Reputation is defined as “the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.” The concept of reputation is so important when it comes to your business. Just like people have reputations, businesses do as well. In an increasingly online world, it’s more important that your business maintains a good image. More than just for superficial reasons, you need it to gain new customers.
So, what do you do if your online reputation is negative or if you receive negative publicity? That’s where reputation management comes in…
What is Reputation Management
Reputation management is a fairly simple idea. It’s simply managing how customers perceive you online. A more formal definition is:
“Reputation management is the effort to influence what and how people think of a brand or person.”
The main way this plays out is when a business receives negative press or a bad review. It’s important that businesses who experience this take immediate action to respond.
To help you maintain a positive online reputation, you can:
- Assess the situation. This can be done through a simple Google search of your brand online. Pay close attention to what comes up. Are your search results are primarily positive or negative?
- Continually monitor your search results. Keep a careful watch on what is being said about you online. Always respond to comments from customers regardless of if they are positive or negative. If they are negative, work to genuinely resolve the issue and avoid repeating it in the future.
- Create positive content: Focus your energy on the platforms you can control (your website/blog and social media profiles) to generate positive content.
- Focus on your brand: Your overall brand is the ultimate key to success in reputation management. Focus on what your business can do to improve and make a real, concerted effort to do better. In the end, this is the ultimate way to win more customers and earn more sales.
Beyond this, there are a few important aspects to consider when you’re learning this concept. We’re going to break them down into a few easy-to-understand sections to help you understand them fully:
1. It Typically Takes Place Online
Today more and more people are spending their free time online. It’s where we shop, where we talk to friends, where we go for news and advice. As you know, people have no issue expressing their opinions and thoughts online. Customers especially love leaving reviews, chatting about brands, and
Online reputation management works by actively monitoring mentions of your brand on social media and websites. This includes monitoring online reviews, addressing any content or customer feedback that could be damaging, and implementing strategies to prevent and solve problems that could hurt a business’s reputation. At its core, it helps you take care of smaller issues before they escalate, causing serious damage.
2. It Directly Affects Your Sales
Negative reviews are a sure-fire way to chase customers away from your business to your competitors. Research shows that one negative review drives away 22% of potential customers. This percentage increases with every negative review. In fact, three negative reviews drive away customers by 59.2%.
Beyond reviews, you can see how negative publicity can tank a business. Just look at the classic example of the American Airlines scandal. Following massive amounts of negative public exposure, their stocks plummeted by nearly half a billion dollars. While most businesses will never experience negative press on this scale, it can still have a significant impact. Every lost client is a loss to your business.
3. It’s Essential For Your Business to Succeed
If your business ever does experience negative online attention or reviews, it’s important to have a plan. Knowing how to actively and effectively approach negative press or reviews is key. Honestly, it’s essential for your business to thrive.
Going back to the American Airlines example, they survived the scandal and the lawsuits. They even survived the massive loss in investors. The way they did that was through reputation management. They had a strategy to handle the messy parts of what happened and worked hard to rebuild their online reputation one step at a time.
Beyond that, it’s crucial that any business has a positive reputation online. While you can’t control what people think or say, you can try your best to control what they see. You want your customers to trust you, trust your business, and ultimately purchase your product or services. A positive reputation is essential in all of this.
How Do You Know You Need Reputation Management?
Reputation management is a good fit for any size business that has received a negative review, bad news press, or negative attention online. It’s the natural next step when your business has suffered from negative publicity. Like we said, even one bad review can scare away 1/4 of potential customers, so it’s important to take it seriously.
How Does It Work?
One helpful solution can be using review management tools. An online reputation can be rapidly improved using these tools as they help you generate genuine positive reviews from customers. Here at Fusion One Marketing, we offer multiple ways to improve the customer experience and gather online reviews. We do this by integrating customer feedback options for the websites and platforms where your customers are.
We help you protect and improve your most valuable asset: your reputation. Our review system allows you to quickly and effectively solicit feedback, monitor customer satisfaction, and generate positive reviews. We make it easy to boost your online reputation and increase your sales.
To learn more about how our team can help with your reputation management strategy, contact us here.