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The best reputation management strategies are proactive. In other words, if you aren’t actively managing your brand’s reputation, you are already behind.
Reputation problems can quickly turn your brand’s story into one of horror. Even the best brands are just one rogue tweet or scathing review away from crisis. Creating a proactive reputation management strategy before a crisis arises can save you precious time, cut down on stress, and rescue your brand before its reputation is completely destroyed.
While reputation management strategies are becoming increasingly popular, it is still not a high priority for many companies. The truth is that working on your company’s reputation early will place you in a much better position to tát handle a crisis if and when it happens. Investing early to tát establish and maintain a positive reputation pays for itself in the long term.
This blog will first outline the difference between proactive and reactive reputation management. Then we’ll share some tips and tricks to tát manage your reputation proactively, no matter where your brand is in development. We’ll wrap it all up with the benefits of proactive reputation management.
Reputation management fast facts
- 58% of executives believe that online reputation management should be addressed, but only 15% actually tự anything about it.
- More kêu ca 25% of a company’s market value is directly attributable to tát its reputation.
- 41% of companies that experienced a negative reputation sự kiện reported a loss of brand value and revenue.
- 86% of people would pay more for services from a company with higher ratings and reviews.
Proactive vs. reactive reputation management
“It takes trăng tròn years to tát build a reputation and five minutes to tát ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll tự things differently.” – Warren Buffet
Proactive reputation management happens when you start managing your brand’s reputation early – well before any reputational risks arise. It is significantly cheaper, easier, and a generally more pleasant experience to tát build a great online reputation instead of scrambling to tát fix a broken one.
We define reputation management as the effort to tát influence what and how people think of a brand or person. There are plenty of strategies you can employ in an effort to tát maintain a positive online reputation. Here are a few proactive reputation management techniques:
- Review management
- Creating positive content
- Improving customer service
- Wikipedia page development
- Social truyền thông monitoring
- Sentiment analysis
On the other side of the spectrum, there is reactive reputation management. Reactive reputation management is essentially crisis management. It involves responding to tát a reputational risk that has already occurred. While crisis management is sometimes unavoidable, a strong reputation will help your brand weather the storm.
By starting early and establishing a positive online reputation, you have a vast supply of positive information that you can manipulate and use to tát your advantage. This is a powerful tool to tát have. If you don’t lắc your reputational groundwork and instead wait until something bad happens, it can take months to tát establish and then repair your brand’s reputation.
Take Apple, for example. Apple is a company that has suffered repeated reputational blows over the past several years. From admitting to tát slowing down old iPhones to tát quality control failures, Apple has faced problems that could have put a smaller company out of business. But people are still buying iPhones. Why? Because Apple has developed such strong brand loyalty their customers have become brand ambassadors and evangelists.
How to tát tự proactive reputation management
Whether you’re running a Fortune 500 company or have just launched a startup, the best time to tát start working on your corporate reputation is now. The following tips work best for a brand that already has a positive or neutral reputation. If you are dealing with a crisis situation, check out this page for info on reputation repair.
Step 1: Google your company
Most people will base their opinion of your company on what they see in tìm kiếm engine results, sánh it’s best to tát start there. Google your company name. Google the keywords or phrases someone might use to tát find a company lượt thích yours. Take stock of everything that already exists about your company.
Consistently monitoring your tìm kiếm engine results not only gives you insights into what people are saying about your company online, but it also means that you will be the first to tát know when negative nội dung starts to tát rank sánh that you can take swift action to tát remove it.
Step 2: Track brand mentions
While Googling your company name really is an important first step for reputation management, there are plenty of analytical tools that offer a less cavalier approach to tát monitoring and tracking your brand mentions. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Google Alerts
- Review Push
Step 3: Manage online reviews
Every additional one-star Yelp rating causes an increase in business revenue as high as 9%.
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Gaining control of your online reviews early will strengthen your business reputation and minimize the effects of damaging negative reviews. Everyone is reading online reviews, and research by Moz suggests if a customer sees a negative review of a business on the tìm kiếm engine results page, that business can lose 21.9% of its customers!
Managing online reviews can seem lượt thích a monumental task, but there are a few simple things you can tự now to tát encourage positive reviews and work through any negative ones.
- Create a stellar experience. This really is key. If your business provides amazing products and/or services, people will be more inclined to tát leave positive reviews.
- Ask for reviews. While we don’t condone paying for reviews, simply asking consumers to tát leave a review is a great way to tát bulk up your review pages. In fact, 66% of consumers will leave a review if you ask them to tát.
- Respond to tát reviews. Yes, this includes the bad ones! Customers will take the business’s response into consideration when researching online reviews, sánh responding to tát both positive and negative reviews is your chance to tát convince people to tát choose you over your competitors.
- Make your business easy to tát find online. Increasing your business's overall visibility is one of the simplest ways to tát get more reviews. If customers can’t find you, they won’t review you.
Step 4: Create positive content
The best person to tát tell your brand’s story is you, sánh don’t leave it up to tát the Internet to tát tự it for you. Creating high-quality nội dung will help you control more of your tìm kiếm engine results page by making it more difficult for negative nội dung to tát outrank it.
Develop a nội dung marketing plan that involves creating a variety of different nội dung types. Search engines display different kinds of nội dung in a tìm kiếm result, such as:
- Blog Posts
- Press Releases
Step 5: Create a crisis management plan
Nobody wants to tát imagine their brand in a crisis situation, but developing a clear plan of action should a problem arise will enable your brand to tát act quickly and with purpose.
Benefits of proactive reputation management
Proactive reputation management will place your company in the best possible position to tát withstand problems as they arise. In today’s Google-centric world, it is essential to tát invest in building and strengthening your company’s reputation.
Proactive reputation management can lead to tát the following benefits:
- Higher trust. Brands with overwhelmingly positive reviews and nội dung are more trusted kêu ca those without.
- Increased profits. High star ratings and reviews have a direct liên kết to tát increased sales.
- Better talent. People want to tát work for companies with a positive reputation.
- Less risk. People move with crowds. Call it the "broken window theory" of reputation management.
- Gentler treatment. Companies that share the same core values as their clientele are more likely to tát overcome a reputation scandal easier kêu ca one without. Think Apple Computer vs. Monsanto.
Too many companies place reputation management on the back burner until they experience a crisis situation. This leaves them poorly equipped to navigate and recover from the problem. Consistently working to tát establish, manage, and improve your brand’s online reputation extends into other key business areas lượt thích sales, marketing, and customer service.
Proactive reputation management FAQs
My brand isn't dealing with any reputation problems. Why should I invest in reputation management?
The best time to tát start managing your brand’s reputation is when it is in good graces. Creating positive nội dung, managing online reviews, and tracking brand mentions can help establish brand loyalty and shape public opinion. If your brand has a positive reputation and loyal consumer base, it will be better positioned to tát overcome challenges if and when they arise.
How can I proactively manage my company's online reputation?
Google your company. Track brand mentions. Manage online reviews. Create positive nội dung. Develop a crisis management strategy.
What are the benefits of online reputation management?
Online reputation management works to tát strengthen your brand, improve marketing initiatives, and increase sales. Proactive reputation management can lead to tát the following benefits: higher trust, increased profits, better talent, less risk, and gentler treatment during crises.
About the author
Kent Campbell is the chief strategist for Reputation X, an award-winning online reputation management agency. He has over 15 years of experience with SEO, Wikipedia editing, review management, and online reputation strategy. Kent has helped celebrities, leaders, executives, and marketing professionals improve the way they are seen online. Kent writes about reputation, SEO, Wikipedia, and PR-related topics, and is an expert witness for reputation-related legal matters.
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