Today, the Internet is used widely around the world and in most cases, is freely accessed by people. With this convenience comes the people’s capacity to share and post their thoughts to a wider reach of audience. This is why Internet is now seen as a very effective medium for free expression.
People online mainly have two purposes in mind: to share information or to look for information. Someone who has had a good exeperience in a specific restaurant can easily write a favorable review about it and post it to their blog or twitter accounts. Likewise, a disappointing stay at a hotel can be broadcasted to thousands, if not, millions of readers on the Internet at any given time. Indeed, sharing thoughts and opinions in the digital world has become very convenient and to a certain extent, unrestrained. And with the advancement of social media, consumption of reviews and opinions are at an all time high. Nonetheless, the impact of each and every review bears a lot of weight when it comes to public perception.
How serious can online brand reputation get? While positive reviews are great for building your brand online, it’s the negative ones that must be handled well. A brand having more negative reviews over positive ones definitely does not look good for a prospective customer and for strengthening your brand presence.
Because online reviews have very high chances of being exposed to a lot of people, intentional or not, online brand reputation management is fast becoming a necessary component of any digital marketing campaign.
Here are best practices for a good online brand reputation management:
Have a solid foundation.
A solid foundation means a strong reputation to begin with. How? Start early and work on your own properties online. Creating your brand’s website and official profiles on popular social media gives you the opportunity to gathering and keep a couple of loyal customers together. These customers will serve as your brand ambasadors while your online properties will serve as the official point-of-contact for your brand with your customers.
Identify common avenues of engagement.
Make a baseline list of the sites you will monitor for feedback. Search for keywords related to your business. Then, take note of the most popular social media sites talking about your products or services such as Facebook, Twitter, popular forum sites, and many more. Find out where most of your niche hangouts online and see what they are saying about you.
Make a good CRM.
Customer Relations Management (CRM) is esentially your strategy to keep customers happy. Part of it is online brand reputation management. Online brand reputation management does not just mean responding to customer queries online, but creating new customers online as well. Haivng a good CRM gives your company a strategic protocol that can be carried out seamlessly at any time under any circumstance.
Show sincerity and transparency.
Though customers cannot see you, they will feel your sincerity through your quick response and empathy expressed in your messages. Provided you do not have a solution yet, you can still apologize and give a turnaround time when you can get back with an answer. This way, your customers will feel valued and will get an assurance that their concerns are acknowledged and considered.
When interacting with your customers online, avoid engaging with controvertial issues such as religion and politics. Also, maintain neutrality and be careful not to be carried away with your emotions even when dealing with a difficult customer (or even if you think that a negative feedback is from a troll or the competitor). Remember, you are responding as the company and that others will read what you say.
Be clear with your policies.
Company policies, even promo mechanics, should be written in detail and be made available when necessary. This is part of building credibility online. This also gives your company a protection in case irate customers complain of perceived “irregularities.”
Monitor your own reputation.
Always see to it that all your online accounts are checked at least once a day, especially popular social media sites and forum sites you have taken note of in step number 2. Always be friendly. Treat all feedback as important. Even a “This is great!” comment deserves a “Thanks!”
One aspect of running a successful online brand reputation management is the ability to respond to comments in a timely manner. Adopting this practice gives your company the best chance to arrest any possibility of negative feedback blowing out of proportion.
Yes, the digital landscape has opened a new venue for people to talk and find information. A good strategy to keep your brand relevant and competitive is to make sure to keep your online brand reputation strong.
Get Hooked 360, Digital Marketing Agency Philippines