Building Your Online Reputation

Knowing what’s being said about your brand, products and services online is only the first step to effective online reputation management. Based on what you hear, you need to take action. Let’s say, for example, that you discover negative feedback online. What’s your next course of action?

Communication is the key to building relationships. But let’s say you discover that there aren’t any conversations about your brand at all. What should you do about it? The answer is simple: start building your online reputation.

Influence Positive Conversations
Whether there are online conversations taking place about your brand or not, there’s an opportunity for you to have an influence. You can turn a negative conversation into a positive one by providing a helpful response and staying engaged, and you can turn no conversations into a positive one by starting the discussion. Here are some ways you can influence positive conversations:

  • Answer questions and offer helpful advice. Monitoring will reveal to you the type of discussions that are taking place online about your brand. You may find that consumers are asking questions about your products/services, which gives you an opportunity to jump in and answer their questions. Offer advice that will help solve their problems. Not only will this build your credibility, but it shows that your company cares and is actively seeking to help your customers.
  • Respond to negative comments with a positive one. Other times, you may find customers complaining about your product/service. Complaints travel faster than praise and can spread like wildfire. It’s important that you respond to negative comments with a positive one. You should establish a good relationship with the blogger or the customer that complained about your product/service. A simple comment like “Thank you for your feedback. We are working on resolving this issue” could do wonders. But keep in mind that comments need to be followed by actions.
  • Implement service recovery where you can. Depending on the nature of your customer’s dissatisfaction, you may have an opportunity to implement a service recovery strategy. Service recovery can earn back a customer and could potentially create loyalty.
  • Start conversations. If there aren’t any conversations happening about your brand, product or service, start one! This is where a company blog and strong presence on the social networks comes into play. Create and publish interesting information that will bring value to your audience, help solve a problem, answer a question or provoke meaningful discussions.
  • Share testimonials from satisfied customers. It’s a good idea to reach out to some of your loyal customers and have them rate and review your products/services online. Give them an incentive to share a testimonial. Authentic feedback from satisfied customers can drastically enhance your online reputation.
  • Communicate regularly. In order to influence positive conversations and keep those conversations going, you need to communicate regularly. Social media is about ongoing engagement. You can’t just set up a social media profile, post a few messages, respond to a couple of inquiries and never return to them. It’s important that you follow up and provide regular updates, especially while an issue is being resolved.

Brand Building Best Practices

  • Protect your name. As discussed in the section “Before You Begin”, one of the first things you should do is reserve your brand name on all the major social media sites. Even if you’re not using social media yet, you’ll want to ensure your name is available when you’re ready to use it. You may want to do the same for any trademarks you have.
  • Keep your branding consistent. Your company should look consistent across all your profiles to avoid confusion. The colours, fonts and photos you use should resemble your company’s image.
  • Continue building your community. An online presence doesn’t mean much without friends, followers and connections. You need a community to build your reputation for. When you answer an inquiry, be sure to remind people to join your network to stay updated.
  • Establish authority. Credibility means everything in the online world. A good way to build your reputation is by sharing your expertise with others and offering helpful advice when needed.
  • Be accessible. If your online audience asks a question or shares feedback, you should be available to respond right away. In case issues arise, remember to display accurate contact details on your profile and always give an estimated time that their issue will be resolved.
  • Keep users engaged. Offer valuable, interactive content such as videos and podcasts, and invite your audience to comment on them. Remember to share useful tips and information that will help your customers solve a problem, answer a question or learn more about an interesting topic.
  • Actively participate in industry conversations. Rather than just pushing information out from your own blog and social networks, display your expertise in industry related blogs and forums. Becoming an active contributor to industry conversations will further build your reputation.

Download Brand Building Best Practices now.

Richard Coen

With over 21 years of experience in Digital Marketing, 31 years in sales and 25 years in business development, Richard assists companies to develop key growth strategies on a local or international basis. He can assist marketers to achieve balance in their approach to key areas affected by the growth in digital marketing.