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How to Fix Your Businesses Online Reputation

By BlogNo Comments

Has your business or your brand recently received negative reviews that have caused your reputation to plummet? Look no further. This article is a great guide if you find yourself in this situation.

Everyone knows that one of the most important things for your business-and your brand-is your reputation. In addition to your reputation, it is also imperative that you have a positive response when faced with negative feedback and controversy online.

Even large, well-established corporations face obstacles while trying to maintain a positive reputation. During this age of social media, where posting takes seconds and negative reviews spread like wildfire, it is important to understand that one social media post has the opportunity to change the perspective of your brand within minutes.

While it is true that reputation will plummet faster than it takes to be fixed, it is important to take your time while planning out your next steps and consulting the right company if you find yourself in this situation.

Constantly Monitor your Brand

It is important to stay on top of monitoring the feedback that your brand receives. Even if your reputation is a good one, you should actively be taking steps to minimize the possibility of a negative review adversely affecting your reputation.

This may be accomplished through the hiring of a reputation management company like Repute PR.  Our reputation management professionals are able to monitor the mentions of your name or your company online and alert you and your company to any negative press you may receive.

One of the best ways to monitor your brand is to look at the search engine results pages (SERP) and utilize Google Autocomplete. This service helps you look out for negative stories and reviews and take a more proactive approach to maintain your brand’s reputation. If you discover negative reviews, you can use Google Analytics to look at your site’s traffic.  This data may guide you to the possible issues.

Address Complaints As Quickly As Possible

When looking through your reviews, it is important that you address complaints in a timely manner.

Some social media users expect a response in under an hour, and most expect a response in under 24 hours. Statistics also show that unhappy customers will share their experience with up to 15 people. These statistics demonstrate how extremely important it is to respond quickly and effectively–working with customers to help solve the issues at hand.

A negative post on social media has the opportunity to reach a large population in a small amount of time, so your response must address the complaint, show sympathy,  and effectively try to change the person’s perception of your company.

While these comments have the power to hurt your reputation, you should never delete the complaints. If you delete someone’s complaint or question, you are at risk of tarnishing your brand’s reputation.

A useful tip is to make sure that you are regularly checking your customer support email. If you have an influx of messages from angry customers, you should have your support team analyze the comments and save them to a document or spreadsheet.

This will allow you to organize the comments and reviews and will help you identify the common traits among the complaints. You must reply to these customers during this process. Communication should be your number one priority.

Plan Your Strategy for Social Media

It is important to brainstorm ideas and strategies to address any negative situations the comments identify. Often, a company will respond immediately before giving thought to its message.  This may do more harm than good. Sometimes, it is more beneficial to post a statement immediately after a situation, but it really depends on the particular case.

Often, it is better to wait to really think about what you want to say and to let the public cool down a bit. You should work with your team to assess the damage that may be caused by the statement and identify the outcome you are looking for from your response.

According to Entrepreneur, the hardest part of this process is understanding the pre-work and after-effects of communicating with the media.

If you find yourself in this type of situation, you should work on improving your image through your actions rather than with just words.  Hiring a reputation management company can help you gain insight and perspective into the situation.

One technique that some reputation management companies may utilize is hiring a trusted journalist to tell the story to the public in the way that you want it to be portrayed.

Think About Your Company Values

What is one of the most important values that people look for in a company? Trust! Your customers’ trust is imperative to being a successful company. So, regaining your customers trust has to be a priority.

Responding to your customers in the most appropriate way is necessary to regain their trust and fix your reputation as a business and as a brand. Even if you are able to regain customers’ trust after your crisis, it is not the time to relax.

After experiencing relief from a crisis, it is essential that your company exemplifies the core beliefs that are stated in its mission. Your company should be especially focusing on the feedback from the past and becoming the best possible version of your brand.

This is a great moment to share with your customers all the progress your company has made over the years and your commitment to the issues and beliefs your company stands for. Repute PR is a great resource when it comes to managing your company and thinking about its reputation and our professionals are available to help you manage your online reputation.

Think About the Future of the Company

Now that you have successfully gotten past the crisis, what should you do?

In order to maintain the future of your brand, you need to plan and think about the reputation you want to uphold and how you are going to sustain it. It is necessary to evaluate the crisis and see what you can do differently.

Establish a plan with your reputation management company to address future issues.  That way, you and your company are ready if another issue were to comes along. Another important step is to have a concrete plan in place to ensure that something like that does not happen again.

