Brand reputation management is a crucial part of any company. This article discusses how a company can manage the reputation of its brand. Aspects such as talking to clients, social media, and customer relations impact a brand’s reputation and thus success, especially client acquisition. A brand with a bad reputation loses customers and reliability. There are many ways to help with brand reputation management. There are different programs and software that can help with this process but by understanding which aspects to look out for, one can manually keep the reputation of their brand positive. As a consumer, you are more likely to engage with a brand with good brand reputation management than one with a bad one.
Reputation Management Chicago
There are four main ways to manage a brand’s reputation: online PR management, social mentions monitoring, negative content filtering, and negative content removal.
Web Reputation Management
Imagine you are looking to see which brand of utensils you’d like to buy. You probably don’t have many strong opinions about which spoon or fork you’d like but you definitely want something long-lasting and worth your money, so you do what many consumers do nowadays and type in your request to Amazon. The search on Amazon gives you thousands of products to choose from. How do you separate which products are good and which are bad? Well, you probably will end up making your decision based on reviews. You trust these online reviewers from strangers to ultimately help you decide which utensils to purchase. Status Labs states “85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” Thus online brand reputation through PR management is very important for customers to trust a company. Moreover, “78% of consumers trust peer recommendations while only 14% trust advertising.”
For good online reviews, brands need to pay attention to one key thing: customer service! Companies need to pay attention to customer service through PR management. There are many ways to improve customer service such as:
- Reaching out to customers individually
- Using surveys to gauge what customers think
- Using emails and newsletters to contact customers on a consistent basis
Back to your utensil shopping trip. What if two products end up having the same review? Both 5 star reviews? Well, you’d most likely go with the product with more reviews. If more people think it’s worth purchasing, than it must be. To increase your reviews, companies need to focus on connecting to customers. According to a study on email marketing, “with more than 90% of people checking their email every single day, there’s a really good chance that they’re going to see what you have to offer.” Therefore, connecting with your customers or potential customers over email will help increase sales and hopefully increase reviews as well. With more reviews, especially positive reviews, your brand’s reputation will also be better.
It is daunting that customers can be so influential towards your company’s brand reputation. On the bright side, “60% have written reviews for positive experiences, while just 25% have written reviews for negative experiences.”
This is not to say these negative reviews are not important although they are a lesser percentage because, according to Status Labs, “Businesses without 5 stars risk losing 12% of their customers” Therefore web reputation management through negative content filtering and negative content removal is very important.
The most effective way to deal with negative content is to reply to reviews. “71% of consumers say they’re more likely to use a business that has responded to their existing reviews” and “97% of review readers take in businesses’ responses to reviews (an increase of 89% from 2018)” (Status Labs). Moreover, according to an article from Forbes, “a poorly worded reply will get seen by 89 percent of customers.” As a consumer, a company that cares about its customers, addresses their needs, and is responsive is far more appealing to purchase from. The Forbes article also mentions the following characteristics as the best way to reply to a negative review: acknowledge and apologize, add a touch of specificity, take the situation offline, and keep it short and sweet.
Social Media Reputation Management
Another tactic for brand reputation management is increasing the amount of positive content produced about the brand through brand ambassadors or brand advocates. According to Hootsuite, “92 percent of people trust brand advocates.” This fits in with social mentions monitoring and social media reputation management in general. Social mentions by influential brand advocates can boost your brand’s reputation. A couple ways Hootsuite suggests brands recruit advocates are:
- Send them swag or discounts
- Send them hand-written letters
- Don’t skimp on likes and shares
- Reward the people who stand out in your community
Brand ambassadors or advocates can post on their own personal social media, whether it be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc, to promote your brand and products or services to all of their followers. This is especially useful when ambassadors have huge followings and are considered “influencers” on social media platforms. Their followers respect, love, and trust them and will listen to their positive reviews about your brand. What’s even better than random reviews, is a recommendation from your favorite Youtuber or celebrity.
Moreover, social media usage has been growing over the years. Instagram has over 1 billion active monthly users. According to SEO Design Chicago, “on Instagram, 53% of users follow their favorite brand and if compared to other popular social platforms, Instagram’s engagement with brands is higher than Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.” With users following their favorite brand, brand management is both important and effective with social media. Some examples of successful social media brand advocacy programs according to Hootsuite are the following:
- Through their #JoyOfStorage campaign, Ikea invited Facebook fans to post pictures of Ikea products in their homes for the chance of winning a prize.
- Starbucks’ famous @Tweetacoffee Twitter campaign generated $180,000 in direct sales in less than a month. Users just needed to tweet the hashtag along with the Twitter handle of someone they wanted to “tweet a coffee” to.
- Herschel’s campaign collected thousands of #WellTravelled posts from customers showcasing their travels—with or without Herschel Supply products. This increased Herschel Supply’s exposure to new customers, broadened their content library, and helped them engage with customers.
How your brand is perceived on social media is very important. How your feed looks, your content produced, and your amount of following are all important aspects of your brand’s reputation. It is important to keep a professional presence and for your brand’s social media accounts to all have a common underlying theme or story about your brand. A messy or unprofessional social media platform can cause people to be less trusting of your brand and harm your reputation. It is important to use clear photos, correct grammar, and choose fonts that will highlight your message. Imagine looking at a brand who posts blurry photos, always has typos, and an illegible font versus one with crisp photos, great graphics, and a clean font. You would be more inclined to purchase products or utilize the service of the second than the first. Also, “verified” accounts on social media have much more reputability and consumers are thus more likely to purchase from these accounts as well.
It is also important to engage with your followers and other social media users who view your account. Respond to comments and reply to direct messages. Just like replying to bad reviews shows consumers that your brand and company cares about them and their needs, engaging with followers on your social media does the same.
To maintain your social media for your brand, follow these components:
- Produce quality content
- Engage with consumers
- Build a following
- Recruit brand ambassadors
- Get verified
- Continue growing
Other than the social media for your brand, another important part of brand reputation management is to manage your personal social media. As the creator of the brand or someone who is strongly tied into it, you are also a spokesperson for it. Therefore consumers can associate any conflicts or negative characteristics with you also to your brand. Consumers do not want to support someone they do not like. For example, companies such as Hobby Lobby and Chick Fil A lose money because they are associated with homophobia, when in reality it is their CEOs or people connected with the company that are associated with homophobia. On the other hand, if you have a great reputation, people are more likely to trust your brand because they trust you as a person. It is important that as a spokesperson for your brand, you do not say inflammatory comments even on your own personal accounts because they will get out and can ruin your brand’s reputation.
Through managing reviews online as well as increasing positive content generated on social media, brand reputation management can be made simple. Remember it is important to stay on top of brand reputation management because a negative reputation will harm your sales for sure. It is important that consumers can trust you and your brand. Thus, a good reputation through good brand reputation management is key for a company’s success.