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Everything You Need To Know About Brand Reputation Management

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Brand reputation management is essential for nearly every business with an online presence. But what if your brand is missing the one thing necessary for you to make it big?

These days, reputation is everything for a brand. And all it takes is a single scandal or a badly-reported story to do irreparable damage to that reputation.

What if you could prevent that damage from happening in the first place? With proper brand reputation management, you can effectively build a brand while gaining better control of the narratives surrounding your company.

Keep reading to learn exactly what a brand reputation management company can do for you. To speak with an expert today, call us at 844-461-3632 or fill out the form below.

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What Is a Brand? Your First Step To Understanding Your Brand’s Online Reputation

According to Forbes, a brand is “everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering,” and that can be emotional as well as factual. TechTarget describes it a bit more pragmatically: “A brand is a product, service or concept that is publicly distinguished from other products, services or concepts so that it can be easily communicated and usually marketed.”

All of the above — along with other definitions, we’re sure — are true. And these definitions illustrate how important your brand and creating a positive brand reputation are for your company.

Brands are intangible, meaning they can’t be touched or seen by a particular audience. Rather, brands influence perceptions of aspects such as value, expertise, innovation, or problem-solving.

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As such, brand awareness is one of the most valuable assets a business owner or individual may have. With brand awareness, people can develop preferences and feelings toward a given company. These feelings can include awareness, trust, and loyalty — the hallmarks of a powerful and effective brand.

Many people confuse brands with a slogan, logo, or aesthetic (like colors or fonts) that a person or business uses to create brand awareness. While these are components of an overall brand image, the brand itself remains an ethereal yet mission-critical concept.

What Is Brand Reputation Management?

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We’re going to walk you through exactly how and why brand reputation management is so important for your business. First, though, we need to address the elephant in the room: What, exactly, is brand reputation management?

In this case, it’s all in the name. A brand reputation management strategy is an active process in which you and your employees do your best to positively influence the reputation of your business online.

This process includes everything from monitoring your marketing strategies and managing online reviews to mindfully interacting with customers via social media.

Every business, no matter how small, does its best to manage its reputation. But all it takes is one small mistake or a bit of employee oversight to cause a potentially fatal blow to your company’s reputation.

Why Is Reputation Management So Important?

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Reputation management is so important thanks to the internet. Today, any small mistake can be magnified into a huge scandal. Plus, the 24-hour news cycle of social media means that the scandal could be trending today, and your business could be doomed by tomorrow.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that small matters don’t turn into huge scandals if a business is properly managing its brand’s reputation.

On top of avoiding bad publicity, proper business reputation management can help you gain more insight into your customers and what they want from your products. This will ultimately increase your conversations, your customer loyalty and customer retention, and your overall sales.

Proactive Brand Reputation Management Strategies vs. Reactive Online Reputation Management

To get the best reputation management results, it’s important to work with a professional team. The reason is that such a team intimately understands the difference between proactive and reactive management. To discuss a custom strategy that will create a positive brand image for you or your business, call us today at 844-461-3632.

Most online brands only manage their reputations reactively. Here are the major differences:

Proactive Online Reputation Management Strategy

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  • Preemptively create and maintain a strong brand reputation instead of waiting until brand sentiment has been damaged and needs repair
  • Shape public perception before negative feedback or crises occur
  • Consistently deliver high-quality products or services and provide excellent customer service
  • Actively seek customer feedback to promote positive reviews
  • Conduct risk assessments to predict and prevent major issues before they arise

Reactive Online Reputation Management

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  • Reply to negative reviews and comments as quickly as possible
  • Respond to negative news coverage and crises as they arise
  • Monitor review sites, online platforms and outlets for brand mentions
  • Issue public or private apologies
  • Offer solutions to dissatisfied customers

When it comes to proactive vs. reactive online reputation management services, one is not necessarily better than the other. A good ORM company will offer both types of services to create and maintain a positive reputation for your brand.

