course, having good reviews is even more so. Even having bad reviews does not necessarily have to negatively impact your online reputation, provided that you respond in an apologetic and constructive manner, seeking to find a resolution where the complainant is happy. Other users will see that you have responded amicably to a problem and these sorts of responses can often work in favour of your brand reputation.
Providing reputation management services on a local level in Northampton and around the Midlands, as well as across the UK, Bright Design would work closely with you to optimise your online presence and improve your brand image, protecting and future proofing you against reputation attacks, and help you with repairing your online reputation if damaged by previous web activities.
There are some things however that you can begin to think about straight away, so if you are concerned about your online reputation, here is a great place to start.
Below we have listed eleven of the most important steps in the online reputation management process, so you can learn more about our process and the factors that come into brand reputation monitoring – and take some action to improve on some of these aspects today!
1) Be consistent in your tone, style and the information you provide across all channels.
This includes imagery, brand colours, as well as company information such as telephone numbers and addresses on other websites and business listings.
2) Make sure all online profiles are fully completed.
Fill in the bio, any images, and most importantly, a link back to your website on any profiles you have, from listings to social media profiles.
3) Thoroughly proofread and edit to avoid poor spelling and grammar
Don’t get caught out by silly errors. Not only will this damage your online reputation, being careless in the content you publish on the web gives the impression that you have not put much thought into what you post, and that you literally don’t care.
If you don’t care about your content, customers or readers might wonder why they should care and lose interest – which could lose you business. They also may begin to question the quality of your products or services if the quality of your online brand is poor, which may also cost you custom.
4) Publish regular, productive content.
This means publish content that provides value, and brings something good to the table, and inspires good feelings. Whether you spark inspiration, entertainment, interest or just promote others, you have a responsibility to the information you share online, so try to avoid negative or unproductive posting. This includes posting upsetting, hurtful, degrading or defamatory content, or embarrassing content.
5) Be active on social media, and engage with others
Just as you need to publish regular content on your website, publishing regular, valuable content on your social media is really important to gaining traction as a brand and building up an online presence. Engaging with others online in a positive way, such as responding to their posts as well as posting your own content will help build up your reputation as active and responsive. You do this by commenting on, sharing or retweeting what others have shared, getting involved in projects or engaging in current hot topics or trends – do this in a meaningful way and you will start to gain trust, respect and traction!
6) Register your brand or name as a domain
Whilst you may already have the domain yourbrandurl.co.uk, buying up yourbrandurl.com as well as yourpersonalname.com is invaluable as it not only protects your from others buying it and using it against you in the future, you can use it to help your other sites rank. By building it out with useful information, creating blog content, videos, hosting webinars, and promoting good press, awards and competitions you can build out authority that you can direct back to your main brand site.
You can also buy other relevant domains to do the same thing. For instance, if you sold plants and gardening equipment, you might buy themostawesomegardeningtips.com or a similar domain and create a useful gardening blog or information site for your users and associate this website with your main website.
7) Secure your brand or name across all social platforms
Even if you don’t want to manage these channels yet, just as you should buy up the domain real estate so that others can’t use it – do the same for social media. It may not make sense to have a Facebook account yet for your business, but as you expand your online profile in the future, you may want to move onto the platform. If another user has already claimed your brand or personal name, this can prove frustrating, and confusing for customers who may expect your username to be consistent across platforms.
8) Create or claim a Google My Business listing and verify it
Exactly what it says on the tin. Having a Google My Business account is vital for taking up real estate in the search results as this enables you to come up in the map pack, which depending on the search, can take up an incredible amount of the space available above the fold. For instance, the search “gardening supplies” brings up this result.
The reviews also help Google rank and rate the businesses and give consumers a snap shot of your company, so go after reviews to improve the reputation the search results give you.
9) Answer featured snippets to steal search result real estate
Google’s featured snippets also take up a large portion of the search results, so by answering questions in your niche that people are searching for – you can use the tool Storybase to find these questions – you not only provide useful topical information that will drive good traffic to your website and build up your brand as an authority within your industry, you’ll take up more space on the first page of Google – which tends to mean more clicks and more customers!
10) Be calm, collected and respectful when responding to customer comments
Always think before you submit a post or a comment in response to another user. Never post when you are angry or frustrated. Instead, wait until you have time to reflect and gather your thoughts to offer the most coherent and balanced response. Once you’ve posted something online, it cannot be taken back.
Also, remember that many eyes may see you post, so ask yourself: “How would I feel if my boss, parents, grandmother, or spouse saw this piece? How would they react?” It’s good to check that your post is suitable for all audiences.
Finally, remember that the customer (or the other user) is always right, so even if you disagree with them, respect their views and seek a peaceful resolution.
11) Get online reviews and manage them
Are you a business without any reviews? If the answers is yes, then you are in trouble. Since over 4/5 people trust online company reviews as much as they would trust personal recommendations show how powerful online reviews can be, and how many people use them as part of their decision making when searching for a service or product. So, pursue reviews! Call in favours, offer incentives, and put calls to action in your emails and on your website. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
For some businesses, getting reviews is the easy part, but opening yourself up to comments from customers can open yourself up to public components. However, these are only an issue if not dealt with correctly. If you are positive and timely in your responses, show customers that you care and resolve the situation amicably, the way you deal with negative reviews can actually serve as a promotion of your excellent customer service.
Hopefully, some of these actionable tips have given you some insight into the process of online reputation management, and if you are interested in finding out how our reputation management services can help you achieve all of the above and more, get in touch with our friendly team today!