Reputation is a reflection of image formed by customers over a period. It is important. It is precious. Being cautious and mindful of your company’s or brand’s image is the very first step to establish your credentials in the market. The next step is to manage the reputation on different online channels. Yes, we are discussing the slow mindshare that is building up on your customer through online platforms.
Most customers are net savvy. They are quick and adept on internet to search for their required products and services through online portals. If they are not transacting, they are most certainly tallying the reviews and checking the know-about of your brand to validate their choice. After all consumer is used to finding assurance through the feedback of other users as compared to the company spokesperson or ad itself. So it does not really matter if you operate your brand or business through online. But due to the customer’s reach and awareness, the online mediums have pros and cons for your business. Thus, specialized stream like online reputation management is also a huge outsourced service by large businesses.
Since your business and the brand image are earned after a lot of hard work, it may not be wise to neglect to what the consumers are thinking or talking about you. However, the basic point to understand today is that reputation management is not only about managing the profile pages on social media platforms or publishing and following the Public Relations; there is much more. Online media is an ocean of active communication being driven by brands and their consumers, both. Today the media interaction is loud and open, unlike an older era where it was more like one way communication for brands.
Three significant reasons to implement a seamless online reputation strategy:
- Impact on sales – Today, it is not just active and loyal customers that matter to your business, but the passive customers too are contributing through word of mouth and referrals on different media and social media platforms. Any good or bad review of your brand image can go viral and impact the business positively or negatively. Your sales can show variation depending on how you have been rated by your reviewers or customers. Your revenue is directly proportional to the popularity gained.
- Transparent communication – As customers are more aware, vocal and expressive too; online channels are an easiest way for them to air their thoughts. As a brand or business, you should be open to transparent communication. You should be able to address queries and concerns openly so that the others can notice your response time and proactive approach taken towards an upset customer. As much as you would like to see the good comments; on a bad comment or feedback, show your openness to ideas and suggestions. This will reinforce the trust of your customer’s in you.
- Comparisons – A part of the game is to compare and then shortlist the most suitable product or service. As business you should be vigilant of views for your competitors and build on your best strategy. This creates opportunity to associate with your target audience, so harp on it. Knowing the temperament of your consumers, it helps you to sharpen your messages and promises as brand and deliver them properly. Comparisons have two advantages. You get to know about your competition, their strategy and their activities. You also get deep insight of your consumer base, including the potential consumers, their aspiration and requirements.
Method for online reputation management:
- Real comments – Avoid the tampering of comments or hiding them. When you are doing that your consumer can get more upset and irate about it. Rather, it is better to keep the conversation polite and open for negotiation or change. It may also be imperative for business to get your happy customers speak about you or rate you.
- Recent views – The reputation and rank online is not a static result. The google rankings are dynamic and are impacted by the recent most crawlers or comments in any search platforms. Hence, ongoing activities done for promotion have more importance.
- Frequency – It is but natural to be awed by a list of reviews as compared to a few comments. The user feels assured that there are more people who are aware of your name. Hence, creating more and more lead is an important aspect of online promotions.
- Quality – It goes without saying, that as much as the reviews are close to your core competencies or your values, it talks well of your brand. A review which is too general and sounds neither in favour nor is discriminatory can leave the user confused and ultimately drops the idea of selecting your brand.
- Alerts – You can set up some alerts like google alert or twitter alert which will help you to instantly trace any new thread of online comment and trend of views. This can be applied not only for your brand but also for your close competition so you are relaxed that you are not working in isolation from online community and news.
- Manage basic social media accounts – It is important to have some or all of the social media accounts depending on who your target audience is. Businesses that select their platform and stick to it rather than trending views at all places create far more stability in terms of their online reputation. Different common platforms in use include facebook, twitter, quora, linkedin google+ and blog.
After reading the above points, you would be waiting to click and manage your online reputation. As given above, whether we operate our business through online or no, our brand image is slowly shaping on these online channels of communication.
To seek help of specialists who run the online reputation management of clients, search for the apt vendor on google. Do a quality check of their work and ensure that they do not put your name on stake by promising and delivering immediate ranks and result by use of spam techniques.