Research shows that 45% of business owners don’t like their online presence. Most people who feel this way aren’t equipped to handle the aftermath of a customer dispute, or disgruntled employees. Your brand represents who you are to consumers. Your brand is your greatest asset and most visible. Your brand reputation and image will be damaged. This can affect your social proof, influence, and capital in the market.

When you’re attempting to develop social proof as a business strategy, keep in mind that social networking has its pitfalls. We’ll go into more detail below. A simple phishing attack can quickly ruin your reputation and make it difficult to recover.

97% of businesses can be found online. 90% of respondents said they are influenced by customer reviews, word of mouth, and customer feedback, regardless of whether they’re positive, negative, or both.

What is reputation management in a nutshell?

While the business trends for 2019 might change, what you post online about your company can stay with you forever. You need to be able to manage your brand reputation and take proactive steps to be the best face you can be for the public.

Brand reputation management means engaging positively with the public, deleting inaccurate or false information, and dealing with negative comments or reviews head-on in order to promote a win-win relationship. It involves transparency, Genuine interactions, and some retroactive PR.

We all know that everything we say and do can end up online. Hot mic mishaps, holiday parties that were caught on video, and people who are just looking to cause discord for payback or fun are all examples.

You don’t have to attend a public event or leave your office. There are practical ways you can influence public perceptions and present yourself as a positive person.

8 Steps to protect brand reputation

1. Keep your employees and associates happy.

Disgruntled vendors and employees are a major source of negative online reputation. It is possible to avoid this by being honest and transparent in your business dealings.

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It helps you keep your business partners and team happy. Employee satisfaction is an integral part of branding and should be part of your overall business strategy. Here are some ideas:

  • Start a satisfaction program for employees.
  • Establish a culture of feedback that encourages staff to feel involved in the company’s success.
  • Create a volunteer program or match donations for causes important to your team.
  • Choose a cause you want to support, and invite your entire team to get involved.

Also read: Top 10 Online Reputation Management Tools in 2022

2. Google your business at least once per week.

How many times have you Googled your company in the past? You can discover a lot of information by simply typing your company name or professional name into the search bar once per week.

You can see the internet through the eyes of a customer. This could lead to online reviews you don’t know about, gossip about your business on social networks, and other public comments that pop up when someone mentions your name or your business.

Potential customers can be affected by bad reviews that you find when you search for your business using Google, Yahoo Search, and Bing. You don’t have the obligation to allow negative comments to sit around and ruin your reputation. You can make it a habit to monitor your online reviews and take charge of them in a structured daily process.

Take note of the date and location of any inaccurate or misleading information, and then delete it. Talk to the site owner if you are unable to remove the information or allow a rebuttal. You can make positive, SEO-optimized blogs and content to replace the information that is not possible to be removed.

Negative reviews and complaints from customers are the only reason you should not delete them. These issues should be resolved publicly, promptly, and with a satisfactory result as the goal.

3. Create your own positive press.

You are the most important person who knows everything about you online, other than customer reviews and comments. You can control comments and reviews to a certain extent online by engaging in forums and participating online. Make your online presence more powerful by using your social media channels to share behind-the-scenes photos of your team at work Feel-good photos of happy customers are a great way to show your appreciation. Also, you can actively seek out positive reviews and testimonials.

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Create evergreen content that links your brand journey to the journey of your buyers. Address any negative reviews and complaints as soon as you can. Forty percent of customers report positive feelings about a company. This shows that you care about customer satisfaction and are willing to take responsibility for reciting a wrong.

4. Monitor your digital footprint.

Control brand perception by monitoring key metrics. You should be alert for sudden changes that could be linked to negative publicity. Google and admin dashboards can show spikes in traffic and help you to analyze up and down trends.

Because timeliness is a problem, There are many tools you can use to receive real-time alerts when people talk about you online.

5. Protect your privacy and networks.

Negative press can quickly sink a brand, especially when it involves security breaches that expose customer information. Network infiltration can be prevented by educating employees about security and reducing human error. Although a virtual private network is recommended by security professionals make, this technology has its fair share of scams. These are the best ways to protect yourself:

  • Secure hosting platforms offer encryption and leak protection.
  • Strong encryption and access control can limit access.
  • Make sure all software, devices, and networks are up-to-date
  • All networks and devices should be protected with a VPN.

6. Get social proof.

Consumers trust warnings and recommendations from friends more than ads and paid spokespersons about products and services. This is social proof. It is essential to create social proof for any brand or company to build trust.

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It’s often free and very persuasive word-of-mouth advertising. You need to build and nurture advocates for your brand by engaging an influential with a large audience, providing the best service, as well as encouraging social likes and shares.

When using these platforms, be safe on social media. Unscrupulous individuals can use the comments and information on profiles to launch phishing campaigns and spread misinformation.

Also read: How To Increase Your Social Media Growth In 2022

7. User experience is at the forefront of design.

Your website is often your first contact with your audience. It should be designed with security and user experience in mind. This will not only bring more people to your site but also makes it more likely for them to return. It also helps you rank higher in the SERPs.

The layout of your website should be simple and clear. It should also contain relevant, useful content and links. Finally, the checkout process must be fast, secure, and painless. Select a reliable and high-uptime hosting provider to improve speed performance, you can use a Content Delivery Network.

8. Get to know your prospects.

Human-to-human (H2H), interaction is becoming increasingly difficult in the age of AI, machine-learning technology, and other AI-based technologies. You can streamline your core functions with advanced technology and allow your staff to concentrate on customer service and solving their problems.

This can be as easy as sending a personal email with special discounts. Start a customer loyalty program, and send holiday greetings or cards to customers on birthdays or other occasions.

Final thoughts

Only one bad interaction can tarnish your brand. There is so much competition online and so many platforms cleaning up negative reviews and misinformation could be a full-time job.

This job could be made easier by engaging in proactive interaction, protecting your network, and hiring a professional reputation management company to monitor your brand.