In this essay, I explain why Corporate Reputation is critical to its bottom line. In addition, I share five critical Corporate Reputation Management best practices for building a strong brand image.
Our online image management services ensure that your company’s online image is accurate, safe, and long-lasting. To discuss your options, please contact us.
What exactly is a brand’s reputation?
Customers, stakeholders, and the general public’s aggregate ideas, beliefs, and impressions about a company’s image are referred to as brand reputation. Because both are impacted by reputation, people sometimes mix it with phrases like brand emotion and brand impression. But what factors influence brand reputation?
A company’s reputation is built on its words and deeds. Do they offer high-quality goods and services? What is their attitude toward their customers and employees? Are they socially responsible and ecologically friendly? The answers to these questions aid in the formation of brand reputation, but they do not fully define it.
Unfortunately, a brand’s offline behavior might occasionally be out of sync with its online image. This is especially true when bad information shows in search results for a corporation. This other digital narrative may undermine an otherwise wonderful reputation, whether it’s a few unfavorable reviews or a viral news cycle about a disaster.
Don’t undervalue the significance. Every aspect of your business is affected by your online brand reputation. So, before we get into any brand reputation management best practices, let me explain why it matters.
What is the significance of brand reputation?
You probably realize the significance of a strong brand reputation if you’re the CEO, CFO, or CMO of a major firm. In fact, according to a recent survey by Forrester Consulting, 48 percent of executives feel that decreasing negative search results will enhance brand equity, while 41 percent believe it will increase market share. You can read the entire research here.
But do you realize the significance of brand reputation? Let’s take a look at how your business’s reputation affects several areas.
Every year, businesses invest tens of millions of dollars to develop their brands in order to influence customer opinion. They also invest heavily in retention initiatives in order to increase brand loyalty and consumer satisfaction. While those investments may have an impact on off-line attitudes, they will have no effect on your online reputation. Furthermore, because shoppers will eventually come to your brand’s internet presence, its online reputation may outweigh your chosen messaging.
Negative Google search engine results may make potential consumers reconsider doing business with you. Worse, a few negative reviews may soon spiral out of control. This is because if a dissatisfied consumer sees that others have had a similar experience, they are more inclined to write negative feedback on review sites.
Negative feedback isn’t just limited to review sites. Real-time brand references, including complaints, may also be seen on social media platforms. Negative brand mentions have an influence on customer loyalty and trust. As a result, the ROI of your costly digital marketing activities suffers.
Employees may now more easily shape your brand’s reputation thanks to job review sites like Glassdoor. Disgruntled employees might, unfortunately, write fake or exaggerated unfavorable evaluations about your organization and its management. Your recruiting efforts will suffer if these unfavorable evaluations end up on Google’s first page.
Not only will job seekers discover your low Google star rating, but they may also visit your profile and read critical reviews. As a result, it’s critical to reply to bad comments on your profile as soon as possible. In fact, according to a recent U.S. Site Survey, 62 percent of potential workers changed their minds about a firm after seeing how it responded to employee feedback publicly.
Companies require investors for a variety of reasons, including recruiting, market expansion, expertise, and finance. Investors, on the other hand, want consistent corporate development in exchange for their money. Furthermore, the majority of investors regard reputational risk as a liability.
Indeed, 39% of CEOs believe that search outcomes are linked to shareholder trust. If your brand’s image is in jeopardy, your investors may opt to withdraw their money out.
The majority of CEOs (54%) feel that strengthening their brand’s online reputation would lead to increased revenue. It’s impossible to quantify how much corporate reputation affects a company’s bottom line, but it’s a significant amount.
According to the Harvard Business Review, a business with 10,000 employees may spend up to $7.6 million on extra compensation to compensate for a bad image.
Our corporate reputation management initiatives helped a customer recover more than $32 million in monthly income in one situation. This is a summary of the case study.
Best practices in Corporate reputation management
Every aspect of your company’s reputation is affected. Investing in a comprehensive reputation management approach is crucial whether you need to recover from a disaster or prevent future problems.
I’ll go through five brand reputation management recommended practices below. It’s important to note, however, that these suggestions aren’t a full plan. Consider them more as guidelines for improving your internet presence.
1. Enhance client satisfaction
If your company has major customer service issues, brand reputation management will be ineffective. Creating a fantastic end-to-end client experience is the best approach to avoid most difficulties. Here are some things to think about:
Sell incredible goods and services. If you’ve made judgments to save money at the price of quality, go back and reconsider them before your consumers complain.
Allow for smooth transactions. There’s nothing more aggravating than standing in line or having trouble with the checkout procedure. Customers want to pay out promptly when they locate what they want, whether you have hundreds of physical locations or a big ecommerce website. In-store and online, friction leads to abandoned carts.
Provide excellent client service. Don’t make customers wait if they require assistance deploying your services or fixing product difficulties. It is always preferable to overinvest in customer service than to risk receiving negative feedback.
