When you were applying to jobs right out of college, your advisor, family and friends may have told you to watch what you post on social media because you had to create a positive online brand reputation to get a job.
A positive reputation matters for both individuals and for businesses. When customers search for businesses online, they will turn away if they see negative content or reviews about your company.
According to Steve Olenski, contributor for Forbes, many brands don’t think about reputation management until a company crisis occurs. Olenski argues that brands should not think of reputation management, but instead, reputation marketing.
Reputation marketing is a way of thinking about your reputation in the same way you think about your marketing – as a constant and competitive advantage, a cause of growth, and a strategic asset, Olenski writes.
Brands trigger emotional responses. Those emotional responses can be positive or a negative. It’s your job to make sure you are constantly on top of your reputation – making sure it is a positive feeling is created and then maintained for customer loyalty.
Reputation Marketing to Promote Your Brand
There are multiple ways to promote your brand with reputation marketing.
One way to promote your brand is to get more reviews. More and more consumers are reading and writing reviews about businesses. Therefore, getting reviews from current customers is an important part of reputation marketing.
Concourse Sports, a multi-channel retailer, increased the amount of reviews for their stores by 2,800 percent on Google and Facebook.
Brandon Judd, copywriter and social media specialist for Concourse Sports, says his team created four different email campaigns from a list of customer emails. Concourse Sports increased organic sales by 22 percent in August 2017 because of several factors, including a positive online brand reputation, a revamped retargeting strategy, and a win-back campaign.
Monitor and Manage Your Brand Reputation
Consumers go online when researching a new business. In fact, 63.6 percent of consumers say they are likely to look at online reviews on Google before visiting a business. That’s more than any other major review site.
Because consumers go online when checking out new businesses, you’ve got to make sure you’re paying attention to what customers are saying. It’s important for you to know when a new review is posted, for example, so you can respond in a timely manner.
According to the 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Survey, 53 percent of customers expect businesses to respond to their negative reviews within a week. But businesses are failing to meet this expectation. 63 percent of customers say that a business has never responded to their review.
In reputation marketing, it’s also essential to analyze customer feedback.
Use Customer Feedback to Improve Operations
Make operational changes based on insights from the customer feedback found in online reviews, social media, and surveys. If multiple customers say the food is too cold across reviews and surveys, for example, make an operational change to make sure the food is hot when it’s served.
When you are listening to customers and using their feedback to make your business better, your efforts will show in reviews and social media. If you are improving operations, customers will start to write about how delicious the food is instead of how cold the food is.