Learn about 7 impactful reputation management examples in our guest post from Novum™ below.
Whether you are an individual or a business, your reputation is your most valuable asset. If you want to build or boost it, I have a few eye-opening reputation management examples that can help you.
Maintaining an excellent reputation has many perks, but its bottom line is attracting more opportunities and loyal supporters. In this digital age, your reputation largely depends on search engines, social platforms, and third-party review sites.
Managing a positive reputation is a challenging feat. I can attest to that as I’ve been building and enhancing my small business’ online reputation for over a decade. But there’s nothing to worry about because there are plenty of strategies and tools you can use to protect your business reputation.
In this guide, I will discuss online reputation management stages, best practices, and real-life examples of companies that have done the job right. Ease your mind that you can build, maintain, and even repair your online reputation after reading this. But first, let’s understand the importance of reputation management.
What Is Reputation Management (And Why It Matters)?
As the name indicates, reputation management is the process of monitoring and influencing how people perceive a person, business, or brand. Companies take advantage of it to ensure their target audience will see their brand in a positive light no matter where they are on the world wide web.
But of course, no one can control how people talk and think about a business or brand. Some unsatisfied customers can leave negative feedback, which competitors can take advantage of. The beauty of reputation management is it also provides different strategies to mitigate negative attention.
Reputation management can do more. Implementing it right will increase your profit and build better relationships (customer lifetime value). All while getting free marketing through online recommendations. Now that you know what it can do, let’s review a few good reputation management examples.
7 Eye-Opening Reputation Management Examples
I’ve compiled 7 real-life examples of popular brands managing their online reputation well and outshining their competitors.
Apple is one of the world’s largest tech companies renowned for producing innovative and secure products that are easy to use for kids and adults. But consumers choose the brand because they practice information transparency and honesty.
When Apple releases a new product and updates, it can have a few bugs. The company never hides it and immediately issues an official statement on how they address and solve the issue. The latest issue they encounter is failing to receive iMessages or FaceTime calls after setting up a new iPhone (version 14 and 14 Pro).
Their statement gives a complete list of potential issues a customer might experience and its solution. They also share some troubleshooting tips if the solution they provide won’t work.
Key Takeaway: Build Trust
Trust is vital for an online reputation. That’s why Apple assigned a dedicated online management team to monitor its brand reputation at all times. They want to ensure they can respond to negative information quickly and avoid getting bad reviews.
Even if they get bad reviews, their customer support team can take care of them by sending timely, positive explanations and apologizing for their issues. They also collect other valuable feedback to measure customer satisfaction.
Today, Microsoft is one of the world’s most trusted tech companies. But over the years, it faced many legal and ethical issues that almost ruined its reputation. How do they manage to reboot their reputation?
They changed leadership. The company focuses solely on what matters to its brand and customers. They make it a mission to “… develop and market software, services, and hardware devices that deliver new opportunities, greater convenience, and enhanced value to people’s lives.“
Microsoft received a positive reputation for its product quality and innovation. They continue to develop more efficient solutions, including security, to fight against cybercrime and keep people safer online. They also solidify their support for the following:
- Global businesses
- Start-up software companies
- And improve nonprofits’ access to technology
As a result, consumers continue to patronize their products and achieve record-breaking sales revenue.
They also offer extensive social responsibility efforts to underserved communities around the world. Today, they have become a leader in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and philanthropy.
Regarding ethical standards, they offer transparency to all their stakeholders. Here’s what the company says:
“We aim to be open about our business operations, transparent in our dealings with stakeholders, and compliant with the laws and regulations that apply to our business. We strive to exceed legal requirements by conducting our business ethically, responsibly, and with integrity.”
All their employees receive training in ethics and compliance to ensure they can follow Microsoft Standards of Business Conduct. They share their practices, principles, and policies on their blog too.
Key Takeaway: Drastic Times Call For Drastic Measures
Microsoft’s decisions back then may be risky, and there was no assurance of success, but it turned out well in the end. Today, they are resilient and come with plenty of financial and intellectual resources that allow them to efficiently respond to market demands, rapid technological change, etc.
