BToday, businesses that operate in the online world must tend to their reputation aside for ensuring they are meeting consumer needs or expectations. The fact of the matter is that reputation plays a vital role in business success these days.
The main reason is that consumers are savvier and more aware of the online environment they spend the majority of their time in. What’s more, it’s no longer about what consumers are purchasing but from whom, as well. Companies with a good reputation are generally more liked by online consumers and are more likely to succeed.
However, reputation in the online world is very fragile. What can take years to build can also be ruined practically within seconds if you’re not careful enough. It takes a single dissatisfied customer or a single negative review to send your reputation spiraling down to oblivion. With that in mind, here are a few ways you can create an online reputation strategy.
Before you start improving, maintaining or repairing your reputation, you must first determine where you currently stand, reputation-wise. The best way to assess the situation is to conduct an online research of yourself, i.e., your company.
This will allow you to determine your current corporate sentiment. As an example, you’ll find out about how consumers perceive your brand, what they feel about you, what their impressions regarding your products or services are and so on. What’s more, you’ll be able to determine if there’s any controversy surrounding your company that you weren’t aware of or if there are any negative reviews that are plaguing your reputation.
Once you’ve assessed the current situation regarding your reputation, you can plan for which actions to take and how to proceed, to begin with.
Manage your media
In order to develop a reputation strategy, you must first know what it consists of and how to build it, in the first place. The three main components of your reputation are earned media, owned media and paid media.
You must manage all three effectively, in order to build and maintain a good reputation online. As an example, earned media consists of online customer reviews, social media interactions, content shares and news mentions. In other words, the media you earn and not pay for or create yourself. Also, owned media is the content you create and publish, such as your brand website, social media posts, blog articles etc.
Finally, paid media consist of content you actually pay for, such as PPC (Pay-Per-Click), retargeting, social media paid ads, display advertising and so on. The sentiment that originates when all three components are combined determines how your company is perceived and what its reputation is.
Building a reputation online is one thing but maintaining it is a completely different challenge. As mentioned before, reputation is very fragile online and even a single dissatisfied customer can cause an avalanche of bad press that can ruin your reputation in a heartbeat.
Therefore, you must attend to negative reviews and customer outrage politely, reasonably and most importantly, on time. The best way to achieve this is to leverage dependable social mention monitoring. The main reason is that every negative feedback or customer outrage starts on social media platforms in most cases. By tracking mentions you’ll be able to determine when, who and why is mentioning you on social media and in what sentiment.
This will allow you to respond quickly and efficiently, in order to maintain your reputation. If you neglect or block people who post negative reviews, you’ll only make the matter much worse than it has to be.
Transparency is very important and it plays an essential role in your company’s online reputation. By including transparency in your reputation strategy you’ll be able to make your work a lot easier.
The main reason is that transparency shows consumers who you are as a company or a brand and how you do things, to begin with. That way, consumers know where you stand and they can choose to do business with you or not based on your principles and core values.
Moreover, consumers will generally appreciate you more for being transparent even if they initially might not agree with the way you do things. Your reputation can, in many ways, depend on how transparent you are with consumers and how much consumers will trust your brand will also depend on how transparent you are with them.
Businesses that wish to succeed in the online world must pay special attention to their reputation. Consumers these days are no longer just concerned with product quality companies provide them with but also about what companies do and how. That’s why every company should have a solid reputation strategy that will allow them to not only build a good reputation but also maintain it the right way.