If someone Googles your brand today, what would they see? Would it be a Yelp or review page with happy customers? A rave review from a popular blog? Or would it be a negative review or article from years back?
In an age when people look at search engines for answers to everything, your online brand and reputation management matters. In a 2019 BrightLocal Consumer Review survey, it was revealed that 82 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. The same study found that consumers read at least 10 online reviews before deciding to make a purchase.
Online reviews are fast becoming the digital version of word-of-mouth. Because of this, businesses need to have a brand reputation management strategy that improves their online image and avoids irreparable damage in the future.
Even major brands like Microsoft, McDonald’s, United Airlines and Pepsi had their share of poor branding campaigns that caused negative publicity and earned disapproval from consumers.
In 2016, Microsoft launched a Twitter account called Tay, which was controlled with artificial intelligence (AI). In just a matter of days, Tay has tweeted offensive and inappropriate tweets that caused Microsoft to issue an apology and cancel the project.
In 2017, a passenger was injured as he was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The incident was recorded on video and went viral on social media, sparkling public outrage and costing United Airlines its reputation.
The challenge is for every business owner to be ready with a brand reputation response for any crisis that might come its way.
Unfortunately, you can’t control every aspect of your business. Employees make grave mistakes. Products and services can fail for unavoidable reasons. Whether it’s something you can or can’t control, you need to have a specific online brand and reputation management plan of action to quickly recover your brand’s reputation.
For handling an extreme reputation crisis, you may need to hire a brand reputation agency for expert guidance on how to recover from the damage. A brand reputation management company has more experience, knowledge and advanced brand reputation management tools to resolve even the most devastating reputation problems in the business world.
What Is Brand Reputation Management?
Brand reputation management is a way to influence what people think about your brand. There are several online brand reputation management strategies that will help you shape your brand’s image. Today, it’s common practice for companies to seek help from brand reputation management firms to recover their reputation from a crisis or improve their reputation.
However, you can not have 100 percent control over what people will say about your brand. Every customer’s expectation is different and what makes a great experience for one may not necessarily mean the same thing for another.
What you do have control over is how you respond to customer feedback, how you provide solutions and ultimately, how you win back unhappy customers. With the right brand reputation management tools and tactics, you can use negative reviews and feedback to your advantage.
You can hire a reputable brand reputation management firm to provide expertise in this field or create a dedicated in-house team within your organization and establish a brand reputation management social media team. Over the years, brand online reputation management has grown as a marketing strategy, which means that more companies are seeing its value. Working with a brand reputation management firm can save you lots of time while getting great results.
Why Is Brand Reputation Management Important?
There are many reasons online reputation management for a brand should be a priority. Your business can greatly benefit from a positive online reputation so it’s worth the effort. Getting the best brand reputation management services for your business is a solid investment that will pay you back immensely over time.
Here are the most important reasons why online brand management is a must:
1. Builds Customer Trust And Loyalty
The 2019 survey says that 45 percent of consumers say they are likely to visit a business that responds to their negative reviews. This only proves that while customers can express their disappointment, they appreciate when a company takes ownership of the feedback and responds appropriately to their concerns. Making sure that you include online brand management in your marketing strategy is a great way to build a loyal customer base.
2. Effective Market Research
While you might hire a team to conduct expensive market research and buy expensive brand reputation management software, online reviews can be a free and authentic source of information. Whether you get positive or negative reviews, you can get actual feedback from customers who have used your product or service.
You can use this information to improve the quality of your brand and adjust your marketing strategy to match the right audience. Online reputation management for a brand is not just for shaping customer opinion, but also for ensuring your brand stands out as superior to your competitors.
3. Makes Your Brand Stand Out
While it’s tempting to ignore negative reviews and pretend they don’t exist, this is not beneficial to your customer or your business. Every time you write a well-thought-out response to a negative review, you show the public that you care about your customers and you value their feedback.
This makes your brand stand out as a reputable business who takes responsibility for providing better products and services. People who are prospective customers can read these responses and might just try your brand.
4. Improve Your Search Rankings
Customer feedback, whether posted on review platforms like Yelp or Amazon or across your social media channels, can help rank your brand for industry-related keywords. This can help boost your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and improve your online visibility when users search for businesses like yours.
If you have a physical store, online reviews can also help with your local SEO, which strengthens the online presence of your Google My Business (GMB) listing in Google. A great brand reputation management social media strategy can boost local SEO and prompt more store visits from customers who found your business online.
5. Grow Your Revenue
Ultimately, you want your business to grow with an effective online brand management system. When you implement powerful solutions to improve your brand’s image, you have the ability to acquire more leads, win more customers and increase your revenue stream.
Invest in the right online brand reputation management services and reap the benefits with consistent customer growth and revenue. Whether you hire a brand reputation management agency or do it with an in-house team, your goal should always be to win more customers and grow your bottom line.
How To Improve Your Brand’s Online Reputation
Now that you know the benefits of a strong online brand reputation management plan, the next step is to develop a strategy so you can implement it and get results.
If you don’t have the budget to hire a brand reputation management company right away, then you can always implement effective brand and reputation management techniques on your own. Most brand reputation management tools are readily available and easy to learn. No brand management strategy is perfect in the beginning, so be ready to learn along the way and adjust your methods to find the best approach that works for you.
In general, here are the most common brand reputation management techniques that apply to any business.
• Make Sure to Monitor Customer Feedback.
You can use the kind of brand reputation management social media engagement can influence, but customer feedback is not limited to social media platforms. Review sites like Google, Yelp, Amazon and TripAdvisor are some of the most common sources of online customer reviews.
Use online brand reputation management software to monitor what people say about your brand across multiple platforms and channels. Investing in the right social listening tools will allow you to gather data and respond to all feedback in an efficient manner.
• Respond to Your Customers’ Feedback as Soon as You Can.
Timeliness is essential to the success of your review response strategy. Studies have shown that consumers expect a reply to their concerns within 24 to 48 hours. Dedicated online brand reputation management software that monitors feedback is useful in your efforts to respond to feedback as quickly as possible.
• Keep Your Tone Professional at All Times.
When responding to harsh criticism, it is important to remain professional and treat the customer with respect. Acknowledge the customer and apologize for the negative experience and provide a solution or the assurance of finding a way to rectify the issue.
Demonstrate a sincere effort to get in touch with customers via email or phone to discuss the feedback further. If you work with a brand reputation management agency, make sure you maintain the same language that reflects your brand.
• Take the Conversation Offline as Soon as Possible.
You don’t need to engage in a back-and-forth conversation on a Yelp review page with a dissatisfied customer. Instead, give an email or phone number where the customers can contact you to further discuss their concerns. This allows you to provide a more detailed and customized solution to every customer while minimizing the impact of their negative reviews.
Overcoming a reputation crisis won’t be too challenging if you come prepared. Managing a brand in the digital age can be challenging, but as long as you have a genuine desire to meet your customer’s needs, then you can make any negative feedback work to your advantage. The key is to master your brand online reputation management system so it brings the best results.
If achieving a great reputation online is a struggle for you, you can hire a brand online reputation management firm like Rize Reviews to implement tailored strategies that improve your overall online brand image.
Ready to win more customers with the right brand reputation management services? Contact Rize today to get started with the country’s best brand reputation management agency.