Shaping public perception of a business by trying to influence online information about the organisation is what online reputation management is all about. Reputation management in Australia includes taking steps to make sure that whatever is being said online about your business is in agreement with what your goals are. This can be achieved by using various forms of social media platforms and analytics to monitor their reputation and identify what people are saying about your business. Search results and mentions have become an integral part of monitoring public opinion about a business and this can be used to craft strategies to address any negative issues associated with your brand. There are many agencies that focus on reputation in Australia that will look out for the best interests of your business. Here are some great tips to keep in mind when it comes to reputation management.
Get a head start
This tip is for the entrepreneur that is launching a new business venture in a few months and is not even thinking about reputation management at all or is leaving it until well after the launch. In all honesty, reputation management should start even before the brand is officially launched, preferably at the development stage of the venture. From the name of the business to the logo, the tagline and the message you want them to convey is very important as this should help lead your brand to better search results. Do your research and find out if there are no negative connotations surrounding the business name and logo, so you don’t have an uphill battle with a bad image before the race has even begun. By doing the hard work before, you can ensure a smoother launch and a better path towards a positive online reputation.
Understand your brand
And once you launch, there are many analytics programs you can employ that will assist you in monitoring your numbers as well as setting up Google Alerts to learn what people are saying about your business. Knowing what everyone is posting about your business also helps so that you can control what is happening if it is negative or paints your brand in a negative light. Understanding what people are saying about your venture will help you structure a strategy that is tailored for their specific needs.
Loyalty is key
The relationship between your brand and your customers is vital to success. You can improve the relationship by creating positive experiences for your audiences and being reliable whenever they are in need of assistance. This will foster feelings of loyalty and this might be the difference between an average and great reputation. Your audience must be loyal and fight for your name when it is being smeared online due to any reason. Without creating an environment where your audience can connect with your brand, why would they care about your brand being tarnished? Foster that connection of being a family and a community and these people will spread your brand’s good work without even trying because they will be genuinely happy with the service they receive from your brand.
Own your boo-boo
Yes, that’s right, if your brand makes a mistake and a customer is unhappy, the first thing you should do apologise and atone for the mistake. A speedy response is a difference between being seen as caring or treating your customers badly. Explain to the customer that the mistake was from your team, explain how and when it will be fixed and move on. By solving a problem quickly, it will create a perception that your business is on the ball and cares for their customers no matter what. This is the kind of responses that create loyalty in customers. We all make mistakes, its only human, but it’s how you respond to the situation and atone for it that dictates what happens next. The worst thing you can do in such a situation is to remain bullish while knowing full well that the mistake was caused by your team. Pretending there is no problem or that it cannot be solved is a mistake on your part is this one mistake might cost you more than just one loyal customer. Just admit your mistake like an adult and move on. If possible, even give a discount to the customer which will surely leave them smiling.
Staying relevant is relevant.
The best way to control your online reputation is through search engine results. Being on the first page and even dominating it with positive news around your brand is a great place to start. The more rankings you have on the first page the better but don’t forget to monitor the next three pages where you can make sure that there is nothing negative being said about your brand that you have missed. Although the top three ranks on the first page receive the most traffic, it does no harm to have your name appear extensively on all three pages which will bode well on your reputation. Creating positive news about your brand will such as assisting in charity drives will get people talking and to get at least five to 10 people searching for your brand online at least once a month and learning about what your business offers. This means that you might have 10 loyal customers. Another way to stay relevant in the current competitive online climate is to be consistent when it comes to updating, sharing or posting content for your audience. This effort goes beyond just updating your social media pages daily but having a consistent schedule so that your audience can come to expect content from your website at certain times of the week. This means fresh new content that is useful to your audience and will encourage them to share it with their social media followers and creating a network of potential customers to your website.
When it comes to reputation management, trust the agency you have hired to assist you in staying on top of what people are posting about your brand.