Company reputation management is crucial for growth and success. It can also be the deciding factor between whether or not your company makes it.
Job seekers, as well as potential clients and customers, look at a company’s online reputation when deciding if they should apply for a job, sign up for a service or make a purchase.
How do you create a positive brand reputation, though?
A well-planned, intentional reputation management strategy is the best way forward when you need to develop, repair or maintain your online reputation — or do all three.
What Is Company Reputation Management?
Before we can discuss how to protect your online reputation, you have to know what company reputation management is.
The term company reputation management (or brand reputation management or similar) refers to the development and/or repair, monitoring, and maintenance of a business’ online reputation.
A reputation management strategy can shape the public perception of your brand so that it’s viewed favorably. In today’s digital world, online reputation management (ORM) is particularly important because so many people research and make buying decisions online.
Why Is There Such a Focus on Online Reputation Management?
Most of today’s brand conversations are happening online, which is why a solid reputation management company will focus primarily on online reputation management.
It’s also easier to observe online conversations than offline ones, and an online reputation management tool can measure and report results as it collects data.
Moreover, perceptions are easily redirected online, too, because so many people are on the internet every day. A whopping 87% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses. And 28% to 50% of internet users turn to social media for brand research.
Is Brand Safety the Same as Company Reputation Management?
A buzzword in the online reputation management world is “brand safety.” The term refers to the process of ensuring that all of a company’s brand and marketing materials won’t harm the brand or the consumer.
Brand safety is a component of online reputation management. Think of ORM as an umbrella that brand safety is under, along with various other online reputation management strategies. It’s one of many ways to influence the public’s perception of a company.
Is Company Reputation Management Important?
Every company, no matter its size or how long it’s been operating, has some sort of brand reputation. When you’re intentional about shaping that online reputation, you can control the public’s perception of your business, build trust and drive sales.
According to Statista, 58% of U.S. adults feel that a company’s reputation is a large factor when making a buying decision. And only 9% of respondents said it’s not a factor at all.
Here’s why company reputation management is so important:
It’s Easier to Shape the Brand Image
Reputation management campaigns can help shape the brand image. When a company has a strong brand image, it’s easier for decision-makers to choose the best course of action. Plus, the public becomes more aware of the brand, and that lasting impression means they’re more likely to choose your company when it’s time to buy.
Reputation Management Builds Trust and Customer Loyalty
A positive online reputation makes customers and clients trust the company more. They’ll then be more likely to engage with the brand and make purchases.
Furthermore, customers who trust you and have great experiences with your products or services often return. Once you’ve satisfied a customer to the point where they don’t need to turn to one of your competitors, they’ll stay loyal to your brand. They’ll probably even become brand advocates and spread word-of-mouth marketing.
You’ll Get More Positive Online Reviews
In terms of online reviews, the process can be cyclical: The more reviews you get, the more your online reputation is impacted, which leads to more reviews.
When you have a good brand reputation, a majority of those reviews will be positive. That has a huge impact on other people.
According to Marketing Charts, 57% of adults trust brands that get good ratings and reviews. The only thing that’s more important to consumers is if the brand delivers quality products or services.
A Positive Online Reputation Attracts Job Candidates
As your positive reputation spreads, more people will want to work for your company. When you have a larger pool of job candidates, you can hire the top talent among them. Plus, when an employee loves and values the company they work for, they’ll naturally do some of your recruiting for you by talking about what a rewarding job they have.
Company Reputation Management Can Guide You Through a PR Crisis
No business owner has the hope of hiring a reputation management company because they’re facing a brand-ruining PR crisis, but these situations do occur, and online reputation management can help. ORM companies work with business owners to steer them through a PR crisis and handle each step along the way.
In this case, reputation management can minimize damage to the company and help repair it faster than if you were to try to tackle the problem alone. And if you’ve been working on your online reputation all along, an even quicker recovery is possible because you can lean on that positive sentiment you’ve built up to this point.
