Online reputation management simply refers to a set of activities performed to safeguard the online presence of an individual or organization with an end goal of influencing the perception or opinion of the general public about that entity on the internet.Some of the strategies or ways an individual or business can engage reputation management to safeguard their online presence may include:
1. Embracing negative and/or constructive criticism
Regardless of who an individual is or the service rendered as a brand, at some point in time criticism may arise against you and this is particularly true on the internet where people’s voices are a lot more notorious, but this is where a lot of people and brands fail when it comes to online reputation: they tend to take it the wrong way and react harshly or downright ignore that criticism.
Rather than acting rashly, it’s better to listen to what your audience is trying to say and embrace it, then try to improve based on this criticism. Why? Because you as a person or brand is not perfect and your target audience’s opinion is essential given that they are the consumers or stakeholders.
For this reason accepting constructive criticism and providing constructive feedback is an essential part of your online reputation and you must value it.
2. Be transparent
I can’t begin to properly stress how important transparency is when it comes to online reputation management especially in dealing with customer feedback. A lot of people or brands tend to hide certain conversations and/or information because they are usually scared of how they might be perceived, but the reality is that being transparent can come a long way to boost your reputation.
There are many ways to be transparent with your brand:
Ask for feedback from your audience.
If your audience have a complaint about something you did, or a product or service, address it.
If you are contacted through private messaging on social media, answer them.
Establish direct communication with your target audience.
Transparency is one of the most important factors when developing online reputation management and it’s the best way to maintain a certain level of consistency as a person or brand in terms of communication.
3. Don’t attract negative attention
Negative attention can be a tremendous detriment to your brand and it can have a lot of consequences on the way your business is perceived. So this is a key factor when dealing with online reputation
For example, if you insult someone or a client on social media platforms, there is very high possibility for what you’ve said to spread and create the perception that you as a person or your brand is lacking professionalism. On the other hand, if you are offering a product of subpar quality, then you are very likely to draw less people and more criticism because of the poor reception that your product has received.
4. Monitor what people are saying about you
This does not mean you should go stalk people or anything, but rather keep tabs on what people and the general public are saying about you these days and determine the elements that might be helpful to take into account when trying to improve your brand.
For example, you may Google your brand and you discover that there are insightful articles about you or your products, showing what is working and what isn’t. This is good: you can use that information to improve yourself, product, service or brand and even go as far as dropping a comment saying “Thank you for your helpful feedback. We’ll start improving on it!”
Online reputation management is built under the notion that what other people think and say about you matters and you need to keep a critical perception about yourself in order to not become complacent. This is why monitoring what is being said about you is such a useful strategy.
5. Develop your audience on social media
Just having a presence on social media is not enough; your brand has to be active on said platforms and contribute in a positive manner in order to have much more positive results. This is really important when it comes to online reputation because if you offer a friendly, approachable and respectful personality on social media, then there is a higher chance of people rating you and valuing your brand has one of quality.
It is often said that any publicity is good publicity, but I disagree: make sure to look good when you are engaging on social media. Be the fun brand, the mature one and the respectful one. Think long term of the consequences of this and you will understand how important this is.
6. Use an online reputation management tool for best results
There are so many factors that contribute to your business online presence some of which are reviews, listings, mentions and random feedback from customers to name a few. All these contents about your business are generated from different platforms all across the internet and keeping track of them manually and individually can take a lot of your valuable time. As a business owner you want to concentrate on delivering the best service/product to your customers, this should be your number one priority and definitely will take most of your time.
Engaging an online reputation management tool like the Reputation Manager will automate the process of monitoring, analysing, optimising and responding to what the online community is saying about you and your business thereby freeing up more time for you. Some of the common benefits of this tool are:
Enables you to easily resolve customer complaints fast
Easily propagate customer service activities
Fast and personalised service helps you earn customer trust
Generate more positive word-of-mouth about your business online as you engage with customers
Improves business transparency
Opens window for more business opportunities.
Strengthens business growth and presence in digital channels.
Helps you get and promotes online endorsements
Helps you in addressing negative reviews and comments about your business online