“Your brand name is only as good as your reputation.”
It takes a whole lot of effort to build a strong and positive brand image. And then all it takes is a negative tweet from one aggrieved customer to blemish a cautiously sustained brand image. In the present times when everyone is a hawk on social media, the lack of effective reputation management strategies can turn a mean tweet into an unnecessary PR debacle. And taking a reputation hit can take a heavy toll on the finances of business as a whole. Today 61% of the shopper’s research products online and an even greater number of people prefer to voice their opinions, be it favourable or unfavourable, through blogs, tweets and comments. So, reputation management nowadays can be effectively equated with online reputation management. Here are some strategies that can prove to be effective in sustaining a hard-earned business reputation.
You can’t do anything about your reputation if you don’t know anything substantial about it. People are increasingly putting in their two cents’ worth online, and so it is essential to keep track of every mention of your brand on social media platforms, search listings and review websites. This makes sure that any negative press is dealt with time so as to prevent some serious mudslinging. You should place Google, and Bing alerts to notify you about any and every mention of your products or brand; the most professional thing to do is using reputation-monitoring tools like Technorati and WhosTalking for tracking mentions.
Build a Network of Loyalists
For every disgruntled customer smearing your business reputation, there will always be one positive review that must be acknowledged with utmost gratitude. This will help you in building a network of loyal customers who will champion your brand every step of the way. You can also send personalized messages to your regular customers gently pushing them to endorse your brand.
Offer Correct Facts
Bad press usually stems from misrepresentation, misinterpretation and miscommunication. So whenever you sense an imminent crisis, do not deny its actuality and make sure your side of the story reaches the people. And the best way to do that is by providing the accurate numbers and facts. Revealing details which are otherwise deemed as confidential can be an effective reputation strategy.
Take Negatives in your Stride
The one thing that can serve as the kiss of death to your brand is being in denial about the negative comments plaguing it. Because once it becomes available online, people from all corners of the world are privy to it and denying something like that makes you look vain. The best thing to do is to acknowledge it with a heartfelt apology.