What is Reputation Management?
Simply put reputation management is the act of managing the narrative of your brand. Monitoring the promotion of good feedback and doing damage control on the bad.
Feedback can come in many forms. Ranging from testimonials and reviews to a consumer or business commenting about your brand in a documented forum.
Whether it’s on social media platforms or a simple forum that discusses topics, products, and or services. These are opportunities to win or lose business as well as protect your brand.
Why is Reputation Management Important?
Reputation management is important because it is the driving force behind brand perception. If your brand has a good reputation, you stand a better chance of winning new business.
Without it, you run the risk of lengthening the customer journey. By that I mean the “know, like, trust” process for converting a lead into a customer requires additional steps. You spend time and money trying to change a business and or consumers’ perception of you.
This isn’t something that happens overnight and, in some cases, doesn’t happen at all. A bad experience by one person can turn into a perception of it not being worth the risk of doing business with you.
By controlling the narrative. You’re protecting your brand and building up a reputation that tells people that there’s low risk and high reward.
Brand Strategies – Managing the Narrative
Managing the narrative requires strategy and being proactive. Those that are reactive find themselves doing damage control. It’s a lot harder to climb your way out of a hole than it is to plug it before it becomes an issue.
Strategies include posting and promoting client testimonials and reviews. Case studies and white papers on products and or services. Press releases, newsletters, and overall communication with potential and existing customers.
Social Media profiles and monitoring platforms are an integral part of online reputation management. By granting access and engaging with your target audience and existing clients. It allows a business/brand to create and foster a relationship with the audience.
It also allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of what people think and how they interact with your brand.
Mistakes Businesses Make with Reputation Management Strategies
One of the most obvious and yet most often underestimated mistakes. Thinking that you have control over all of the feedback. It is a form of setting yourself up for failure to think that you can control the narrative completely.
The goal isn’t to control the narrative. It is to manage it. You can’t control what a person may think of you or the reasons behind it. What you can control is your reaction to it and the results of the interaction.
Another mistake that brands make is putting too much of a concentration on perception. As a business owner, they’ll be opportunities to cut corners and boost stats to give the air of being further along in the process than you may be.
This takes place in the form of paying for followers, likes, views, and “client” reviews. A strategy that seems like a good idea on its surface. You want to compete against larger businesses. Then you need to show that you have a following and clients as well.
Here’s the issue the problem with inflating your numbers. If you have hundreds of followers but very few likes it stands out as being suspect. In addition to highlighting a lack of engagement and brand champions for your business.
Another common mistake that people make is thinking that a consumer or business will only purchase from you if you have a perfect record. 5 star reviews are great they show that you have happy customers. Leading businesses to cherrypick the testimonials and reviews that they ask for or post.
You limit a clearer picture of who you are as a business. Specifically how you deal with issues that arise as they do with any business. A solid product or service is nice and welcoming. One thing we learn is it is not for everyone. Not every single customer is going to have a perfect experience.
Showing how you deal with these situations can and will win you just as much business as the 5-star reviews. People know things can go wrong. What they care about is how you deal with it. How you go about making things right.
A proper response to an issue builds trust. It shows that you are human and can relate to your customers. Your investment into your support services and response is where you can win or lose business.
Brand Strategies that boost a brands reputation
A strategy that can boost a brand’s reputation is creating social media profiles on platforms that your target audience can be found. This strategy provides accessibility. Similar to the importance of having a website as an online presence. Social media profiles and pages for your business are equally as important. If not more…
When people know where they can find you and see that you’re active and it’s not just for show. That creates a level of trust that you won’t just up and disappear. Lowering the risk of a regrettable transaction.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) would be another useful brand strategy to boosts your reputation. As a business when you can show that you’re not only familiar with a prospect’s questions and or concerns but can alleviate them with your response.
You’re not only showing that you have dealt with this situation in the past and have a solution for it. You’re showing the prospect that they’ve arrived at the right place. They’re dealing with someone that understands their concerns.
Brand Reputation Management Conclusion
Managing your brands’ reputation is not only a lead-generating tool but one that can help with retention.
It is a strategy that should be implemented and remain ongoing for businesses. Especially small to mid-size businesses that may not have the budget or team necessary to do the damage control needed. By not staying on top what the perception of your brand.
Reputation Management is something that can be done regardless of your experience level. There are best practices that you can follow to lay the foundational aspects of the strategy.
There are best practices that people follow but without purpose. They do it because they know that they have to do it. That’s applying a strategy but not benefiting from it.
There are good practices and some that can do just as much harm as good despite the best of intentions. It is important to know the differences and choose wisely the path that you take to establish and manage your brand reputation.