Are you familiar with reputation management for your business? Does your company have a reputation management plan? If you answered “no” to these questions, then it’s time to take a look at the importance of reputation management and create a plan to manage your company’s reputation.
What is Reputation Management?
Reputation management is the process of monitoring and improving how others see your business. It’s also a method companies use to protect their online image. There are even reputation management services that protect their online image.
When it comes to reputation management, there are two crucial points to remember:
1). Monitoring: means keeping track of what competitors, customers, and influencers say about your company.
2). Respond: is the process of taking proactive measures to create a positive identity and improve what others say about your business.
In the following sections, we’ll take a look at steps you can take to create and start a reputation management plan today!
Step 1: Listen to What People are Saying
This is the first and most important step when it comes to reputation management. Start by checking to see where your brand is being discussed. For instance, are people talking about your business on social media channels, forums, review sites? The key is to focus on those sites that are most important to your business.
For instance, if you own a grocery store, then you’ll want to pay attention to sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, and others. Businesses such as tourist sites, hotels, and restaurants may also want to monitor sites such as TripAdvisor and Google. The key is that customers will leave negative or positive reviews online based on their interactions with specific businesses, including yours.
Today, it’s easy for people to make snap evaluations of your business and then share their thoughts on social media. Most people have a smartphone and have the ability to instantly leave a review or comment. These comments need to be tracked, too.
Step 2: Create a Response Plan
Once you begin tracking what’s said about you online, it’s then time to create a response plan. Remember, the goal is how to build and improve your reputation.
Before creating a plan, you’ll first need to consider these questions:
Who will do the monitoring of comments and reviews?
In a larger company, this job will fall to those in marketing or who are already taking care of the company’s social media channels.
Who decides whether or not comments need a response?
In all cases, responses need to be polite. When there’s a good comment, then you may choose to share it. However, for negative comments, reaching out to the person may help change their mind.
The key here is to make sure there’s clear guidance on the type of comments the team can freely respond to and those that require advice from management. This should be determined from the beginning when creating a reputation management plant.
Who knows what position the company needs to take in response to issues and questions?
For those times when the frontline person isn’t able to respond or isn’t sure how to respond, it is necessary to know who they can consult. This person may be the one who formulates and sends out the response.
No matter who you choose for this position, this must be clearly determined in the plan. Someone needs to have responsibility for these types of responses.
Who is responsible for delivering the responses?
The person who is normally in charge of delivering social media messages may send the message. However, there may be times when it’s necessary to have an official spokesperson give the message.
Freelancers and solopreneurs will have to take on these jobs.
Step 3: Handle Negative Comments the Right Way
What happens when you get a negative review? The tendency is to ignore negative reviews and comments. However, doing so could lead to a poor reputation across the web. Remember, these reviews will be online for a very long time.
The right way to tackle negative comments is to be friendly, professional, and polite. Avoid making things personal or taking offence. The main reason a customer leaves a negative comment or review is for a poor experience with a service or product. By responding to these reviews and comments in a professional, polite, and friendly manner, you may be able to instigate interaction between you and the customer. This could lead to a way to help solve the customer’s issue.
The key here is to respond quickly when someone leaves a negative review or comment. And remember to use negative feedback as a way to learn more about your products and services. Listening to negative feedback could be a great way to learn about problems with your services and products. When used the right way, you can use this type of feedback to improve what you offer. This can lead to a better reputation, too.
Step 4: Build on the Positives
Just as you can learn to build on the negative feedback, you can also learn to build on the positive comments and reviews. Positive feedback is a way to improve and grow your online reputation. Customers love it when you choose their positive feedback to showcase, too.
And remember to include those who “lurk” but don’t leave feedback. These people usually read the feedback and leave. About 90% of people are actually “lurkers.” To encourage these people, you might consider creating content and images that can be shared. You can also encourage those in the community to share their own images. Plus, you can also ask for feedback.
Step 5: Follow Through and Measure Results
Finally, it’s time to follow through on any promises made to customers. For instance, always follow through if you promise to send a discount to a customer for their poor experience. Otherwise, customers will say you lied to them, which will spread faster than a wildfire online. So following through is essential, especially when making promises online.
It’s also necessary to measure the results of all your new reputation management plant. There are several tools that can help you with this part of the plan:
- The Brand Grader
Summing It Up
Creating a reputation management plan and following it through are methods you can use to improve your company’s reputation.
Remember, your company’s online reputation can make or break your business. So, it pays to take reputation management seriously!