Returns and refunds should be simple. Wasteing your customers’ time and money is one method to ensure a negative review. Don’t fight with them if they demand a refund. Yes, your earnings will suffer. They could buy from you again if you make the procedure seamless. If you decline, they may submit a negative review that may drive away potential clients.
Customers will remember the brand that went above and beyond to create a great experience among so many options.
2. Keep track of brand mentions
Thousands of times every day, major businesses are referenced on the internet. Customers, reporters, influencers, and even rivals may mention you. They may also be found on websites, blogs, social networking platforms, review sites, and mainstream news stories. They’re usually a wonderful approach to increase brand recognition, exposure, and conversions.
However, if your brand is linked to a crisis, a poor news piece, or a negative competition comparison, media mentions might be disastrous.
As a result, continuous monitoring is an important part of efficient brand reputation management. Consider alternatives to social listening technologies. To measure good and negative sentiment behind mentions, you’ll need technology, policies, and a team to handle external communications.
3. Professionally handle client feedback
Before making a purchase, the vast majority of purchasers (84 percent) read internet reviews. As a result, good management is critical. Responding to customer evaluations is simple at first glance, but it needs much consideration.
You might be inclined to fiercely defend yourself if a consumer makes a harsh complaint on Yelp or TrustPilot. Negative evaluations are sometimes taken personally by brand executives. But don’t strike out in rage since you’ll only add to the criticism.
Instead, acknowledge that you have heard them and that you wish to put things right. Demonstrate empathy and honesty, and offer to take the conversation offline to reach an agreement. It’s typically far simpler to settle a problem over the phone than it is via email or online forum remarks.
Also, don’t get so caught up in the negative evaluations that you overlook the favorable ones. If a consumer takes the time to write a nice review about your brand, you should thank them.
4. Participate in social media
Brand reputation management requires the use of social media profiles. This isn’t simply because they allow you to interact with clients; they also score quite well in Google. Your organization must have a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, despite the fact that there are hundreds of sites to select from.
But, as beneficial as social media is for establishing a favorable brand image, it is also the source of innumerable brand catastrophes each year. So, before you push “send” on any tweet, Facebook post, or Instagram photo, here are a few things to consider.
Make sure your material isn’t sarcastic, nasty, or arrogant.
Make sure the grammar, spelling, and punctuation are right.
While being professional, directly address followers and add personal touches.
Even on your personal/private profiles, avoid politics and hot button subjects.
Share good, altruistic brand news and post frequently across channels.
5. Invest in reputation management online.
Reacting to viral news cycles and bad reviews isn’t the only way to manage your internet reputation. A good ORM approach creates a fortress around your brand image to safeguard it over time.
Utilize content marketing.
Information marketing is the act of developing and distributing useful, high-quality content to a targeted audience in order to increase consumer engagement and, eventually, conversions. However, attention-getting material is also beneficial for establishing a positive brand image.
Obtain good feedback.
Google ranks online review networks highly for branded queries. Because customer reviews may have a direct influence on income, it’s worth your effort to claim and enhance profiles on a variety of popular sites.
If you don’t understand what SEO is, you won’t be able to control your brand’s reputation. Your favorite content will not rank without SEO, and your reputation will not increase. SEO reputation management improves the ranking of favored content in Google. As these assets climb in the rankings, they drive unfavorable search results down to page two and beyond.
Unfortunately, many reputation management firms continue to employ high-risk, short-term strategies because they are cost-effective to implement. They buy false reviews, pack sites with keywords, and employ antiquated link-building techniques that are against Google’s standards.
The problem with this approach is that it undervalues Google’s ever-evolving ability to detect tampering. These approaches will eventually catch up with your brand, and repairing the damage will be tough and costly.
A good SEO plan knows why Google favors some websites over others and how to take advantage of those aspects while keeping compliant with search engines. In our essay regarding the cost of online reputation management, we compare our method to that of our rivals.
Develop strategic alliances
The importance of cultivating brand evangelists and strategic alliances cannot be overstated. These are charity, business connections, media outlets, and other resources you may use to publicize your good actions online.
Perhaps your corporation makes anonymous donations to many charities, participates in community service, or controls a foundation. You don’t want to cheapen your altruism, but you also don’t want your good deeds to go unrecognized. Environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility are critical components of brand reputation management.
Management of Corporate reputation takes time.
Unfortunately, you can’t merely eliminate search results from the internet by hitting “delete.” Brand reputation management necessitates time, resources, and a comprehensive plan implemented by experts. If a company claims to rebuild your image in a few weeks for pennies on the dollar, think about the risk you’re taking in exchange.
Customers, investors, and workers all look to Google for advice on which businesses to trust. We collaborate closely with you to create a positive, truthful story that reflects your organization and heritage.
If your Brand needs Corporate Reputation Management feel free to contact us.
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