If we go back to a few years only, online branding and influencer marketing seem to be associated with bigger brands and market leaders only. Celebrity endorsements were used to building brand reputation among the target audience, and no small business was concerned about their online reputation management.
However, it is a matter of today! More and more businesses are concerned about how their image is reflected upon the internet. This has opened a new window for customer feedback, and it has become the most trusted brand representation for any brand online.
Our audience is more active than ever. There are several online platforms where they can share their opinion, feedback, and reviews online. This has made it compulsory for all sizes of brands and businesses to manage their online reputation.
for any brand online. Our audience is more active than ever. There are several online platforms where they can share their opinion, feedback, and reviews online. This has made it compulsory for all sizes of brands and businesses to manage their online reputation.
This suggestion is strongly supported by the fact that 85% of consumers start their customer journey with a Google search. When the first thing people do to learn about your business is search it on google, you definitely cannot afford to disappear on SERPs or show up as untrustworthy or disreputable.
You can build your brand’s online reputation by following a practical guide mentioned in the below paragraphs. Let’s begin.
Evaluate your brand’s image Online
Before planning any strategy for building your brand’s reputation, you need to evaluate your existing reputation in the first place. This deals with the understanding of your audience and the way they see your business.
It is important to monitor your brand to come up with a sustainable solution you can put into practice for your future brand management strategy. You can check the following things in the beginning.
To avoid getting mislead by cached data, use an incognito window to check your brand’s performance on Google search results.
- Write your brand name in the search bar and see what appears on the first page of your search.
- Identify what Google My Business-related features come up on that page and evaluate your presence there: ratings, comments, reviews, user-generated photos, etc.
- Try to fix any misleading results by contacting the site owner and convincing them to rectify the wrong perception of your brand.
- Moreover, if there are any reviews and feedback, try to identify an overall impact of your business from your audiences’ responses. If it’s positive, you’re doing great. However, if most of the feedbacks adds up to an overall negative impact, you need to start working on your brand’s reputation management.
- What kinds of websites appear for your brand name search? Do most visitors find your business from search engines or external sites? To find this, go to your Google Analytics and find your website traffic Sources. This will give you an idea of where your audience is coming from.
Build an Online Building Brand Reputation Strategy
Establish your goals for managing your online reputation. Focusing on platforms that you have direct access to is the best course of action when it comes to response time.
You should prioritize tasks based on their importance and impact. What are the critical tasks that must be handled first? A plan should be in place to handle critical and challenging tasks. It isn’t always best to start with the easier tasks first.
If you take these factors into account, you can create a strategy. Whatever channels appear the most within these criteria would be the ones you should begin working on.
Another Thoughtful Read: Should Your Business Try Experiential Marketing?
Policy & Tone of Voice
The path to building a successful brand success involves a lot of challenges. When dealing with your online reputation, it is imperative to establish company-wide guidelines and a tone of voice. These policy documents will vary in scope based on the type of business, but the general idea will remain the same.
Types of Responses
While handling your brand’s social media channels and other online platforms, you need to prepare responses for different situations. You have to be careful about a new review, comment, or other types of mention. Therefore, it is crucial to have a definition of what is urgent and what can wait, who is responsible for what, and what the best response is.
Urgent v/s Non-Urgent Responses
Your business must determine what type of reviews are of the utmost importance. When you know that your customers are browsing Quora frequently, any negative feedback there can negatively impact your product. You should pay extra attention to any mentions on the site. Prioritize cases according to their importance to your brand and customers. Any bad review from a popular profile may go viral and become a bad reputation for your business. If any such case appears, handle the situation on an immediate basis.
If a comment falls under a non-urgent type, you can delay the response depending on your regular time of response. You should use the typical response when you are dealing with cases that can be easily resolved. For typical concerns and questions, you may use a template you have prepared in advance
No Response at all
Businesses have to deal with trolls and haters who won’t behave reasonably. It is sometimes better to refrain from responding because doing so will only escalate the conversation and have a negative impact on your business. You can define scenarios in your policy documents where a “blacklist action” needs to be put into practice.
Create a document that includes FAQs about your brand. Keep all the answers within this document so the team members can use it as a guide for responding to comments and reviews.
Moreover, you need to determine who is responsible for a certain channel and stick to it. This will prevent any hassle regarding the responsibility and accountability of team members.
Tone of Voice
The tone of your response to negative (or even positive) reviews and comments is extremely important. Each brand’s policy will vary in this area, but ensure to adhere to the guidelines you set for your brand.
As a general rule, stay away from bullies and avoid escalating disputes. Even in DMs, you must adhere to your tone of voice rules since people can share private conversations with the public.
Another Thoughtful Read: How to Develop a Strong Brand Voice for Your Business?
Define a Strategy for any Difficult Situation
No crisis can be predicted, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for one. It is, therefore, necessary to always have a crisis management strategy in place since things can escalate online at an unprecedented rate. You need to prepare a few things to be ready for any unpredicted situation.
You should be aware of industry trends, as changes in legislation or the introduction of new technology can put a lot of stress on your business.
Communicate with your audience efficiently by knowing where they are and where they are located. Considering that a majority of your audience uses Instagram as their primary communication channel, consider using this medium as your primary communication channel; this way, you will reach more people in less time.
Whenever you receive a negative comment, react as quickly as possible and draft a brief response. Be wary of copying & pasting in mass – respond to each comment individually and in a personal way during a crisis.
The Bottom Line
So, you read how you can manage your brand’s online reputation in the beginning and along the journey. However, as you move on to take bigger steps for your business, you can think about adding innovative ways to build your brand name. For instance, you can get in touch with a mobile app development company in Dallas to get a mobile app for your business. A mobile app can help you keep your audience connected.