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Reputation Management

24 Rock-Solid Reputation Management Strategies To Bulletproof Your Brand

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What people say about your brand matters. Whether it’s good or bad, it matters. In the digital era, your online reputation is crucial. It can make or break your business.

Gone are the days when the reputation of a company was built nearly on word-of-mouth recommendations, surveys, and customer data. In this day and age, all of that is done online in the form of reviews.

People are now going online to write reviews on websites such as Facebook, Yelp, Google My Business, Amazon, Better Business Bureau, and Trip Advisor; to mention a few. Some will even do a quick yell out on Twitter for the whole world to see.

There’s nothing wrong with that especially if they’re twitting or writing good reviews, right? But what if they’re voicing out bad reviews? That’s not good for your business.

If you think these reviews aren’t being read, think again. According to Brightlocal.com, 93% of consumers go online to read reviews about local businesses.

So, even with just one negative feedback, your reputation can be ruined in no time. The massive number of people who read reviews online are bound to see that one negative feedback about your business and even worse, they’re bound to remember it.

That said, reputation management strategies must be in place to strengthen the trust of your current customers and at the same time, encourage potential customers to trust your brand. Having a strong reputation indicates that your company is more trustworthy than your competitors. It will help build up your brand, boost sales, and get you on the first page of search engines. At the end of the day, it will improve your bottom line.

Of course, it’s easier said than done considering everybody’s online, twitting and posting to their heart’s delight. Nonetheless, you can still influence the way people see your brand.

Here are some rock-solid reputation management strategies that can help solidify a positive brand image and at the same time, establish the credibility of your business.

1. Deliver Stellar Customer Service.

You can never go wrong if you deliver stellar customer service. It’s just about the best reputation management strategy you can implement. Stellar customer service leads to a positive reputation. With a positive reputation, you not only attract customers but investors, employees, and partnerships as well. Your brand is guaranteed to grow.

There’s just no other way for you to go with stellar customer service. Of course, it’s easier said than done since consistency is the key to delivering stellar customer service. Well, it won’t be so hard if you make stellar customer service the cornerstone of your company culture. That way, consistency follows. Your team will know no other way but to deliver stellar customer service.

This brings in happy customers. Happy customers are always more than willing to share their experiences online. They will be able to attract more customers to your brand and the best part there is that it’s free. You didn’t have to pay for it. So, consider your happy customers as influencers that you don’t have to pay a ton of money for.

2. Delight Your Current Customers.

This is not just about keeping your current customers happy but very, very happy. The fact that they can rake in a lot of sales by attracting more customers to your brand is enough of a reason to keep them very, very happy. So, how do you keep them very, very happy? For starters, you can implement a loyalty program to ensure that they stay for you.

One company that understands the value of a great loyalty program is Starbucks. Aside from getting us to spend a lot of money on something as simple as coffee, they also got us to come back for more through their loyalty app called Starbucks Rewards. They leveraged technology to make it very easy for us to buy coffee. As a current customer of theirs, that makes me very, very happy. Now, from a backend perspective, their loyalty app provides valuable data that they can use to make their customers even happier. Hence, it’s all about delighting current customers to stay with a brand. After all, customer retention speaks volumes about a company’s reputation.

3. Train Your Team To Break Some Company Rules.

This particular reputation management strategy is pretty tricky but with enough training, you and your team can pull it off. Empowering your team to break some company rules for the sake of personalized customer service can do a lot of good for your reputation. But as previously mentioned, it can get pretty tricky because if you go out of the way for one customer, another one will ask for more. It’s just the way customers are. They think in such a way that if she or he can have it, why can’t I?

This is the reason why your team needs regular customer service training. With regular customer service training, your team will be able to discern when and how to break company rules for the sake of personalized customer service. They’re going to be empowered to look beyond the customer to understand specific needs. So, if they’re trained to be laser-focused on understanding the specific needs of each customer, they will be able to break some company rules without hurting the brand and other customers.

4. Know What People Are Saying About Your Brand.

Thorough research is one good way for you to know what people are saying about your brand. Thanks to Google, you don’t have to go out on the streets. You can just do a Google search to look for every possible variation of your company’s name and product. Then study and monitor the results. You can also use Google Alerts to notify you of real-time results related to your business. So, if someone is searching for your business, service, or product online, you’ll be notified immediately.

