4 Online Reputation Management Tips

How often do you check your digital footprint for any missteps and potential issues that can affect your brand perception? It doesn’t matter if you’re just a solopreneur running a legal office or a corporation counting hundreds of employees around the globe, online reputation is something of a necessity in this day and age: it’s the key ingredient in your brand’s presence that can make or break your business.

It’s never going to be simple to maintain your presence pure, but there are tactics you should integrate into your reputation management strategy to ensure optimal results.

Handle negative reviews properly

Reviews are a major part of what your reputation legacy will ultimately be. Some brands already understand the role of reviews and generating feedback for better SEO results as well as boosting trust among new customers, so they have strategies in place that inspire regular feedback from their users. However, responding to negative reviews is equally important as generating positive reviews. 

On one hand, you need to teach your reputation management staff and all employees working closely with your customer base not to react emotionally to negative reviews, whether they’re baseless or justifiable. Equip them with appropriate responses that will help diffuse the situation, offer a solution to apologize, own up to mistakes, or even educate your users.

Build a memorable digital presence

Your content strategy is by far one of the most potent tools in your marketing arsenal to protect and grow your brand reputation. Still, quality and consistency are both necessary if you want to use your content to help build a memorable presence and boost your digital footprint, especially when you’re in a niche that requires skill and expertise.

To make their content as effective as possible, brands in various industries rely on specialized strategies to yield the best results. What an aesthetic surgery clinic needs is always different from what a bakery, or a legal practice needs to position itself online. You’ll find that specialized law firm SEO strategies utilized by legal brands are different from those that work in other industries, hence the need to adapt their entire content output to match their SEO needs as well as the expectations of their audience. 

Implement social media monitoring

The online world is filled with chatter on an endless list of topics, with your name reverberating across chatrooms, forums, websites, and social profiles. When you’re not tagged directly, you might even fail to respond, and when you’re missing out on an ongoing debate, you might miss out on a chance to educate your audience on something that is well within your expertise. Enter: social media monitoring tools that help you understand trends, brand perceptions, and competitor presence better.

You can keep an eye on different industry-relevant terms and keywords that will help you join conversations where your knowledge can help someone solve an issue, and thus help you earn credibility in your industry. This is a simple, but powerful way to slowly grow your brand presence through your leadership status. Alternatively, listening to social chatter helps you spot negative comments linked to your brand name, so that you can respond when appropriate. Listening is one of the most effective ways to stay aware of trends and preferences and retain the reins of your reputation.

Educate and train your employees 

As a manager and business owner, you might feel that you’re the only one fully equipped to represent your business online without endangering your reputation. However, any business venture larger than a one-person show means that your brand will be in the hands of your employees, too, created by them through the way they interact with your customers. It is in your power to help your staff become better at conveying the right messages online.

First of all, create a brand book filled with guidelines on how to best communicate with customers for each different channel. Social media networks are all different, hence the need to follow their intricate rules while you manage to preserve your brand voice. Then, prepare a training program for any new employees that you’ll hire down the road, so that your onboarding can consist of proper communication methods that will help you protect your reputation online, no matter who is in charge of your brand. 

Keep these tips in mind for crafting your own reputation management strategy, and you’ll be better equipped to handle potential crises and make use of any positive visibility to grow your brand even more.

Elaine Bennett

Elaine Bennett is a marketing specialist and a blogger, currently based in Sydney, Australia. Topics that she covers include marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, and SMBs. She’s especially interested in social media and technology. Loves coffee, music and video games. Follow her on Twitter @ElaineCBennet

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