Also, they take a proactive approach to corporate social responsibility. They believe it plays a crucial role in improving their reputation and overall business image.
Nowadays, one inappropriate social media post going viral can ruin a company’s reputation. That’s why it’s a necessity to have an effective social media reputation management plan in place. Lululemon is one company that implements it so well.
The multinational athletic apparel retailer uses social media platforms to provide advice and unfailing support to its audience. For the latter, they respond promptly to ensure they can resolve any issue as smoothly as possible.
The best part is that Lululemon listens to all brand mentions, even if users don’t use their hashtags or company handles.
They also acknowledge compliments, questions, and any form of social media conversation with a personalized and fun message. Here, you will see their dedication in building long-term relationships with loyal customers and prospects.
Key Takeaway: Build On The Positives
Acknowledging your customers’ positive comments is one good way to show appreciation. The more they are engaged, the more it will strengthen their emotional investment in the brand. It will also encourage others to do the same.
People use social media sites to share their criticisms and negative experiences. Amazon understands that people expect businesses to respond to an issue/complaint in less than an hour or within 24 hours. Longer than that can lead to public outrage.
Amazon prevents that from happening by creating a dedicated social media account solely for customer service. Negative comments, feedback, and one-star review – their support team can respond to them in almost real-time.
Responding to a negative review promptly is essential. But you should also remember to answer them properly to maintain your good reputation.
Amazon responds to negative reviews by acknowledging that their complaint is valid and providing details on how they solve the problem or make necessary improvements to avoid it in the future. They also offer genuine apologies and rewards if they see it necessary.
Key Takeaway: Humanize Your Brand
Creating a dedicated account for customer support is an excellent way to humanize your brand. Social media sites are known for having casual and fun structures, so you don’t have to stick with templated CSR messages. Amazon takes it to the next level by handling every bad comment gracefully and showing accountability when mistakes have been made.
The more successful your brand gets, the higher your potential to receive criticisms and bad reviews. It’s never easy to deal with them. But you have to learn how to handle them positively. Snowbird is one of only a few companies that successfully deliver this approach to reputation management.
They take a creative approach to inject negative online reviews into their entire marketing campaign. They aim to use those online reviews to set clear and honest customer expectations about their business.
When you visit their website, they will greet you with the phrase “The most misunderstood ski resort in the world.” They follow it with positive statements about why some customers think that way. They also choose the best bad comments about them and pair them with incredible and relevant photos.
This approach is a bit tricky. However, they manage to make it all work because they have a great sense of humor and an extensive understanding of their target audience.
Key Takeaway: Manage Negative Feedback With Humor
Dealing with negative feedback can be nerve-racking. Clapping back is risky. But Snowbird found a way to hit back and still get favorable results. It only shows that people appreciate more if you acknowledge your business’ shortcomings and show them you’re doing the best you can to improve it.
A positive attitude goes a long way. That’s one reason why Spotify adopted that approach to reputation management. They always ensure that their customer service team will respond to their current and potential customers positively.
Like Amazon, they deliver this approach by creating a dedicated social media account for customer service purposes (@SpotifyCares). They don’t use canned or templated messages. The message is personalized per customer feedback to make the connection more natural. Sometimes, their agents will leave a proper sign-off with their initials for an added personal touch.
Spotify’s customer service team also engages with relevant social media users to promote their brand. One good example is its witty response to Aaron Paul’s tweet regarding a streaming service that wasn’t available in his current location.
Their customer service team can deliver the job right and promptly because the company invests so much in their employees’ training. They believe that only good things can happen with great people and products.
Key Takeaway: Talk Like A Real Human
Fast service, humor, and a good conversation are the reasons consumers prefer to talk to a human customer service agent. Spotify ensured they could deliver that when they created @SpotifyCares on Twitter. They make personalized responses for every comment and message they receive. They also reach out to others to share advice and laughs.