Yes, it’s best to prevent problems and maintain a positive brand sentiment instead of trying to rebuild your reputation. Proactive management helps expand your brand (especially if your brand is relatively young) while also maintaining the good relationships and positive image you have already established for yourself.

However, reactive reputation management remains important because issues with customers will inevitably occur. And how you deal with such issues plays a major role in how other customers perceive you and your business.

For guidance about the types of ORM services you need, contact us at 844-461-3632 to speak with a brand reputation expert today.

The Need For a Reputation Audit

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Another reason to hire a reputation management firm is simple: Before you can improve your brand reputation, you must conduct an audit of your brand’s existing reputation and customer satisfaction. An ORM company can handle this for you or guide you through it, offering suggestions for the best online reputation management tool or reputation management software for your purposes.

There are many ways to conduct such an audit, including:

  • Customer surveys
  • Online polls
  • Online reviews

It’s also important to see what other people have been saying about your brand across social media. For that, you’ll want to use online reputation management software that can “listen” for online mentions of your brand name.

You could certainly conduct such an audit on your own. However, it can sometimes be difficult to sift through various online reviews and other content to separate meaningful critiques from mean-spirited trolling. By working with an ORM company, you’ll be able to access online reputation management tools and strategies you may not have otherwise.

Separating Trolling From Criticism

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On paper, the idea of a reputation management audit is simple enough. You’re just collecting what others have said about you in various online spaces and on review sites. How difficult could that really be?

However, you quickly run into two related problems.

The first is that only the most motivated customers are likely to respond to surveys and polls or leave a review. The ones who do tend to be customers who either really love your brand or really hate it, so it can be tough to determine what the average customer thinks.

The second is that your brand might run into internet trolls. According to PC Mag, an internet troll is “an individual who posts false accusations or inflammatory remarks on social media to promote a cause or to harass someone.”

Such trolls may go so far as to organize online campaigns against you and ultimately distort what people actually think about your brand.

Fortunately, a good reputation management firm can help separate trolling from actual criticism. Plus, they can present you with actionable insight that helps you improve your marketing, brand, customer satisfaction, and overall reputation.

If your brand reputation is being damaged by internet trolls, contact us today to discuss your options.

The Risks and Opportunities of Online Conversations Happening on Social Media

Another thing that a brand reputation management firm can help you with is social media, which some consider to be a double-edged sword for their brand.

For many brands, their target audience uses social media. The biggest benefit of social platforms is that they offer the chance to directly interact with a brand. In fact, one study showed that 75% of millennials make purchases influenced by the online presence of brands.

Furthermore, if someone has an issue with your company, they can use social media to interact with your company directly. This gives you an immediate opportunity to fix the problem and show other social media users how well you deal with negative situations.

Here’s the thing, though: The way you respond to social media complaints can make or break your company. As we mentioned before, all it takes is one mistake for your brand to go viral in the worst possible way.

A reputation management firm can help you develop strategies for dealing with online complaints. Not only will these strategies help you win over some of the complainers, but they will also help you win over others who have previously been neutral about trying out your products and services.

Online Reputation Management Can Be Time-Consuming

Now that you’re armed with all of this ORM information for your brand, you may be wondering how to handle it all on your own. There’s no way around it — brand reputation management is a time-consuming and ongoing process.

Yes, you could appoint an employee or a team to stay on top of brand management. However, this will pull them away from their main role at your company. From tasks going uncompleted to having your employees resent you for changing their role so drastically, this isn’t a reasonable solution for most businesses.

By hiring an outside firm, you get the best brand reputation that money can buy from industry experts who know exactly what they’re doing.

You’ll also salvage your own time and that of your employees. That means that you and the rest of your team can spend time doing what you do best.

At NetReputation, we help individuals and businesses take their brands to the next level. To see what we can do to make you even more successful, contact us today at 844-461-3632 or fill out the form below for a free consultation.

Request a Free Consultation

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Updated 5/2024

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