Let’s face it — many business owner are putting brand reputation initiatives on the back burner. In fact, some still perceive reputation management only as mitigating bad reviews or unflattering social media comments.
But your brand’s reputation is too valuable an asset to be ignored or underappreciated. Step into your customers’ shoes: would you rather do business with a company that lacks social proof and clear values or a company that boasts significant social following and tons of reviews on trusted platforms?
Reputation management is not your last resort in a moment of crisis, but a set of strategic activities that help you drive more sales by building customer loyalty and trust. It’s not an easy endeavor, but you can support your marketing team with digital tools to automate certain tasks or even with a custom reputation management software that would streamline the whole process.
Whatever tools you use, the key to success is being consistent with these brand reputation management activities:
For your business to prosper, your clients should be able to find you first. A strong online presence is a surefire way to garner attention and build your client base. In a socially networked world, there is no shortage of social media channels to promote your business. Pick the platforms you are most familiar and comfortable with and set up your accounts there.
And a thought-out publishing schedule will save you from stressful last-minute planning and help you stay on the message at all times. Hootsuite, a popular choice for many businesses, offers extensive scheduling functionality, among other things. Another social media management tool Buffer also makes is easy to schedule your posts but boasts a simpler, more user-friendly design.
But if you are running a large company with multiple social accounts, the subscription fees can add up in a big way. Factor in any license fees, support costs, and a slow roll-out of updates and new features that are still rather generic, and you might be better off investing in a custom solution aligned with your business needs — and no one else’s.
A reputation management strategy can only be effective if you know exactly what to manage, that is how people perceive your brand. While you can’t read their mind, you can actively track what customers say about your brand online — and respond to it. Special monitoring tools like Google Alerts will help you never miss a negative comment unattended or leave a query unanswered.
Timely response is not the only benefit of screening social media for mentions of your brand. Paired with machine learning (ML), a custom monitoring software will help you analyze the overall mood, or sentiment, behind those mentions providing you with invaluable insights to correct your marketing initiatives.
Human nature is such that when it comes to choosing a product or a service, we eagerly trust the opinions of other fellow users rather any expert. The underlying reason is that we identify ourselves with other customers and relate to their pain points.
Positive customer reviews speak louder than any promise of superb quality or unmatched functionality of your product. But happy customers rarely leave a comment or write a review — much unlike angry, unsatisfied clients. A dedicated service called Yotpo encourages users to give feedback in a hassle-free way — via review request emails, widgets for on-site reviews, a Q&A community, and other tools.
As mentioned earlier, unhappy buyers are more likely to vent on social media, hurting your brand reputation. But if you spot an unsatisfied client early on, you can take proactive measures and put out a fire before it spreads.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple one-question survey used to measure how eager a customer is to recommend your service on a scale from 0 to 10. Those who give you a score less than 6, or detractors, should be your primary concern. Reach out to them with a positive course of action to improve their customer service experience before they take their anger and frustration to social media.
It’s not enough just to monitor your own brand anymore. To truly understand where your business stands, you need to measure it against your top competitors. An in-depth competitive analysis will reveal critical insights into strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, which you can further leverage to get an edge. Are you missing on any social media channels or any target audiences? Is there a gap in your competitors’ services that you can cover?
One of the tools that help you effectively garner competitive intelligence is Buzzsumo. Among other things, the solution allows you to track competitor content across social networks and audiences to see what works for your competition and compare your performance.
A lot goes into shaping a winning brand reputation management strategy, but the benefits far outweigh the invested time and effort. And with the right reputation management software that supports your business needs and priorities, you can easily control your narrative and become a brand trusted by many.
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