What is Reputation Management & How to Develop a Strategy For Managing Your Business Reputation

What is Reputation Management & How to Develop a Strategy For Managing Your Business Reputation

Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: August 27, 2022

The previous and current business scenarios are poles apart. As digital marketing and the internet has evolved, so have the ways to market business. This has shifted businesses and their reputation online. This makes contacting brands easy and makes the reputation vulnerable and fragile.

Since most operations are online, brands are built and flourish similarly.

65% of people see online search as the most trusted source of information about brands. This considerable number can influence customers’ decision to buy a product.

What is Reputation Management? Let’s dive deeper into it below.

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What is Reputation Management?

Reputation management combines efforts and strategies to influence the stakeholder's perception and conversation about the brand.

Besides the definition, reputation management dives deeper into collecting insights, and developing promising strategies, to scale the business and enhance its online presence.

Its facets include social media, search results, emails, chatbots, news sites, and online community management to ensure brands are not at reputational risk.

These tactics influence the essential metric of sentiment by changing the perception of brands 'online research, social and other interactions. The tactics include taking strategic action to improve the brand image, such as tracking conversations and perceptions and leveraging opportunities to enhance brand reputation.

The goal is to shape the reputation through business perception and discussions unfolding at multiple places. This multi-faceted approach makes keeping a tab on the most active platform and its sentiments challenging.

Reputation management is a continuous process and a comprehensive organizational strategy. This includes catering to customer experience, search engine results, social media, Google, ratings and review, and online marketing.

It can affect the following business functions:

  • Marketing
  • Legal
  • Communication
  • Sales and Loyalty
  • Customer Experience

Reputation management campaigns’ success can be highly determined by sentiment. This can be summarized as improved sentiment, reduced or unaffected sentiment. One way to measure sentiment is by tracking, aggregating, analyzing, and categorizing keywords on Google. This creates a general picture of brand perception.

Reputation management can be described with multiple other terms. They are:

Why is Reputation Management Essential?

The business world isn’t perfect, and competitors might be all set to take advantage of even a slight misstep. These mistakes can be amplified and may turn into a PR disaster. This can affect customers, industry peers, and investors' future actions.

However, company reputation management doesn’t refer to erasing a negative image but instead refers to creating a fair and accurate image. However, this can include replacing harmful content and site reviews with positive ones and addressing concerns. Additionally, it includes tweaking the exposure levels.

On average, customers read almost ten reviews before making a purchase. Since brand images play a crucial role, brand reputation management is crucial.

A small review may result in a global boycott. This could lead to job losses, closed stores, and broken partnerships. This creates a possibility that audiences might see negative comments in their search results.

Here are more ways to deal with a negative brand image:

  • A Press Release
  • A legal takedown request if someone tries to mislead people or harm the brand name.
  • A positive word from public figures and social media influencers.
  • Offering giveaways on social media platforms
  • Actively responding to customer queries based on the current brand changes.
  • Instead creating fake accounts to showcase positive reviews or adding negative comments may make it look unprofessional or unethical.

On the other hand, a positive review can be amplified, which can echo in the digital space.

Regardless of the industry, audiences will be talking about a brand online, which makes a positive online conversation substantial.

Maintaining a brand reputation on e-commerce marketplaces and online outlet reviews are vital. A study shows that online reviews influence 67.7% of customer decisions.

However, there are still sources where you cannot control the content. These sources include journalists, content owned by private sites and viral trends on social media.

Benefits of Reputation Management

Brand reputation management comes with various benefits. They are:

Drives Customer Loyalty

A positive brand reputation can inspire customer loyalty, enhancing ROI and growth. Likewise, a negative reputation can affect customer acquisition and retention.

This offers insights into customers' preferences and refines business processes to meet customer needs.

Ensuring legitimate practices establishes that the customers aren't deceived. This strengthens trust and brand loyalty.

