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Why your business needs to implement Reputation Management Strategies

It is a fact that your brand reputation determines your sales and business success. And your brand reputation begins online. Gone are the days of word of mouth and professional reviews. People find out about brands and businesses by searching online, and they pay attention to what they read. This is why you need to have reputation management strategies in place. 

Things like social media and online reviews can make or break the reputation of a brand or business. People read an estimated ten online reviews before they make decisions on what product or service they will buy. If you do not have active reputation management strategies in place, you are leaving your reputation up to pure chance. No one can afford that kind of hands-off approach in today’s market. 

People will leave all kinds of comments and reviews about your business and your brand. And it is likely that some of them will be unfair and unjustly negative. Rather than leaving this kind of online activity to caprice, reputation management strategies work to manage these kinds of online issues and boost your online reputation. 

What is reputation management? What are reputation management strategies? And what steps can you take to get control of your online reputation? This guide will introduce you to reputation management strategies.  

What is reputation management?

Reputation management, or brand reputation management, is the set of practices and strategies used to manage the ways consumers perceive your brand online. These practices and strategies are designed to improve your brand’s image. Reputation management centers primarily on earned media, shared media, paid media, and owned media. This means responding to and actively engaging in things like online reviews on sites like Google and actively engaging social media to optimize your brand reputation. 

To get a sense of how all of this works, we need to focus on specific types of online media:

Earned media

This type of media is the promotion and coverage of your brand through organic channels. When your brand is mentioned or online without your active promotion, this is earned media. It means your brand has earned some type of media attention. This is essentially word of mouth. Many experts believe this is the ideal way to boost your reputation since customers tend to trust the fact that the coverage is not sponsored by your brand. Other people are talking about you, and your reputation has been earned with valuable products and worthwhile services. 

Shared media

Shared media is any content intended to be shared by users online. In nearly all cases, shared media is content that gets shared by other people on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are the primary media through which shared media finds its audience. Reputation management works by providing strategic content on social media that will ideally generate user activity. While the content may be designed by you or marketers, the degree to which it gets shared is out of your control. Shared content can have the same effects as earned content in that users are responsible for generating a positive feedback loop by sharing your content.  

Paid media

This includes all marketing content that requires payment and sponsorship on websites and other media. Anything like Google AdWords, display ads on social media, and traditional paid advertising counts as paid content. You do have complete control over paid media, and this is often the first strategic avenue of online reputation management. Crafting the right content for paid media can begin the process of generating the right online reputation for your brand. 

Owned media

Owned media would be any online property owned by your company. This includes social media, blogs, websites, email marketing campaigns, webinars, and self-hosted videos. Since this type of media is completely within your control, you can place any content you wish online. These are ideal channels for beginning the process of online reputation management. 

Why should I consider having a reputation management strategy?

Any business that is in any way competitive now maintains an online presence. Websites, social media, and blogs make up much of that online presence, and these avenues make it possible for a business to draw attention to its brand to attract customers. All of this depends on high-quality content and strategies like SEO. These steps are effectively the end of your online reputation. 

But the way reputations are fashioned on the internet, a great many other factors can come into play. Anything from a negative comment that gets shared to a bad review on something like Yelp can seriously damage your online reputation. You do not need to leave these kinds of things to chance. There are ways to intervene and modify things like negative content about your brand. 

Without some kind of reputation management strategy, you leave your online reputation to the whims of online activity—online activity you can directly influence with the right methods. Once your online reputation gets damaged, this process can and will have an impact on your business. Recent statistics show that about 98 percent of people read online reviews before buying a product or service. Without an online reputation management strategy, the reputation of your brand can be completely determined by these reviews. 

Reputation Management Strategies

To get control of your online reputation, you need solid reputation management strategies. These strategies take aim at specific areas of your own online presence and also the ways your brand is being talked about online. The steps toward successful online reputation management strategies include:

Constantly audit your profiles and reviews

This order of business on reputation management is research and an audit. This is the phase in which to find and discover the online conversations about your brand—what people are saying about you online. You need to be unsparing in the research and audit phase because you must find out all the things people are saying. Both the good and the bad, and you need to understand why they are saying these things. The goal is to get a deep understanding of how your brand is being perceived. 

You do this audit by examining customer reviews, review sites, and social media, and doing something like simply searching your company’s name on Google. 

