When it comes to brand reputation, you are only as good as your customers perceive you to be. Gone are the days of one-way marketing to prospective customers, now brand reputation is completely dependent on interactions with consumers. And while its hard enough to find your edge and distinguish yourself from your competitors, establishing a strong brand reputation is key to your success.
With research showing that 85% of potential customers use the internet to research your company before they decide to make a purchase, cultivating effective online management reputation is essential.
What kind of social media presence do you have? What kind of reviews are people giving you? What are people saying about you online? What news headlines come up when people type your business’s name into Google? These are important questions you constantly need to be asking.
This may come as a surprise to you, but your website might be the last place a person goes to find out more about you. And if they are not happy with your services, they’re unlikely to send you a letter. Most likely they are going to vent their anger on social media, and before you know it you’ll have a full-blown PR disaster on your hands.
But before it gets to this state there are preventative measures you can take and simple things you can do in the moment to minimise the chance of a PR disaster outbreak.
The best way to manage your brand’s online reputation is to monitor your social footprint. Serious damage can be done to your business by an inappropriate tweet or a video that goes viral. The things that cause damage to a brand are by no means new, but the rapid advancements made in technology amplify their negative impact, which in turn makes you more vulnerable. This is why it’s important to monitor social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can of course manually perform regular searches for your brand name or product on different platforms, but the best way to see what people are saying about you on social is through using tools like Vuelio’s social media monitoring as it lifts the burden of having to do it yourself.
It’s been estimated that the average online users spend 50% of their online time on social media alone. Therefore if you are neglecting your online reputation, you are sleepwalking into a marketing disaster.
If you have an unhappy customer make sure you respond promptly. By monitoring your social media mentions, you can be across all conversations online.
When your customers reach out to you online, they will expect you to respond quickly. Social media operates on a 24-hour basis, so not responding, even for a couple of hours could do irreparable damage. If you need time to reflect on what you want to say, particularly if what the customer is raising is of a serious nature, you can respond by first acknowledging them and then letting them know that you will give them a full response once you have collected all the information you need to give them an informed reply. Most customers want to feel heard and valued, so by acknowledging them you will decrease the chances of having a full-scale crisis.
There is nothing that beats being transparent. If your customers find that something is wrong with your product or the services you are offering, don’t try to cover it up or be dismissive. Admit your mistakes and shortcomings. Trust is built by being honest and transparent. If someone complains about you, as tempting as it might be, don’t delete it, address it. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to show your customers how much you value their feedback and how quickly you can take something negative and turn it into something positive.