Potential customers are more likely to search online before making a purchase. If they find unmanaged negative reviews about your business, chances are that’s a loss of business for you. So, how can you be aware of any damaging reviews or information about your brand online before more prospects are influenced by them?
The answer: A reputation audit.
A reputation audit is like a wise, calculated move at chess. It’s a way to stay ahead of the game and protect your company’s reputation from potential damage.
Despite its benefits to brand reputation, not many businesses are familiar with this process. So, let’s explore it in this blog, starting with the question, “What is a reputation audit?”
What Is a Reputation Audit?
A reputation audit is a systematic process of collecting and analyzing information about a company’s or brand’s reputation. The goal of a reputation audit is to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to a company’s reputation. Ultimately, data found in such analysis are used to inform a brand’s online reputation management (ORM) strategies.
Elements of a Brand Reputation Audit
A business reputation audit can be conducted by an internal team or by an external consultant. The scope of the audit varies depending on the size and complexity of your brand presence. Your online business reputation management goals also play a role in the audit scope.
Your reputation is a valuable asset, and it’s important to protect it. Media auditing is a way to do that. It’s a process of monitoring what people are saying about your company online, both in standard media and on social media.
- Standard media: Published online articles about your company found in blogs, news outlets and other online platforms.
- Social media: What customers and potential customers are saying about your company on social media platforms.
Unlike media auditing, a review audit is squarely aimed at reviews. Review auditing is a significant aspect of online review management and overall online business reputation management. It enables you to catch fake and defamatory reviews, as well as provides you with the following:
- Actionable insights: If you find a product or service that’s frequently mentioned.
- Review sentiment analysis: The sentiment of the reviews can be positive, negative, or neutral.
Related read: Sentiment analysis: What is it and why it’s so important
The Importance of Brand Reputation Audits
But what if you see some negative reviews in your review and media auditing? Don’t worry, that’s normal. Even the best companies have some negative reviews. The important thing is how you respond after review auditing.
In online reputation management, when you audit your reputation, you consequently:
- Identify and address negative online content. A reputation audit can help you identify any harmful content about your business being shared online, such as negative reviews, complaints or even defamatory statements. Once identified, you can take steps to address it, such as responding, flagging defamatory comments or issuing a public apology.
- Improve online reputation. Reputation audits heavily contribute to optimizing your website for search engines, increasing your social media following, or generating positive reviews. By improving your online presence, you can make it easier for potential customers to find you and learn more about your business.
- Gain insights into your customers. If you want to know your customers better, a reputation audit can help. Apart from basic demographics, you’ll further understand their pain points. Understanding your customers better allows you to tailor products and services to improve their overall experience.
- Prevent future reputational damage. By conducting regular reputation audits, you can identify potential risks and take steps to prevent them from causing damage to your reputation. This could involve implementing new policies and procedures, training your employees, or monitoring your social media activity.
More Reason To Conduct Media and Review Auditing
If you need more convincing, here are more reasons why you should consider a brand presence audit:
- Increased customer trust. When customers see you are proactive about managing your reputation, they are more likely to trust you. You are then likely to experience increased sales and repeat business.
- Attract new customers. A positive reputation can help you attract new customers who are looking for a reputable business to do business with.
- Improved employee morale. When employees feel that their employer is taking steps to protect their reputation, they are more likely to be proud to work for and be associated with the company. This can lead to increased productivity and decreased turnover.
How To Improve Online Reputation: Brand Reputation Management Tips
Here are brand reputation management tips to help improve online reputation of your business:
- Be transparent about your mistakes. When you make a mistake, don’t try to cover it up. Be honest and upfront with your customers about what happened, and explain what you’re doing to fix it. Doing so demonstrates that you’re trustworthy and committed to providing a good customer experience.
- Empower your employees to resolve customer issues. Give your employees the tools to resolve customer issues on the spot without having to escalate them to management. This act shows your customers you’re serious about customer satisfaction and willingness to go the extra mile to make things right.
- Use humor to defuse hostile situations (but sparingly). If you’re faced with a negative online comment or review, don’t take it too seriously. Instead, try to diffuse the situation with a bit of humor. Doing so indicates that you’re not afraid to laugh at yourself, which will help to de-escalate the situation.
- Use social media to build relationships with your customers. Social media is a great way to connect with your customers on a personal level. Use it to share your company’s story, answer customer questions and provide customer support. Practical social media use builds trust and loyalty with your customers.
- Get involved in your local community. You can get involved in your community by sponsoring events, donating to charities or volunteering your time. Your proactiveness conveys to your customers you’re a good corporate citizen and care about the people in your community.
- Employ an online review management tool. An online review management software can save you time by automating many of the tasks involved in managing reviews, such as collecting, tracking and responding, improving your response rate.
- Engage a brand reputation management company. If you lack the resources or expertise to manage your brand reputation effectively, consider hiring a brand reputation management firm. These firms have the experience and knowledge to help you identify and address any potential issues, and they can develop a strategy for improving your brand reputation.
Convenience and Results: Let Experts Audit Your Brand Presence
You’re guaranteed convenience and results when you partner with experts. Brand presence reputation experts help you identify trends and patterns in your reviews. By analyzing your reviews, you can pinpoint areas where you can improve your products or services, as well as your customer service.
Apart from a reputation audit, Rize Reviews offer a variety of services, including:
- Listing management
- Review checker
- Reputation repair
- Review monitoring
- Review response
- Review generation
- Product review management
- Sentiment analysis
- Video testimonial
- Survey campaign management
- Free review widget
- White-label solutions of all of the above
If you want to get ahead of your competition and attract new customers, all while protecting your brand reputation — Rize Reviews can help.
Call us at 866-908-4748 or send us a message.