21 Jul 5 Key Tips for Managing Your Brand’s Reputation Online
When it comes to Internet visibility, presence isn’t enough. For your presence to actually benefit your company, you’ll need to manage your reputation effectively to make sure that consumers know, like, and trust your brand. So what, exactly, does it mean to manage your reputation? All the standard rules of public relations apply. But there are a few specific things you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re looking at how to manage your reputation on the Internet. Here’s what you need to do:
- Be Active on Social Media
Digital marketing encompasses much more than ads; digital platforms, particularly social media, are also ideal when it comes to actually building relationships with your customers and engaging in dialogue with them. So be active on the social media platforms your target demographic uses. Distribute information promptly through those channels. Use humor when appropriate. You’ll see a major difference in how your customers start to perceive your brand.
- Blog Regularly (and Well)
Your company blog is an ideal place for you to distribute informational articles and industry news (that’s called content marketing), and writing on it regularly with a clear, consistent voice will help your customers get a sense of “who” you are as a company (even if your blog is actually written by several people or managed by a specialized contractor). Blogs are a full 63% more likely to influence consumer purchasing decisions than newspapers, so it’s worth investing some time and money in them. It’s also worth noting that blogging is an integral part of search engine optimization (SEO); companies that blog at least 15 times a month get five timesas much traffic. So if you want to get some businesses from the 12 billion queries typed into search engines in the U.S. each month, you’ll need to blog.
- Listen and Apologize
While both social media and your blog are great channels for you to distribute information, you need to remember to listen, too. When customers tell you about problems, give sincere apologies, and keep in mind that if the complaint is visible to the public, your apology should be as well. Make sure you don’t slip into non-apologies such as “we regret you feel that way” or “I’m sorry you misunderstood.”
- Let Go of Being Right
Contrary to popular wisdom, the customer is not always right. However, there will be times when you’ll need to concede even though the customer is in the wrong. Nothing makes you look pettier than an online fight, especially if it’s taking place on a public platform like Facebook or Yelp. Leave all that to junior high students.
- Monitor for Problems
Be proactive when it comes to your online reputation. Regularly look at review sites to see what consumers are saying, and Google both the company and any major players (CEO, president, etc.) to make sure nothing that could damage the brand will be in the public eye. You don’t want to be finding out about a problem once it’s already news.
Agree? Disagree? Chime in in the comments.