Aside from researching on Google, you also need to do some social research. Monitor social media websites to identify good and bad comments, compare company-related pages, and get to know industry influencers that can help you manage your reputation. After doing some social research, visit review sites, blogs, forums, and news sites. Thorough research means visiting a multitude of websites to skillfully manage your reputation online.

Related Read: How to Use Social Listening to Boost Your Brand’s Reputation

5. Encourage Your Customers To Provide Feedback.

It’s critical to solicit customer feedback. It’s a good way to track customer satisfaction among your current clients. Customer feedback can help influence innovations and modifications to your product or service. Getting a sense of how your consumers feel about your product or service is very helpful to the image of your company. You can use a variety of methods to help you get feedback from your customers.

Some of these methods are online polls, surveys, and feedback forms. You can roll these out on several platforms such as social media and on your own company website as well. Once you have gathered feedback from your customers, make sure to thank them for their time and effort. Then send them an update on the days to come. For example, if they wrote something about how awesome your customer service was, send them an update that your whole team is dedicated to upholding such exceptional customer service.

Now, if there’s negative feedback, update your customer on how your whole team is trying their best to make it better. The whole point here is that you need to let your customers know that you are listening to them. There’s no use asking for feedback if everything falls on deaf ears.

6. Develop A Great Website.

Every business, big or small, needs a website. If your company still doesn’t have one, then its credibility is highly questionable. If your company’s credibility is highly questionable, what more is your reputation? These days, the first thing people ask for when they’re interested in a brand is the website. If they have no website to go to, they move on to the next brand or even worse, a competitor.

Without a website, it only takes a mere second to lose the opportunity to win a customer. That is how powerful a website is. It’s the front door to your business. Now, there are some folks who think that having a company page on various social media platforms is enough. Well, it’s not. Truth be told, your business won’t be able to grow much if it’s just relying on a company page on various social media platforms.

Just think of all the internet traffic you’re missing simply because you’re confined to social media platforms. Of course, creating and maintaining a company page on various social media platforms can help with your reputation management but it surely isn’t enough. You need a website to support your company page on various social media platforms. By that, I mean a great, working website to establish and maintain a credible reputation. Below are some features of a great website:

• It must be user-friendly, meaning your visitors won’t have a hard time figuring out how to navigate it.
• It is well-designed in terms of colors, photos, and typography. The content is appropriate.
• Speaking of content, a great website boasts well-written articles. There are no misspellings or grammatical errors. Most importantly, the articles are original. They weren’t copied from another website.
• The website itself and the pages load quickly. Keep in mind that the ideal loading time for a website is 2 to 5 seconds. So, if you do have a website but it’s loading way more than the ideal loading time, then you need to do something to speed it up. Remember, it just takes a couple of clicks to get to your competitor’s website. Don’t give your potential customers a valid reason to get there.
• A great website is mobile-friendly. This means that your website can work exactly the same on any device. Hence, nothing much changes if a visitor uses a mobile device to visit your website.
• It has a Contact Us page that actually works. It also shows contact information with email addresses and telephone numbers that work.
• A great website tells its visitors to do something. Calls to action are very clear for the visitors to comply easily.
• A great website has good organic traffic. It can easily be found on search engines and is usually on the top page. Of course, it takes some time for a website to earn some traffic. It takes a lot of work as well but it’s all worth it.
• Lastly, a great website is owned by you and no one else. It’s on a platform where you own both the domain and the content.

It does take a lot to develop a great working website but in the long run, it’s worth it. With that in mind, investing in a digital marketing agency that specializes in web development is a good idea. You’ll get a great working website that will help you establish a credible reputation online.

Now, if you’re all set to have a great, working website, we’re here to help. We have more than 15 years of experience in building well-designed, user-friendly websites. We are the best team to work with if you want a quality website. Get started now by reaching out to us.

7. Power Up Your Website With SEO.

As previously mentioned, a great working website has good organic traffic. This means that real people actually search and go to your website. That can happen easily if you power up your website with SEO. So, what’s SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

It’s a scientific process to enhance a website’s ranking in search engines such as Google. It does so by optimizing the content on the page. Since searching for information on the internet is one of the most popular methods of obtaining information, having a website that ranks high in search engines can lead to more organic traffic.

In other words, you can get more people visiting your website. Since SEO optimizes content as a sales funnel, there’s a good chance for your visitors to move towards a sale. Sounds pretty simple, right? But it’s not. Truth be told, SEO is a complicated process.

