“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about it, you’ll do things differently,” – Warren Buffet
We cannot agree more with this quote. Reputation is vital in the growth and success of any brand and should not be considered as just another aspect of your business. In fact, it needs to be the underlying premise of all your brand activities.
Owing to the rise of digital channels and social media, conversations have moved online making online reputation management more crucial than ever. Customers are voicing their opinion strongly and even ONE negative feedback has the power to put your brand’s reputation at risk.
So, if you don’t have an online reputation strategy in place, here are 5 tips to strengthen your brand’s reputation online –
Monitor Social Media Channels
You have established your presence on all social media channels but how much time are you investing in listening and monitoring activities?
You need to be aware of all the online conversations that take place surrounding your brand. From the comments people leave on your posts to the tweets you are tagged in – it is important to understand what people are saying about your brand. While positive feedback is always appreciated, it is the negative feedback you need to be extra careful about, so you can address them in a timely manner.
Don’t be a brand that starts monitoring only when there is a crisis at hand. It is important to proactively monitor channels at all times to keep up with the customer sentiments and take corrective action, if need be.
It is not as complicated as it sounds – there are several FREE social media monitoring tools that you can use to keep your brand’s reputation intact.
Reputation management is not just about tackling negative reactions but also consistently working towards building a trustworthy and credible brand in the eyes of customers. This is where SEO can play a huge role in fueling the reputation of a brand.
Considering that the first thing people do when they want to enquire about a brand is look it up on Google, you would obviously want to put your best foot forward and ensure they see nothing but positive articles surrounding your brand.
How do you do this? You use white hat SEO techniques such as building quality content, generating backlinks from high authority sites and use relevant keywords to boost search rankings. Apart from this, you should also be on the look-out for spammy, negative reviews and report them because they can affect your brand’s reputation.
Maintain a Blog
Blogging goes beyond just improving search engine visibility and generating traffic. Well-curated blogs also serve as powerful tools to establish a strong brand persona and share relevant, original content with customers while improving brand reputation in the process.
It gives you an avenue to directly communicate with your audience and develop a connection with them. So, take blogging more seriously and start with creating a monthly content calendar to churn out valuable content that compels readers to share and spread the positive word about your brand.
Tackle Criticism Smartly
Negative feedback and reviews are part and parcel of running a business. However, the secret lies in how you tackle criticism and make it work for your brand.
Did you know that 42% of consumers complaining on social media expect a reply in 60 minutes? So, the worst thing you can do is sweep it under the rug and ignore a negative comment. Even if you don’t have an immediate solution to the concern raised, it is always advisable to acknowledge the comment, telling the customer that you will get back to them.
If the comment has been made on a public domain, you must also reply publicly before you decide to take it private. Remember to be respectful and honest in your replies and not turn to sarcasm and get into nasty arguments.
There is always something to take away from negative feedback so take this as an opportunity to learn from it and grow.
Showcase Positive Reviews
Did a customer post about your product on Instagram or tweet about your excellent customer service? It’s time to showcase it to the rest of your followers too.
71% of customers agree that user-generated reviews make them feel more secure in their decision, proving that positive reviews are valuable assets and you should maximize their potential.
There various ways you can do this – from reposting and retweeting on Instagram and Twitter respectively to even linking user-generated content to the respective product pages on your e-commerce site. Positive reviews add to your brand credibility and help maintain a positive brand reputation.