Increases Transparency and Trust

Customers highly value transparency. They want to know if brands are honest, communicative, and open to criticism. This shows that brands are dedicated to learning and getting better.

Promptly addressing the pressing issues shows that brands are willing to go the extra mile for the best solution.

Offers Increased Brand Control

To Err is human, but wouldn’t it be great to mend those mistakes as soon as they happen?

Small mistakes might not be apparent; however, big mistakes can be blown by social media and competitors and reaches the world in no time.

For example, brands can cater to a negative comment by giving clarification and defending the brand. This can shape the audience's perception when it's fresh in their memories.

Expanding to a Larger Audience Base

Prospects go beyond your website when browsing for your offerings. They might stumble upon a review or a comparison article. This makes it vital for those search results to be portrayed positively.

Eventually, these search results are crucial to turning prospects into a customer.

How to Develop a Reputation Management Strategy

The right reputation strategy can protect brands against damage and build trust and credibility. A thorough implementation establishes smooth business continuity.

Here’s a basic reputation management strategy that can help brands of all sizes. However, brands should note that it is a continuous result and not a final result.

They are:

1. Research and Audit

Research helps brands discover conversations regarding the brand. Diverse conversations can gauge varied perceptions about the brand. This allows brands to take necessary steps to improve their reputation and understand the reason for specific perceptions.

Brands can begin by considering online feedback on e-commerce platforms, social media, and forums, as these are information hubs and boosts discussions. Brands should ensure that the issue is handled tactfully to retain trust and credibility.

If brands have an online store, a customer feedback report from a customer support manager may help.

Since a brand may be spread across platforms, searching competitors’ feeds and conducting keyword research may also help to know the current conversations about the brand.

A sophisticated reputation management tool can significantly help.

2. Establish a Robust Plan

Once brands know their brand impression, the next phase is to improve it with a robust plan.

The plan can be built around the problem areas noticed during the audit. A solid plan also helps prioritize tasks and ensure what’s crucial.

The continuous ongoings in a business scenario may make juggling tasks difficult; however, assigning a manager for the role can be helpful.

Along with the current concerns, brands should also address possible future concerns. These can be:

  • Hiring professionals monitoring online conversations
  • Finalizing ideal engagement/responses on comments, reviews, and mentions
  • A brand tonality guide for future responses

Brand reputation monitoring tools that offer a comprehensive report, such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite, can be substantial.

3. Engaging with Comments, Feedback, and Reviews

Understanding customers' perceptions can offer improvement and innovative insight.

Criticism can direct attention toward the areas needing the most improvement, while positive reviews can highlight flourishing. This communicates the business patterns that need to be followed the most.

Hearing these suggestions shows that audiences’ opinions matter and their suggestions are implemented.

4. Maintain Consistency

Making corrections once doesn’t solve problems forever. Consistent corrections ensure that the same issue doesn’t arise in the future, leading to similar complaints again.

This helps brands gauge the strength of a brand's reputation. Consistently implementing a plan strengthens a positive reputation.

5. Search Engine Strategies

Search Engine Optimization catches all the resources created for prospects to find you. It boosts brand visibility and brings a brand’s positive word to the surface.

This may lessen the impact of the harmful content posted online.

SEO moves to other aspects, such as creating good content, establishing and claiming directory pages, and building quality backlinks.

What is Reputation Management – Key Takeaways

Despite continuous ongoings in the digital world, reputation management may not be as challenging as it seems. Since reputation management is multi-dimensional and has no tolerance for trial and error or DIY-ing, brands should only resort to proven and sophisticated techniques.

While big enterprises can hire reputation management agencies, small or mid-size businesses may dedicate some hours per week to brush up their skills.

The endless noise in the digital world can appear out of control; however, certain tools and strategies help with online reputation monitoring. Brands may even use software to ensure accuracy and precision in their results.

Whether it’s a major corporation or just a startup, if a firm's reputation is at risk, it is essential to get the reputation management basics right, implement a promising plan and ensure consistency.

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