Personal reputation management has a direct correlation to an individual’s success. On a larger scale, managing your company’s reputation is even more essential to the vitality of your brand.
Reputation is everything and one bad opinion can ruin years of hard work. Companies must be hyper aware of what they are sharing, posting and distributing to ensure that they are representing their brand well and responding to their audience respectfully.
A company’s online presence often is the first and only thing potential customers use to form their opinion of a brand. A positive reputation will help sustain relationships with customers and build new ones. It will also enhance loyalty with and credibility for your company. All in all, a good company reputation is imperative in building and maintaining a successful business.
Easily said, but how does one begin to manage a brand’s reputation? We thought you’d never ask!
#1 – Always Respond Immediately
No matter if it is a good, bad or mediocre review, respond within 60 minutes, if possible, or at the very least, 24 hours. Bite the bullet and get after it. Even if some responses are past due, it is better late than never. This shows that you care about your customers and are listening to what they have to say.
#2 – Avoid Cookie Cutter Responses
Be authentic, be yourself and be honest. People love transparency and they know when you are throwing out a canned response. Be accountable. If you need to own up to a bad situation, take responsibility and be confident. People will respect you and like you more if you are accountable for your mistakes.
#3 – Don’t Let Your Defense Be Offensive
It’s easy to get defensive, but do not respond in anger. Talk to someone outside of the situation who may not take it so personal to help you form a response. A bad response will be online forever and speak for your brand. People are going to have a bad day or two or three, and they love to take it out on the internet because they can hide behind a screen. Just remember, there is probably more to the story. Others will see what they are posting and judge their character; sometimes, they will even call them out on it. What goes around comes around.
#4 – Humanize Your Brand
Humanize your brand with the way that you respond to people—especially on social media and in your blog writing. Add humor; people really appreciate wittiness and you don’t see it often. If you can find a way to express how your company culture comes through in these responses, do it.
#5 – Own Up to It
If you have a disgruntled employee who says something bad about you, own up to it or call them out. You must defend your company and your reputation. But be extremely careful if you choose to defend your brand. Always ask an HR attorney before making any kind of public comment. Being considerate and honest and taking it offline are the best ways to handle these types of situations.
#6 – Phone a Friend
If you do not have online reviews, get your friends, family, dogs, cats, whoever you can find to write a review about your business. This will build up your bank of commentary. You want as many five stars as you can get. Do not be afraid to ask others for help in this because you can turn around and do the same for them.
A company’s online presence is often the first and only thing potential customers use to form their opinion of a brand. A positive reputation will help sustain relationships with customers, as well as gain new customers and build credibility for your company. These quick tips are a great foundation to help you start managing your company’s online reputation. For additional help with crisis and reputation management, give us a call—we’ve got you covered!To learn more about how to manage your personal brand, check out our blog: Personal Reputation Management