4 Online Reputation Management Strategies for Businesses
Reputation management is one of the most challenging parts of running an online business. Just ask United Airlines. Even though most of their customer’s flights were comfortable and uneventful, one unfortunate situation means that their company is now known internationally for terrible customer experience. This is the unfortunate reality of reputation management. One bad experience means that your company is struggling to manage your brand’s appearance. Fortunately, with a little foresight, online businesses can take control of their media presence, and mitigate the risks of these situations happening.
Get Involved in The Conversation
What, exactly, do your customers experience while using your product? Whether good or bad, it’s important to remember that consumers are already talking about you. Some companies provide their consumers with a luxury experience they will never forget. Others offer something simple, that makes their life easier with minimal interaction. It’s important to get your company involved in the conversation. A limo company could offer to take photos of their clients, tagging them for social media. A tech company could invite users to use a certain hashtag, making it easy to track the conversation. Reputation management isn’t about silencing the negative remarks but helping consumers promote their positive experiences.
Transparency is Key
For many businesses, the immediate response to negative press coverage is to silence the complaints. Some companies want to bury a negative review under a sea of positive ones, while others try to have complaints removed from social media sites. But a negative review isn’t always bad. Sometimes, the best thing that you can do is to respond to it publicly. If you made a mistake, offer an apology and compensation. If there was a miscommunication, explain the situation and offer reasonable solutions. No company in the world is perfect. But through social media, you’re able to show the world that you take care of situations in a professional manner.
Find Opportunities for Good Publicity
The ultimate objective of online reputation management is to show the world that your brand cares about the same things your consumers do. You want to be a company that is relatable. There are endless opportunities for companies to get their name out there, and do some good while they’re at it. In 2016, the media was bringing awareness to the amount of ocean waste that was polluting our shores. Adidas captured the hearts of many when they designed a new sneaker made entirely from ocean waste. The idea was that this pollution could be dealt with through recycling, and the company got a ton of great publicity from the stunt.
Keep Communication Open
Often, when customers turn to the internet to voice their concerns, they feel as if their complaint wouldn’t have been addressed properly. If you make your company easy to access, you can improve the chances that consumers will turn to you to solve their problems before they go public. Most companies are involved on social media, but many don’t realize that you should be accessible there too. Make sure that staff is available to chat, and that you can have a 1 to 1 conversation at any time of the day. When done correctly, your customers might be posting about the great experience they just had – not their horror stories.