You would need a team of SEO experts to power up your website. Again, you can seek help from a digital marketing agency for your SEO needs. Yes, it’s an investment but it’s worth it. You see, if your website boasts high-quality, SEO-friendly, and user-driven content; you will be able to establish yourself as an industry authority while also encouraging potential and current customers to come back for more.

Related Read: 6 Tips to Create an Effective International SEO Strategy

Do you want to learn more about our SEO services and how we can help get your website on the top pages of search engines? We’d love to tell you more about it. Schedule a call with us so that we can reach out to you.

8. Create And Use Business Email Addresses.

If you want a squeaky-clean reputation, pay attention to the little things. Little things such as email addresses matter. If you and your team are using free email services such as Yahoo or Gmail, then it’s going to be bad for your brand, let alone your reputation.

At first sight, free email services such as Google and Yahoo appear to be a fantastic concept. But if you have to use them for business, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. There are two major concerns when it comes to utilizing these free email services. First of which has a lot to do with security. Compared to paid services, free email addresses such as Gmail and Yahoo have greater vulnerabilities in terms of security and privacy. That’s the reason why they usually end up in the Spam or Junk folder.

So, if you and your team are doing some email marketing, then your efforts are futile since most of your emails will end up in the junk folder. Most importantly, free email addresses are vulnerable to being hacked and impersonated.

Without much effort, anybody attempting to deceive your clients or partners could construct an email that looked similar to yours and impersonate you or your organization. You simply can’t afford for something like that to happen especially if you want to create and maintain a trustworthy reputation, right?

Aside from security, a free email service is not going to make you look good at all. It’s going to hurt your brand and eventually your reputation. So, it may be a little thing but in the long run, it’s not going to be good for your business. You’re better off using a paid email address that’s usually an added service from your website host.

9. Consider Guest Blogging.

Simply put, guest blogging is writing articles for another company’s website. No matter what industry you’re in, this is a good reputation management strategy that you should consider as well. If you’re wondering why here’s why. What better way to establish your reputation but by posting online, right? Now, posting online is not just limited to your social media platforms and company website.

You need to reach out to websites that accept guest blogging. That way, you can use their traffic to showcase your products or services. Guest blogging is also a good way to power up your own company website. If allowed, you can create a Dofollow link to point back to your website. Now, if you’re wondering what a Dofollow link is, don’t panic.

There’s nothing complicated about it. It’s just a link that says Dofollow and when you embed it on an anchor text your guest post, it points back to your website. So, when people read your guest post, they can click on the anchor text to get to your website. Again, that’s a superb way to power up your website. You just need to make sure it’s allowed on the website that you will do a guest posting on.

There are some websites that accept guest posting but don’t allow Dofollow links. Now, if you don’t have the time to deal with all these hullabaloos about guest posting, it’s okay. You can assign someone from your team to do it or better yet, you hire a content writer to do the job for you. You don’t have to be a writer to follow through with this particular reputation management strategy.

Spare yourself the headache and get someone else to do it for you. The point is, just do it. You’ll get additional traffic for your products or services. In most cases, you don’t even have to pay to do a guest post. If ever you have to, it’s going to be a very minimal fee. One thing is for sure, it’s definitely a lot cheaper than advertising your products or services. So, just go for it.

Related Read: Guest Blogging: Why It’s so Difficult and How to Overcome the Challenge

10. Monitor And Post Comments.

Never undermine the power of the comment section, especially if there are a lot of comments. You’ll be surprised what readers are saying. With that in mind, don’t just focus on the main content which is the article. For example, if you’re checking out your competitor’s blog, scroll down to see what their readers are saying. Who knows, someone might have even mentioned your brand.

The possibility isn’t remote since it’s a competitor’s website, right? Aside from monitoring comments, you can also consider posting some as well. Now, if you’re posting on a competitor’s website, make sure to be courteous. Better yet, read their Terms of Service to know how you can craft your comments accordingly. Now, don’t ignore your own company website. Make sure to monitor the comments there as well. You can also initiate an engaging discussion by posting a comment on your own website. The point is, never ignore the comment section on any website. There’s a lot of interesting discussion going on there.

11. Create Email Marketing Campaigns.

Creating email marketing campaigns is another effective reputation management strategy. Communication with your current and potential customers is made easier and more successful through email marketing. With the help of email marketing software, you can automate your campaigns, identify your target audience, and see who actually opens your emails.

