Brand reputation management seems to be crucial to the success of a business. A positive reputation could go a long way in building trust, loyalty, and boosting customer confidence in your business or brand ultimately driving more and more sales and revenues. In the current highly competitive environment, reputation management is given top priority by organizations especially, because online conversations regarding your business or brand are taking place 24×7. On social networking sites, blogs, online forums, search engines, news sites, and some other Internet sources, it is of pivotal importance for your business to be strategically positioned as an authority in the industry. As per https://www.inc.com, reputation is surely the secret ingredient for business success. When practically all competitors are investing in the same marketing tactics and the same advertising, reputation alone could establish your brand online and effectively drive overall revenue growth.
Entrepreneurs cannot take the risk of ‘losing face online’ as that could culminate in devastating consequences. We have seen that executives and even CEOs have lost their jobs or had to do a considerable amount of damage control because of misunderstandings, undiplomatic behavior, and the absence of a proper PR stratagem during a crisis. It is important to understand that your brand’s reputation could be at stake not necessarily because of gross misconduct. Just a simple misunderstanding, a snappy reply to a disgruntled customer, or honest mistake could end up doing significant damage to your brand’s reputation.
Today, it is important to maintain a stellar reputation if you are aspiring for online success for your business. A company, that is aiming at enjoying a robust online presence and aspiring to get benefitted from it must focus on following the right practices and averting undesirable mistakes that could put their reputation at stake. Positive reputation management is the cornerstone of online success for brands and businesses.
Mistake #1: To Assume That Your Organization’s Reputation Would Be Great on Its Own
The most common online reputation management mistake that all businesses must necessarily avoid is the assumption that your organization does not require any planning or reputation management stratagem. Simply because today the search results and customer reviews are mostly positive, you cannot rest assured that they would remain the same tomorrow. Moreover, if your organization has hardly any web presence, things could be pretty precarious and you would be far more vulnerable. You may suddenly notice a change often for reasons unknown to you or unconnected to the efficiency of your organization or quality of your product.
The more effort you dedicate towards building your brand’s online presence and reputation, the more grip you would be having over the results on the first page when people search for your company or products despite some negative feedback. Often bad reviews and negative press would be attracting a tremendous amount of attention online from readers and search engine algorithms alike.
As per the findings of studies conducted by the well-known Pew Research Center, approximately 50 percent of American adults are used to checking the reviews online before buying a product particularly in the age group of 18-49 years that comprises a substantial chunk of consumers in the United States. A robust online reputation management stratagem seems to be the secret to achieving success and safeguarding your business or organization from the hazardous impact of negative press.
Mistake #2 Trying to Counteract Negative Reviews by Being Aggressive
You simply cannot deal with negative reviews by taking an aggressive stance. All organizations are vulnerable to negative feedback. However, businesses could achieve success if they have the wisdom and the ability to manage negative press with patience and caution. You cannot be aggressive in your approach and you simply cannot come up with emotionally-charged responses to criticism. You must adopt a problem-solving attitude and start by acknowledging the customer’s concern and try to find the perfect solution together. Suppose the complaint or criticism is valid, you could get in touch with the customer privately and come up with attractive discount offers or free products as a way of compensation. Do not request customers to modify their reviews.
Mistake #3: Not Appreciating Positive Feedback
Often businesses regard reputation management as solely a damage control technique hence; they focus on negative reviews only. They fail to realize that for maintaining a robust online reputation, both negative and positive reviews and feedback deserve equal attention. You must certainly show your gratitude and appreciation to customers who leave positive feedback. You must thank them as gratitude seems to be the most effective weapon. Respond to their queries and do not forget to clarify the statements. Be vocal while expressing your gratitude.
Mistake # 4: Choosing to Post Fake Reviews
Before you ever think of posting fake reviews, you must realize that reputed sites such as Google and Yelp boast of features and algorithms that are effective in filtering out fake customer feedback. Hence, it would be a futile exercise if you consider wasting time on generating fake customer reviews online. You must alternatively, put in more endeavors and dedicate more time to earning genuine appreciation and positive customer reviews from all your loyal customers. Remember if you are caught your business would certainly lose credibility and your online reputation would be ruined beyond repair.
Mistake #5: Not Keeping Track of Competitors
You simply cannot evaluate how well your business is performing without comparing it with your competitors. Keeping track of your competitors’ progress acts as a reality check and helps you to realize that you are not the only one and that there is someone as great as or even better than you. This is precisely why competitive monitoring proves to be immensely useful. By keeping a constant tab on your competitors, you could consider evaluating their branding and even determining ways to implement much-improved techniques and strategies. You could keep track of your competitors’ email marketing, social media profiles, PR coverage, paid ad campaigns, etc. This is the best way of learning something productive and improving your overall branding stratagem.
We have discussed some of the common mistakes made by businesses that adversely impact their online reputation. You need to play your cards right if you wish to gain a robust online reputation. Online reputation management necessitates tactful and proactive monitoring of your brand’s reputation. You must consistently work towards building a robust brand reputation and fortify your credibility.