Creating a reputation management action plan is essential to address potentially damaging situations. But there are situations that it would be best to hire an online reputation management service or agency to help you deal with the crisis.
That’s precisely what KFC did when dealing with its 2018 reputational crisis in the UK. The company ran out of several key ingredients, including the chicken. They were forced to close down hundreds of its restaurants and received 53,000 mentions from disappointed customers on social media.
It was indeed a dark time for KFC. That was when they realized it was the right time to hire an independent creative company to clean up their reputation. And it was a great move because the creative company launched a brilliant and humourous ‘FCK’ campaign.
It’s clever because the three-letter word is best to describe the situation. They top it off with a sincere apology written in everyday, conversational language.
Weeks after the ad campaign was launched, KFC’s operations steadily returned to normal without suffering any lasting brand damage. The campaign’s effectiveness won various awards, including the 2018 Cannes Lions and Grand Prix’s campaign of the year.
Key Takeaway: Honesty, Transparency, & Empathy
KFC proves that honesty, transparency, and empathy are the best combinations to save you from negative publicity. It makes your brand more trustworthy and customer-centric. It also never hurts to seek help when you can’t control the situation anymore.
Are you struggling to build your online reputation? Let us show you how to begin.
4 Stages Of Reputation Management
Reputation management is an ongoing process and may require a lot of work. Here are its 4 stages to help you make the process much simpler.
Research is the first step of reputation management. Gather all the information you need before building your reputation online. You can begin by searching the online platforms where your target audience evaluates businesses.
Now that you know where your target audience shares their positive and bad experiences, you can start listening to all online conversations about your brand/product. You can use it to create a plan of action for the following:
- Improve customer experience
- Motivate customers to give feedback
- Provide helpful solutions for negative feedback
The next step is to create a profile on the online platforms you see fit for your business. Google Business (Google My Business) are great options for local businesses. But if your main product is a digital tool like a free/paid podcasting software for hosting, tracking, and promoting your podcast channel – G2 Crowd and Capterra are the better options.
They use star ratings to measure customer satisfaction. They also highlight the software’s essential features, such as ease of use, best for editing/recording podcasts, device compatibility, etc.
You may not control what people say about your brand or products, but you can control what they see. You can deliver it by creating a killer landing page or website. The website should have the following elements to ensure you will captivate your audience’s attention.
- Attractive design
- Web and mobile-friendly
- Include intuitive menus and a clear site map for easy navigation
- Search engine optimization (SEO) friendly to rank high in search results
Remember to provide relevant content. It’s an excellent way to position your brand as a thought leader and showcase your knowledge while educating them about your brand and products/services. You can make it interactive too.
Let’s say you’re promoting an online reference tool for word-based games. You can add a free trial of it on your website so that your visitors can explore it risk-free. Ensure to make it as simple as possible. This word finder for Scrabble set an excellent example.
Public review sites are great platforms for getting positive comments. But they can also be a source of fake reviews. You can add a review section to your website to build more credibility. Take a look at how Green Supply, a wholesale retailer of adults’ and kids’ face masks, delivers them on its website:
If you’re confident that a specific customer has a positive experience, you can ask them to leave feedback. Or, you can run a reward system to encourage customers to leave one.
Building a social media presence is also essential. Ensure you optimize your profiles well because search engines rank a website better with a strong social profile. It’s the same for social media platforms; they only rank profiles on search results. Here’s how you can optimize your profiles:
- Add brand-related hashtags
- Include a link to your website
- Upload high-quality branded images
- Polish your bio section with relevant information
Social media is usually the place to share engaging short messages with images or videos. But it’s best to leverage your website too by sharing informational content like blog posts, infographics, and presentations. This is exactly what Preset Love does. It uses social media to share its latest free Lightroom presets and useful tips.
This is where the real work begins. You should regularly monitor your reputation to ensure everything is under your control. Do this while engaging with your customers. It can be a challenging task so I suggest establishing a management strategy for your team.
There are two main principles of reputation management: monitor and respond. Designate each task to specific teams. Assign team members to monitor all sites where your brand is present and listen to what they say about your product/brand.
