“It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it” – Warren Buffett
The importance of the careful and effective management of your company’s online reputation cannot be underestimated. Simply stated, a business’s brand and reputation will grow rapidly or die out depending on what is said online about your business.
Additionally, as the quotation mentioned above by Warren Buffet states, it takes a long time to build a healthy and positive reputation, buta few negative reviews can destroy the same reputation can be destroyed in no time at all.
Online Reputation Management (ORM) versus Social Media Management
Consumers, through the medium of social media, have the potential to make or break a brand. Unfortunately, it is also a well-known fact that dissatisfied customers tend to post about their negative experience with a brand or company, while satisfied customers tend to keep quiet. One or two negative reviews might not have a drastic effect on a brand’s sales figures; however, a significant number of these negative reviews have the potential to shut a business down. Consequently, it is vital to ensure that the brand’s reputation is kept as positive as possible.
With this in mind, the practice of ORM helps shape the consumer’s opinion about a brand or product. It also helps drive sales to the brand by ensuring that its reputation is positive, and its message resonates with the customer. Brian Hong, New Orleans ORM specialist, notes that “online reputation management has become an integral part of social media management.” Additionally, he goes on to state that it is requisite that brand management and brand marketing strategies need to include a combination of social media management as well as online reputation management.
Therefore, the question that begs is how do you maintain and improve your company’s online reputation?
Tips to improve your B
By way of answering this question, let’s look at four tips that will help you not only maintain your brand’s positive reputation, but they will help you improve your company’s reputation which in turn will drive your business growth forward, increase sales, and ultimately increase your bottom line.
Build relationships with your clients
It is critical to take the time to thank customers for when they say positive things about your brand online. Even though it seems like a simple thing, it is a vital part of improving your business’s client relations as well as an essential component of successful online reputation management.
Monitor your online reputation
As mentioned above, a good brand reputation takes many hours, months, even years to build. Additionally, the cost to build your brand’s reputation can run into six-figures. Unfortunately, it only takes a couple of bad reviews to destroy all this hard work. It is a simple matter for a positive (or negative) review to go viral in a matter of minutes via social media.
Do not delete negative reviews
A vital part of managing your company’s online reputation is to respond in a positive manner to negative reviews. It might seem easier to delete these reviews; however, the worst thing you can do is to delete these reviews, especially when taken in the context of how quickly content spreads virally. It is far better to turn the negative into a positive. Apologise you need to; however, make sure that your apology is not a false apology. State the facts. Finally, offer a small token of apology such as a gift voucher or a free product.
Publish authoritative content about your brand
Not only does this tip serve to advise your customers on how to care for the products, they buy from you, it establishes the brand as the market-leading authority in its niche. For example, if you sell down jackets, they need to be washed and cared for in a certain way. By publishing content on how to look after a down jacket, you will be seen as an authority on down jackets.
Participate actively in online communities
The Internet is full of discussion forums where consumers ask and answer questions about brands and products. Participation in these online communities allows you to keep track and manage your brand’s reputation and by answering questions factually and correctly contributes towards building your reputation as an authority in your niche.
Engaging with influential people who have a need to use your products and services will go a long way towards improving your brand’s reputation. People want to be like their role models; ergo, it is important to leverage this fact to grow your online reputation.
The importance on ORM or online reputation management cannot be stressed enough. As the quotation mentioned above by Warren Buffet states: It takes a very long time to build your brand’s reputation, but you can lose it overnight.