How to Manage and Repair Your Business’s Online Reputation

By BlogNo Comments

The internet is a vast network of positive and negative information. We use it every day, but we tend to brush over how enormous it has actually become, and in a place with more than 1 billion sites, making an impression can be difficult. So let’s go over how you, as a business owner, can get your foot in the door. 

Developing an Online Presence 

Developing an online presence requires techniques from digital marketing. It happens largely through three things: a website, social media, and content creation

Step One: A Website 

The first step towards a concrete online presence is a website. Having a website gives you a home base to reach out to sponsors, draw in customers, and show your product to the eyes of the world. Of course, you are free to customize, but there are a couple of principles of good web design that you should keep in mind.

A good website will have a clean design that reflects your company’s product. For example, if you sell hiking gear, it’s probably best not to design your site around images of Los Angeles. Stick to a scheme that reflects the kind of service you offer, and if you have a logo, build off of it. 

A simple design also ensures that your website is easy to navigate. Too often, customers open a site, only to find that the button they’re looking for is hidden somewhere deep in the pages. Your website’s home page should give easy access to the basics of what people want to know: 

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • How to contact you

The homepage of your website is like an elevator pitch to the visitor, but you have around 2 seconds to catch their interest. You don’t need to include all of your information on the first page, but make it easily accessible from there. Make those 2 seconds count. 

Creating a visually appealing and intuitive website that can catch the attention of your viewers may seem overwhelming, and if you feel like you don’t know where to start, then Repute PR might be able to help you with your website building needs.

Step Two: Social Media 

Once you have a website, it’s time to publicize it through social media. Places like Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok have become increasingly popular marketing tools among companies.

The usual route is to take out paid advertisements through places like Google Ads, but more recently, businesses have taken to creating social media accounts themselves—this option is great because it comes at no additional cost to you. 

When using social media as a platform for self-promotion, it’s important to consider your target market. Facebook tends to draw older users, perhaps with families and established jobs already. Instagram is largely used by people between 15 and 35; TikTok usually indulges younger generations, up through college students. 

Social media is a great way to bulk up your website’s following, so it’s important not to include too many details when using it. People scroll through social media as a way to relax—providing an excess of information can feel overwhelming and actually drive them away from your page. Instead, stick to the basics of what you can provide, use visually interesting images, and link your website (either in a post or in your profile) so people can find out more information for themselves. 

Step Three: Content Creation 

Good work! You’ve established a website and a social media page. Now, you need to fill them with something. That’s where content creation comes in. 

Website Content: On a website, your best option is blogging. Besides being a way for you to show your product, websites let you keep in touch with your customers and tell them about your progress. You can also use a blog to provide information about your field to your customers. 

You have a wide variety of options here: you could answer commonly asked questions or stick to a list-style article. For example, if you sell hiking gear, your website could host a blog with posts like, “What should you never bring on a hike?” or “The 10 Best Hidden Trails in the US.”

Blogging is also a great option because it increases traffic to your website. Instead of just being a business, you’ve now become a source of information and entertainment to your visitors, and this will help boost your ranking on a search engine result page. 

Social Media Content: On social media, you’re almost required to have more fun. People turn to social media for fast-paced entertainment, so your content needs to conform to that. A great way to do this is to follow trends but with your product in mind. And it’s okay if things get humorous here. 

A company that’s done a great job with social media is Ryanair, an Irish airline. Though getting bad press in Europe because of their low-cost style, Ryanair’s image has soared online due to their TikTok profile. They follow popular trends but do everything with airplanes—and the comedy that creates has garnered them millions of views on their videos. 

If you don’t consider yourself particularly social-media-savvy, it could help to start with a trend watch, and you’ll begin to get a feel for what kind of content your business can create. 

Maintaining an Online Presence 

Though creating a website or social media platform may be a one-time thing, you need to consistently update your content and marketing strategy to maintain your online presence. There are three main ways to do this: customer engagement, revisiting content, and getting in the news

Method One: Customer Engagement

On the bottom of Dunkin’ receipts, there’s often a QR code. If you scan it, it brings you to a survey about your customer experience at that particular Dunkin’ store. It gives you the opportunity to voice any complaints, but it also allows you to say you enjoyed your experience. That’s what customer engagement is all about. 

Customer engagement is particularly important online due to the fast-paced style of the internet. Consistently getting traffic to your website will help you stay afloat in the long run, especially as you’re continuing to build your brand. 

It also helps to build rapport between you and your customers. People like to feel in control of their experiences, and if you provide them with the option to give you feedback, they’ll be grateful for the trust they can build with your business. 

