Let’s face it, it takes years to build a good reputation within the business industry. However, a little slip can destroy everything you worked so hard for in a blink of an eye. And to make matters worse, opinions and stories travel faster thanks to social media platforms.
With how news travels quickly, businesses can turn this thing into an advantage by collecting positive reviews and opinions to boost their brands. Unfortunately, this can also be a double-edged sword, as it can bring about a PR nightmare as well.
For this reason, company owners must familiarise themselves with some of the best practices in online reputation management. This can serve as a guide in building a reputation and avoiding a crisis. So without further ado, here are some of the most effective practices you can follow to maintain control over your brand’s reputation.
1. Acknowledge the Importance of Transparency
Most businesses and organisations are generally afraid to be seen in a bad light by customers and clients. Thus, they use confidentiality as a reason to keep their market in the dark about their policies and methodologies. However, now that we live in a period where liberalism is fundamental, people demand transparency.
As a matter of fact, statistics show that the majority of the entire consumer population is more likely to trust companies and businesses that are more transparent. And even during a brand crisis, 85 per cent of people claim that they will stick by a business that has a history of being transparent. Thus, it’s high time your organisation starts to consider being more open to your customers and clients.
2. Address Criticism in a Relatively Smart Way
Businesses are bound to receive criticism from others despite expending all efforts to build a positive reputation online. When you put your brand out there in the online world, it’s inevitable to encounter people who will not like you even after all your hard work. Now, this is something that you must accept. After all, there’s no way you can win everyone’s hearts.
Furthermore, you can use negative criticisms to your advantage by cleverly addressing them. There are various tactics and ways to deal with these kinds of situations. You can add humour, accept criticism, show humbleness and many more. When done right, this can even help you establish and reinforce your reputation as a reliable brand.
3. Monitor What Others Say About Your Brand
Needless to say, it’s essential to keep tabs on what people say about your business. Of course, this doesn’t just give you an idea of how your customers see you, but it also allows you to have a more active interaction with them.
Furthermore, you can also use this strategy to attract new customers by responding to online queries. Today, most consumers ask questions through social media, so it really pays to monitor what’s happening on these platforms. You can even use this for damage control by quickly addressing negative comments about your brand.
There’s no denying that reputation is a fragile thing. Thus, it’s critical to understand that building brand reputation isn’t just about making your company look good; it’s about strategically gaining consumers’ trust.