Through email marketing, you can share insider information about your company, provide exclusive deals and promos, and introduce new products and services. There’s a lot that you can do with an effective email marketing campaign. So, what’s in it for you? Well, it can help generate trust and at the same time, boost your authority. Best of all, it aids in the growth of sales and in the development of your brand image as well. A good brand image leads to a credible reputation.

Related Read: Email Marketing Frequency Best Practices for 2020

Do you want to take your email marketing campaigns to the next level? Our Marketing Automation Services can do just that. Click here to connect with us. We’d love to hear from you.

12. Pay Attention To Negative Feedback.

The impact of one negative feedback could hurt your image, more so if it’s ignored. It will float online for everybody to see. One of the most beneficial things you and your team can do is to acknowledge and respond to negative criticism. You should do so in a timely manner. If you don’t, people will remember it and worst of all, they will think that the negative feedback is true. If you’re building, let alone protecting your reputation, you can’t afford that to happen.

The truth about negative feedback is that it’s actually good for your company. You see, paying close attention to negative feedback allows you to track the progress of your company’s performance and identify critical improvements that need to be addressed and implemented. So, instead of ignoring deal with it.

Related Read: Negative Review Response Examples to Improve Your Online Reputation

13. Use Negative Encounters To Your Advantage.

Negative encounters with your current customers or potential customers are inevitable. They’re bound to happen at some point simply because it’s hard to please everybody. Use these negative encounters to your advantage. Train your team to be more proactive than reactive. By being proactive, they can learn from negative encounters and make improvements from there.

14. Create A Crisis Communication Group.

During a crisis, effective communication is essential. It can protect your team and reputation. Organizations that take a long time to respond to a crisis create confusion and resentment in the marketplace. A crisis communication group is dedicated to deal with a variety of difficulties that threaten the reputation and image of a company. This can be an internal group within your team tasked to make decisions on the company’s future course of action. They develop strategies to assist the company in getting out of difficult circumstances as quickly as possible.

15. Stick To Business Related Posts.

It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway. You and your team should use social media responsibly. By doing so, you have to think twice or even thrice before posting. This way, you can avoid disclosing sensitive information about the company. Most importantly, careless postings can be avoided as well.

It’s also a good idea to keep the company’s social media account apolitical. Political views can affect your customers. Even if they agree or disagree, your reputation is at stake once your political views have been voiced out online. Again, that’s something you need to avoid. Always keep in mind that it just takes one careless post to turn off a lot of people Even if you do delete the post, it will forever live in the minds of the people who saw and read it. That is the reason why it’s a lot safer to stick to business-related posts.

16. Set Parameters For Your Team’s Online Presence.

Managing your team’s online presence on social media and on search engines is critical. You need to ensure that they maintain a professional stance online. Although their social media accounts are considered personal, it’s best to come up with standard parameters to ensure the line between professional and personal don’t blur online. After all, your team is a reflection of your brand.

17. Make Use Of Reputation Management Software.

Face it. The internet is too big for you to monitor. Even if you assign an internal dedicated team to do the job, they’re bound to miss something. The fact is, you can’t rely on your team to monitor everything online for you most especially if they’re not even trained to do so.

Reputation management software can do a better job for you. They’re specifically created for the purpose of monitoring and collecting information. Reputation management software can provide you with vital insights into what people are saying about your company on the internet. It can also assist you in boosting your firm’s reputation in the digital world. Examples of reputation management software are as follows:

Reputology is a review tracking tool that allows you to monitor what people are saying online.
Mention will notify you with real-time alerts not just from Google but from forums, social media, news sites, blogs, reviews. Interestingly, you will also be alerted if your product is mentioned on television.
Buffer is a scheduling tool that sends all your social media posts from one just location.
Get Five Stars is a review tool that can help you get feedback from your customers.
SimilarWeb is a tool that ranks websites and shows daily traffic. This is a good tool for you to use to gauge how your company website is doing.
The Brand Grader instantly gives you an overview of your brand’s online presence.
Buzzsumo shows you which content is trending online. You can use it as a guide to creating better content.
SendInBlue is a drag-and-drop email campaign tool. It’s very easy to use.

These are just a few examples of reputation management software that you can look into. There are a lot more out there which means you have a ton of options.

Now, choosing one can be quite confusing. There are a lot of factors you need to consider before investing in reputation management software.

In some cases, you might even need to invest in more than just one software to complement each other. Furthermore, you would need to take some time to learn how to navigate the software. If that’s something that doesn’t interest you, you can proceed to the next reputation management strategy.

