A business can't always control what is being said about them online. However, marketers outfitted with the right skills and experience are better able to manage the breadth and depth of information out there to proactively take control of a company's reputation. With potential customers or clients turning to Google to learn about a company, it will be an expert marketing team that will be able to actively manage the reputation of a brand. As more time is spent online than ever before, it's crucial that the online recognition a brand has created for itself or others have contributed to is positive. The use of several tools and strategies can benefit the company.
Steps for managing an online reputation:
1) Hire the right marketing team. A poor online reputation or even one that is not actively managed is a ticking time bomb. Before a company can ensure that the feelings the brand invokes is positive online, it needs to hire the right team of people. Marketing employment agencies provide companies with access to individuals who have proven themselves in the marketplace and developed their own positive reputation in the industry. Consult with the experts about what type of background a marketing professional should have to determine the candidate that is the best option.
2) Create a search engine optimization strategy. SEO is hardly a palm reading enterprise. Companies must understand the power of the web and how one phrase strung together can have an impact on whether a potential client wants to deal with a business. Consumers are digitally savvy and the first place many go to for research on the reputation of a company is online – even before they talk to friends and family. While many customers believe the opinions of their close acquaintances more than online reviews, they are still measuring the two against each other and if friends and family don't know the reputation of the business, the online reviews will become the determining factor.
Ten Golden Reviews, a marketing firm blog, said that a recent survey of 300 consumers from the Society of New Communications Research found that about 74 percent of consumers select companies based on the experiences and reviews shared online by other customers.
3) Increase brand engagement opportunities. Social media provides customers with access to a business that was never previously possible. Now, individuals are comfortable posting their feelings about either a positive or negative customer care interaction. Therefore, it's crucial to use these platforms to better the image of the company and help customers who express less than positive reviews or negative feedback. It's important to remain aware that negative reviews will happen and that deleting negative comments that are topical can create even more bad press for a company's online reputation. Instead, create engagement opportunities so that customers can comment on trends, new product launches or current events to draw their attention to the brand in a positive way.
4) Share the right content. Blogs, social media and other various digital types of content can be artfully leveraged to better promote the positive aspects of a brand. Not every company is made to have a "hip" presence online, but that doesn't mean a business that is more business-to-business and works in the background can't have an engaging presence online to better manage its reputation. Even B2B clients check out the reputation of another company before considering a marketing sales pitch.