It takes a company a long time to build a strong brand. And one fine morning, you discover that the Internet is brimming with defamatory comments concerning your brand. Nowadays, owing to the real-time nature of social media, brands do not need media outlets to carry a piece of news for their images to get tarnished; a few tweets and retweets, and blogs are enough to accomplish the same. And a poor reputation can cost a brand a great deal! This is where reputation management strategy comes into play. Reputation management companies can help prevent mudslinging as well as tackle PR crises tactfully. Here are some reputation management strategies that companies may want to consider to recover from dire situations-
You can manage your reputation only when you know about it. With more and more people voicing their opinions online, it is vital to track all mentions of your brand, the products and your company on search listings, review websites and social media platforms. This is to ensure that any potential crisis can be swiftly dealt with before it becomes a PR fiasco. You can have Google, and Bing alerts in place; the more professional thing, though, would be to use reputation-monitoring tools such as WhosTalkin and Technorati to track mentions.
Encourage Positivity and Build Relationships
For every negative comment tearing your brand down, you will find a positive review that you need to acknowledge with the most heartfelt and sincere thank you. Building a network of loyalists can be a very effective reputation management strategy. You can also reach out to your target customers with personalised messages gently nudging them to endorse you.
Put the Facts Online
More often than not, negative press stems from miscommunication and misinterpretation. So, the moment there is a potential crisis on the radar, instead of denying its existence, the best thing you can do is to make your side of the story heard by offering correct facts and numbers. Giving up facts that are otherwise considered confidential can be an effective reputation management strategy.
Let Customers Vent and Respond to Negatives
The worst thing you can do for your brand is to deny the existence of negative reviews or comments or press. Because, once it is available online, the chances are that people from all corners of the world have gotten a whiff of it, and denying its existence only makes you look arrogant. You must acknowledge it and offer a sincere apology, if needed, or try to clear up the facts in case of any confusion. And you must do it all with a calm demeanour.