18. Better Yet, Hire A Reputation Management Agency.

When organizations need help in dealing with crisis situations, they frequently seek the services of a reputation management agency. But why do so at the last minute?

The most effective way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it from happening in the first place. It’s a more proactive approach to take care of your reputation. Having said that, you’re better off hiring a reputation management agency right from the get-go. The services of a good reputation management agency are as follows:

• They ensure positive feedback is at maximum visibility on all your social media accounts.
• They identify competitors who have posted negative content about your brand and take all necessary steps to suppress it.
• They write and distribute newsworthy press releases on your behalf so that your company can rank well in search engine results.
• They monitor forums for negative posts about your brand. At the same time, create significant positive content to uplift your brand.
• They also monitor review sites and at the same time, post positive reviews about your brand.
• They craft engaging articles on your company website and on other websites in order to get your brand on the top page of search results.
• In the event that the worst happens, they can come up with a well-crafted crisis plan that can be put into effect as soon as a problem is detected. Now, that is something you cannot get from a reputation management software.

DMA is a full-service digital marketing agency. It specializes in various services such as reputation management. Request for a free quote here.  While you’re at it, we can also do a free reputation management analysis. It’s best to get started now.

19. Be Careful With Automated Responses.

Sending automated responses is a good way to assure your customers that you received their email and you’ll get back to them as soon as possible. Obviously, automated responses are also very convenient. They can save you a lot of time. However, you need to execute automatic responses with care.

For starters, make sure your automated responses don’t sound robotic. Boring or robotic-sounding responses can make your brand look bad. Your customers could either ignore them or make jokes out of them. Either way, your reputation can get affected. Second of all, make sure that your automated responses are tailored to the situation or inquiry. In other words, personalize your automated responses to match the situation or inquiry of your customers.

20. Follow Through With Your Promises.

Your customers must always see both your effort and commitment to keep promises. Failure to deliver your promises to your customers is a sure way to drive them away forever. Avoid making that costly mistake. By consistently keeping your promises to your customers, your company’s reputation as reliable and trustworthy grows.

At the same time, your market reach is enhanced since happy consumers tend to tell others about their positive experiences.

21. Find Time For Some Corporate Social Responsibility.

Corporate social responsibility or CSR aims to encourage companies to integrate social and environmental concerns into their daily operations and relationships with their stakeholders such as consumers, suppliers, and employees. When properly implanted, CSR can positively impact your company image. It will get your customers to trust you even more. Furthermore, customers are more likely to buy from you if your CSR efforts resonate with them.

22. Be Transparent.

In the age of social media, transparency is important for retaining consumer trust. Both potential and current customers will appreciate you if you always respond in a concise, caring, and friendly manner. In case issues arise, your customers can look past your mistakes.

23. Pay Attention To Bloggers Reaching Out To You.

People are bound to reach out to you. Regardless of whatever reason they have for reaching out to you, don’t ignore them. Pay attention to them even if they aren’t your customers at the moment. You’ll never know who these people are until you find some time to get to know them.

Who knows, they might be bloggers who want to know more about your product or service. In this day and age, that’s very possible. Keep in mind that bloggers can help raise brand awareness. They put in a lot of effort to establish a loyal, trustworthy set of readers.

Their endorsements have the capacity to spread like wildfire. Furthermore, they are most likely accustomed to working with brands and will be able to provide ideas on how to collaborate effectively. So, it’s just but right to pay attention to them.

24. Continue To Build Better Customer Relationships.

Building better customer relationships is a dynamic process. It just never stops. The methods you used today may not work tomorrow but that’s no excuse for you to stop building better customer relationships. It goes without saying that your customers are crucial to your business.

One disappointed customer can cause a ripple effect that can hurt your reputation. If that one disappointed consumer leaves a nasty online review about your company, not only are you likely to lose that customer’s business, but you also stand a chance of losing many more customers. That said, you should never stop finding new and innovative ways to build better customer relationships.

Related Read: How to Create a Customer Journey Map to Improve Customer Experience

This article has given you a clear overview of the 24 rock-solid reputation management strategies that can help bulletproof your business. While some of the strategies may require a good amount of investment, it’s all worth it.

The upfront cost of hiring experts may seem pretty steep at the beginning, but in the long run, it will provide your reputation layers of protection since the integrity of your brand is preserved and taken care of for a very long time.

As a business owner, you want your reputation intact. We hear you and that’s why we’re here to help. Request for a free quote and avail of our reputation management services now.

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