More Reasons Why Company Reputation Management Is Important
- Competitive Advantage: A good online reputation can help your company stand out from the competition and be the brand that customers choose.
- Compliance: It’s nearly impossible to manage your online reputation without staying within the guidelines of ethics and the law. As a result, you’ll avoid legal problems, which will further build trust in your company.
- Financial Standing: Often, a company with a good reputation is also a financially successful company. If investors and stakeholders take reputation into account, they’ll be more comfortable putting money into your business.
- Sustainability: A positive online reputation can help your company make it for the long term. Even during challenging times, a good track record and current reputation management campaigns can keep you afloat.
6 Top Company Reputation Management Strategies
Generally speaking, a reputation management strategy involves monitoring brand mentions, determining the impact of those mentions and taking steps to lead perceptions in the right direction. Within those main goals are a number of tactics that a reputation management company will use in its campaigns. Here are the six main ones.
Developing and marketing content gives you control over a lot of the information online about your business. It also builds trust with your audience because you’ll be viewed as an authority in your niche.
Content helps you in numerous other ways, including:
- Create an authentic brand image (and reputation)
- Define your target audience
- Talk about your brand’s competitive advantages
- Gear all messaging to support your brand’s mission and vision
- Offer solutions to common customer problems
- Ask for feedback from readers
A successful reputation management company will be sure to include content development and marketing as part of your online reputation management services.
Online reputation management services include working with the business owner to provide better customer service. Having satisfied customers is a huge asset for your business, and it can encourage positive online reviews, word-of-mouth marketing and customer loyalty.
Here are a few ways to put your customers first:
- Always provide friendly, helpful customer service
- Offer some type of customer support 24/7
- Create a user-friendly website
- Use customer feedback to improve your messaging and products
From creating high-quality products and services that deliver a lot of value to being available for customer support, a company that focuses on the customer experience is often a company with a great online reputation.
Customers want to be recognized, and one of the ways that they seek attention is by leaving reviews — both positive and negative ones. Often, this is the only way that the customer can be sure to get in touch with a company and voice their opinions. After all, submitting a compliment or complaint through a contact form on a website doesn’t tend to get the timely attention a public comment does.
It’s important to respond professionally to all sorts of reviews, whether they’re good or bad. But negative reviews are even more important to get back to quickly.
Your reputation management company will use a listening tool to monitor for brand mentions. That way, whenever there’s a negative review or comment posted, you can respond to it right away and try to clear up the problem before it gets worse.
Here’s an added bonus: Monitoring reviews will show you great customer testimonials that you can use in your marketing.
Public relations (PR) is a cornerstone of online reputation management because it improves brand awareness as well as creates a positive brand image. Plus, a solid PR campaign can transform a damaged business reputation into a reformed one. It may also be used to develop a brand reputation for a new company that isn’t known yet.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is considered an online reputation management tool because it’s one of the most reliable ways to get your brand seen online. Plus, a solid SEO strategy can build authority and improve the public’s perception of your business.
In the event that there’s negative content or online reviews about your business showing up in Google searches, SEO can work to suppress that negative content by having neutral or positive content rank higher.
When you have active social media profiles, you control a lot of the information that’s out there about your business. This puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to managing your online reputation.
Plus, regularly posting to your social media accounts and engaging with your audiences shows that you’re a source of information about your industry or brand. This extends your brand awareness and reach so more people know about your company.
NetReputation Can Help With Company Reputation Management
At NetReputation, we have a longstanding track record of successfully helping companies with online reputation management. Our reputation management services are customized to your unique needs and business, and we’ll work together to develop the online reputation and brand presence that will lead to success.
From developing a strong social media presence for your company and using review management to monitor for brand mentions to guiding you through handling negative reviews and using SEO to have your content show up higher in search engines, our reputation management company will build the strong brand reputation you deserve.
Contact our reputation management company by filling out the form below or calling 844-461-3632. We’ll be happy to go over our reputation management services with you and discuss the right strategy for building your company’s positive reputation.