Since there are tons of reviews online, train your team members to differentiate legitimate reviews from fake ones. HubSpot wrote a guide on how to spot a fake review. You can use its ideas for inspiration when creating your own.
When responding to comments and feedback, your customer service team is the best group to handle the job. Just ensure to create a tone guide for them to follow. It’s helpful to keep a positive, professional, and polite tone.
Here are the other tasks you need to assign to the right employees:
- Public relations: One efficient way to bury negative reviews is by earning new positive press. Your team can find credible websites and encourage them to share your content.
- Implement a rock-solid SEO strategy: Incorporate these strategies on your website and content to help push your content to the top of search results. It also enables you to push down negative feedback.
- Consistency: Create a uniform look for all your social media profiles. This stock market news site sets an excellent example for you to consider:
Negative publicity is inevitable for businesses. It’s best to prepare for it by creating a crisis management plan. It’s an action plan that details how your team will respond to a critical situation. If you have none and suffer a reputational crisis, here’s how you can repair them.
i. Analyze The Degree Of Damage
You can measure the damage level by tracking your performance on social media and Google results. SentiOne and SEMrush are helpful social media tools that feature sentiment analysis, an excellent solution to determine whether the user message’s tone is positive, negative, or neutral. You can also use a robust reputation manager like RankRanger and Ahrefs.
You can measure the damage level by tracking your performance on social media and Google results. SentiOne and SEMrush are a few that feature sentiment analysis. You can also use a robust reputation manager like RankRanger and Ahrefs.
ii. Identify Who’s At Fault
People appreciate honesty and transparency. Ensure to own up to the responsibility if you’re the cause of the crisis. You can adopt the companies’ approach from the reputation management examples discussed above.
Issue an official statement where you take ownership of the mistake and show your commitment to resolving the matter. If the crisis leads to public outrage (like what happened to KFC), it’s best to consult your PR, human resources, marketing, and legal team when drafting a statement.
There are instances when your brand becomes a target of trolls and full-on hate speech. Ensure to keep calm and investigate the issue before responding. It’s an excellent technique to avoid a costly mistake.
But don’t leave the negative review unattended for too long. You can issue a canned message saying you’re investigating the matter. This way, people will know you take everyone’s complaints seriously.
You also have the option to respectfully clap back, just like how Wendy’s responded to a troll when they questioned the freshness of its beef. To show Wendy’s seriousness in providing quality food, they included it in their Twitter bio.
iii. Use The Right Reputation Management Tools
There are millions of reviews online, and keeping up with them is challenging. But there’s nothing to worry about because there are many good tools online that can help you.
- Reputation Management Software: It’s an all-in-one tool that can help you protect your reputation by removing harmful content and information, streamlining communications, identifying threats, etc.
- Google Alerts: Create a Google Alert for your brand name and relevant keywords to help you identify which online platforms mention your product or brand.
- Social Media Monitoring Tool: Most social media platforms have their own monitoring tool. But this tool is the best option if you prefer to manage all in one platform. Awario and Yext are a few of your options.
- Customer Experience & Online Review Engine: It allows you to repurpose good reviews to produce a better customer experience.
It may take some time to build a strong reputation. But it’s worth the investment because it prevents costly damage and strengthens customer retention. The reputation management examples above can also guide you in protecting your reputation and getting positive online reviews. You can adopt Amazon and Spotify’s strategies by speaking their audience’s language and style to connect emotionally without losing their brand characteristics. Giving compliments and some perks can also do wonders in making your audience happy.
When creating your strategies, ensure to know where you stand on the internet. It’s an effective way to know what part of your brand or customer experience you need to improve. It also helps to stay proactive 24/7 when monitoring your reputation. It’s great for spotting problems before they can damage your reputation.
Do you have more best practices or reputation management examples to share with us? Let us know in the comments section.
Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum™. Follow Burkhard on his journey from $0 to $100,000 per month. He’s sharing everything he learned in his income reports on Novum™ so you can pick up on his mistakes and wins.
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