Strategies For Building Your Reputation Management Plan
A reputation management plan is often necessary when you have been the victim of negative online comments, criticism, reviews, or even blatant slander. While it may seem impossible at first, it’s a very real possibility. Your company’s reputation is your brand! It represents your core values and the way in which you do business. And unfortunately, it’s not indestructible.
Companies large and small can be affected by their reputation. The internet is an amazing tool, but it is not a free one. Negative feedback and reviews can literally drain the energy and momentum out of businesses, leaving them little more than broken machines. And while it may seem impossible to guard against these attacks right now, with so much riding on your reputation, it is certainly not impossible in the future. A reputation management plan, therefore, to effectively repair a bad reputation or build one from the ground up. includes the construction blocks of an effective online reputation plan, tricks and tips, competitor analysis, lists of best practices, and top strategies for engaging customers and strengthening your brand.
In order to properly begin a reputation management plan, you must first understand what drives your competitors’ reputation. Does your competitor constantly engage in questionable business practices? Does their website ever have spelling and grammatical errors? Are there ever personal attacks made against their company, their employees, and their product or service? These are things that go into determining how “good” your customers perceive your company.
In a nutshell, then, online reputation management strategies must focus on building a positive reputation, rather than simply trying to stifle any negative comments or reviews. Today, it seems that almost everyone has a Facebook account, so it is especially important to engage your target audience or consumers when addressing a specific issue. However, while social media may be a great way of connecting with your audience, it can also be used to negatively build your reputation, so it’s important to be mindful of your online management strategy as well.
If you are looking to positively build a positive image, it is important to review your company’s Facebook page, blog, and website. Do you frequently receive criticism from customers? How do you respond to these criticisms? Are you able to quickly respond to customers or should you instead attempt to address their concerns with another means?
For example, if you often receive negative reviews about your products or services online, perhaps you should consider setting up a Facebook fan page. Consumers enjoy interacting directly with a face to face person, so it may be more effective to initiate a conversation offline between the customer and the representative. For example, ask the customer if he or she would like to comment or ask a question regarding your company’s services, products, or anything else. Encourage the customer to “like” your page on Facebook in order to encourage others to connect with your page as well.
On the flip side, if you only receive positive reviews from customers, you may want to consider focusing your attention inward rather than outward. Instead of responding to negative reviews, it may be more effective to work on how you can improve your overall rating with all consumers, not just those. You may also want to start following the discussion of your industry, watching for conversations that discuss your company favorably. For example, if there are discussions about your company on the coffee shop blog, you may want to take note of these trends in order to create content for your own blog.
Finally, another important strategy for positively building your reputation is to pay attention to the mentions made about your business by influential individuals and entities in your industry. Google has recently introduced search results that include mentions made by other companies and individuals, which can prove to be a valuable tool for businesses looking to boost their reputation online. The easiest way to make sure you’re paying attention is to monitor your mentions with an engagement tool like GetResponse. These tools will allow you to see who’s really making the connections, helping you to focus on your own mentions in order to drive more business.