But the satisfaction survey is not the only way you can give your customers a say. Many small businesses turn to raffles and giving away some of their products as a way to hold publicity and make their customers share their content. Let’s go back to our hiking gear business to see how this might play out. 

You’ve noticed that a particular water bottle you sell is a customer favorite. So, on social media, you advertise that you are doing a giveaway of five water bottles! Of course, your company is able to afford not getting profits from those 5 bottles—otherwise, this deal would not work in your favor. But you say that to enter the giveaway, one must like the post and tag two friends. 

People who want the bottle will do these two things because they’re simple enough to do, and it garners traction for your site. You choose five lucky winners from those that participated, your company gets boosted online, and your customers are happy that you’ve engaged them. It’s a win on all sides. 

Method Two: Revisiting Content

You’ve spent a lot of time developing content to establish yourself on the web, so it’s not surprising that you need to keep doing it to keep your place. Of course, fresh topics, like your newest product launch, or a new sustainability initiative your company is taking, are great things to write about. But there’s no harm in revisiting topics you’ve already discussed (and it’s less work, too!). 

Editing and republishing old articles on a blog is a great way to boost your rankings in the eyes of the internet algorithms. Fresh traffic to an older yet revised page tells search engines that your content is consistently needed by readers. This is what’s called evergreen content, and it’s a resource you can continually use. 

Revisiting old posts is also a good way to do site maintenance. Sometimes links or images get removed, in which case your article is left with its most important source leading to an error page. Or perhaps, you might find a post that is no longer true, in which case revision is welcome. 

Finally, it sends a message to your customers. It is correcting data, updating links, and revising sentences that show you pay attention to how this website is presented to them. It’s all about the customer experience, and doing this shows them you care about it. 

Method Three: Get in the News

Easier said than done; it would seem. But it might be the solution both you and a journalist are looking for. 

Like business blog writers, personal blog writers and journalists are always looking for topics to cover, although their content tends to be more topical than evergreen. So if you reach out to them and say you have a topic, they’ll often be more than willing to hear you out. 

Good times to contact the media are when you’re doing something completely new. Things that are big changes for your business, like releasing a new line of products, starting a new political initiative, or hiring a new group of people, will be fresh stories that they are more likely to pick up on. 

Start by looking for local or online-based writers, and get a feel for their style of content. It would be difficult to pitch a story about new hiking boot technology to a journalist who writes about French politics. It will also help you, once you do contact them, to be familiar with their work because this establishes rapport. 

Whether you call or email, there are five basic steps to follow when contacting a journalist

  1. Who and what: establish why you’re contacting them. 
  2. If you’re on the phone, ask if it’s a good time: journalists have a lot on their plates, so respecting what time they’re able to meet is a good first step in. 
  3. Why them: tell them you know their work, and that is why you think they’d be a good fit for your story. 
  4. The story itself: pitch your idea! What’s so special about your new product line or initiative?
  5. Ask if they’re interested: if they are, great! If not, don’t take it personally, thank them for their time, and move on to the next one. 

Contacting the media is an interesting process because you often don’t know whether you’ve been successful until the words “yes” or “no” come out of their mouth, but getting in touch with journalists is a crucial way to expand your customer base. 

Sounds like a lot? An incredible amount of work goes into growing and maintaining a business reputation. So much so, in fact, that there are companies who can do it for you

The Benefits of a PR Company 

Working with a PR company allows you to focus on actually building your business. They have teams that can more intricately follow these techniques and even used more advanced ones, like whisper campaigns and SEO writing. But they can be expensive when you’re just starting out—so when do you know you’re ready to work with a PR company? Is it worth getting one?

Repute PR states that their three-step process of reputation management is to tidy it up, broadcast it, and then protect it. For these three steps to work, they mostly need to build off of a reputation you’ve already created. So it’s best to follow the steps outlined above to give yourself a reputation to work on until you feel that it’s concrete enough to be improved. 

But once you reach that point, it is absolutely worth investing in a PR company. The third step of Repute PR’s “Formula” is to protect your reputation—that isn’t something you can easily do on your own. Reputations are built over long periods of time, but they can be damaged by an unseen event in a matter of days. 

Working with a company like Repute PR ensures that you don’t have to worry about that. We specifically have a crisis management team that can take matters into their own hands if you run into unexpected trouble. The relief of being able to focus on what you’re putting out, instead of what everyone on the internet thinks about you, is definitely worth exploring as a business owner. 

What methods have you used to grow an online reputation?