Reputation management is the process of influencing your credibility and reputation online by monitoring, identifying, and altering factors that affect your online reputation. A strategy for monitoring and improving your online reputation will also provide you with insights and opportunities on improving the awareness of your brand.
Maintaining a positive reputation is important for any business to achieve growth. The same is true for your online reputation, since so many people use the internet to learn about and access business services. If there are negative and erroneous comments regarding your business that come up in the search results, it is likely to turn away many potential customers. Consequently, these types of negative results have to be properly managed in order to lessen their impact on your business.
There are numerous additional reasons why having a process of reputation management in place can assist you with all of your digital marketing initiatives, but here are several reasons worth considering.
People are constantly researching products, services and brands prior to making a purchasing decision. Are you aware of what they are searching for? If you are not, then it is likely you are missing out on a lot of business. Marketing campaigns may not be effective if you are unsure of the message being received by your target audience.
Most businesses begin to examine their reputation more closely when sales start to decline. For some of these businesses, the damage to their reputation makes it difficult to regain the trust of consumers and they simply discontinue their product or service since they feel the cost of restoring their reputation would be prohibitive. What if you were able to constantly monitor online signals that would give you insight into how your business is being perceived online and what your target customers are seeking? Would this information help you to avoid damage to your reputation?
Gaining the trust of potential customers is a huge part of business success. You customers will discuss their business dealings with friends and colleagues and if they have a problems they will most likely talk about it on forums and social media sites. By accessing the internet all of your customers can be a citizen journalist so you need to be concerned with negative content being written on the internet. If your business suffers a damaged reputation, it may be very difficult to regain a positive image. Even if you are able to recover from such a calamity, the expense of regaining your reputation will be far higher than if you had a reputation management process in place to avoid it in the first place.
Investors, banks, businesses and the public at large will all research your organisation online prior to engaging in business with you. You can view investors as being a different type of consumer. Many of them may not be intimately familiar with your business and will draw conclusions based on information they find on the web. If negative information shows up on the web, it could adversely affect you, since no one wants an association with an organisation that has a negative reputation.
Rumours, speculation, and gossip have led to the destruction of many business in the past as potential customers quickly lose confidence in them. It is commonplace to see a business or celebrity quickly vanish as the result of bad publicity due to a scandal or other event. Frequently, this occurs as a result of negative information being disseminated on the internet.
During an online crisis, businesses will often have inside information that gets leaked to outside sources prior to it being made available to essential channels. In the past it was very easy to eliminate this information internally before it could get to the public domain. Today, information travels rapidly with people having instant access to social media platforms via their mobile devices. Consequently, news spreads very quickly, particularly if it is negative. Therefore, a brand that took several years to create, can be destroyed in a few minutes.
Competent and profession personnel are the backbone of any successful business. Consequently, any valuable professional you are considering hiring will likely view information regarding your company on the internet prior to accepting a position with you. If you are aware what your employees, clients, and competitors are saying about your business on the web, it can help you to hire the people you need, by insuring your business is displayed in a favourable light.
Reputation management is not simply a buzz word. It is something that you need to be constantly aware of to avoid damaging a brand that you have gone to great lengths to build.