Have a Response Plan For Your Reviews

The next step is to formulate a response plan. Once you know how people perceive your brand, you can focus on specific issues to decide on a response. For example, if it seems that people are saying negative things about your company, you will need to come up with specific points that will demonstrate that you are not only listening to the concerns of customers but also that you have taken steps to address these concerns. 

This step requires a consistent message strategy. You will need people who are focused on formulating this message and staying on top of the message as it gets disseminated online. The early stages of this process require constant monitoring. And you will need to have follow-up messages that stay on point with the original responses. 

Respond professionally to Customer Feedback

This is an extension of the previous strategy. Especially if your online reputation has taken a negative turn, you will need people who will consistently respond to customers and others online. The message needs to remain vibrant and consistent with constant monitoring. 

It is absolutely essential that you remain professional through all of this. It is a fact that there are people online who are there to troll. Do not let them bog you down, and do not stoop to the level of trolls. You will be able to weed these people out soon, but not if you lose professional composure in your initial messaging phase. 

Have great customer service

This phase is a great time to develop your customer service. It is important to maintain both the message laid out in your initial response plans and the tone of that response. It is not helpful to go through all comments without a planned set of responses. Again, maintain a professional tone and do not get drawn into trolling. 

Ask for feedback constantly

Keep in mind that reputation management strategies are in place precisely because people are free to leave comments and reviews as they see fit. Keeping up a dialogue with those who are commenting and talking about your brand is crucial to reputation management. Part of a positive and sound online reputation is based on feedback. Invite people to keep talking about you, and you are likely to see a boost in your online reputation. 

Leverage public relations

Public relations exist for reputation management. The purpose of public relations is to build a public image for a brand or a person that offers the public the best possible impression of who this brand or person is and what they do. If your online brand reputation has taken a negative turn, this might be a good time to bring in public relations professionals. Often a reputation management strategy begins with a public relations campaign that addresses a negative image or a perceived problem with a brand that has gone public. Public relations professionals can formulate messaging and content that directly addresses perceived problems and turn them around. The above steps can be formulated by a public relations campaign.  

Promote positive content

Always monitor online activity about your brand and boost all positive content. Things like earned media are especially valuable for reputation management strategies and boosting this kind of online activity is particularly important. Promoting positive content requires regular monitoring. If you do not have people designated to monitor online content, you should think about doing this. 

Reputation Management FAQS

What is reputation management? 

Reputation management, or brand reputation management, is the set of practices and strategies used to manage the ways consumers perceive your brand online. These practices and strategies are designed to improve your brand’s image. Reputation management centers primarily on earned media, shared media, paid media, and owned media. This means responding to and actively engaging in things like online reviews on sites like Google and actively engaging social media to optimize your brand reputation. 

Why should I consider having a reputation management strategy? 

Any business that is in any way competitive now maintains an online presence. Websites, social media, and blogs make up much of that online presence, and these avenues make it possible for a business to draw attention to its brand to attract customers. But the way reputations are fashioned on the internet, a great many other factors can come into play. Anything from a negative comment that gets shared to a bad review on something like Yelp can seriously damage your online reputation. You do not need to leave these kinds of things to chance. There are ways to intervene and modify things like negative content about your brand. 

What are some reputation management strategies? 

Audit and research online activity regarding your brand. Formulate responses based on these findings. And monitor all online activity while boosting positive content. 

Sleep well. Let HeyDay take care of your online reputation management. 

Reputation management and reputation management strategies are essential to remaining competitive in today’s market. Customers find products and services online, and they find reviews and online reputations to guide their buying decisions. HeyDay Marketing understands these facts, and we know how to address them. 

As you can see from this guide, reputation management strategies involve tremendous attention and monitoring. Few people have the time to pay this much attention to how their business is being perceived on the web. HeyDay Marketing can do this work for you and allow you to run your business. 

To succeed in today’s market, you absolutely must create a professional and unique online presence. To do this, you need creative and professional reputation management strategies. HeyDay Marketing can provide you with reputation management strategies that are specific to your business and your values. 

HeyDay Marketing provides a full range of consulting, digital marketing, and public relations that know how to provide reputation management strategies that work. From SEO to web design to reputation management strategies, Hey Day Marketing can make your business stand out. To gain the attention you need to succeed, it is best to go with professionals, and this is exactly what Hey Day Marketing can provide.

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