Company Reputation Management

Maintaining a solid company reputation is critical, not just for success and growth, but for survival. After all, potential customers and job seekers consider brand reputation when deciding whether or not to engage with your company. And in an increasingly digital world, online reputation management is critical to your bottom line. So how can you ensure that your company’s employer brand is strong and reputable? You need to be intentional with a carefully executed company reputation management strategy.  We prepared a comprehensive guide to brand reputation management that includes essential definitions and key terms for company reputation, useful statistics that illustrate the importance of a strong brand, tips for developing a company reputation management strategy, and more. 

What is company reputation management?

The term “company reputation management” is the careful monitoring of the public’s perception of your organization and the strategies you employ to maintain a positive brand reputation.  Company reputation management has become increasingly more critical in the digital age, where anyone with an internet connection can add to the conversation about your organization.

Brand reputation management vs. brand safety

If you research brand reputation management, you’ll likely come across the term “brand safety.” Brand safety is an aspect of online reputation management that ensures your content and advertising materials won’t harm a company’s brand or negatively affect the consumer. What’s the difference between that and brand reputation management? Brand safety is just one of many different company reputation management strategies. It serves to protect a brand, but it’s not the only way to influence perception.

The importance of company reputation management

Every company has a brand reputation. Being intentional about company reputation management enables you to drive and control how your company is viewed. Here’s how important company reputation is to the consumer:
  • 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and 78% do so more than once a week.
  • More than eight out of ten marketers believe the primary focus of future marketing campaigns will be building trust. 
  • Nearly 70% of internet users say that online search is the most trusted source of information. 

Promoting a positive online reputation through reputation management means your organization controls the message it wants to convey rather than leaving it up to chance. 

How reputation management affects your bottom line

Leaving your brand’s good name in the hands of anyone with an internet connection will directly affect your bottom line. Here is a stat to illustrate that point: companies with negative reputations or online content risk losing up to 22% of new business deals. 

Business reputation management strategies

The internet is where most impactful conversations about your brand are happening. That’s where you should place most of your energy to observe those conversations, measure impact, and attempt to redirect perceptions.  Understanding the various reputation management strategies will help you determine the right choice for your organization. Strategies include: 

  • Expanding your online presence.
  • Monitoring social media.
  • Generating and responding to online reviews.
  • Employing monitoring programs.

Breaking down what other organizations have done to manage their reputation successfully can help you develop your reputation management strategy. Here are 12 successful strategy ideas: 

1. Employ public relations

Public relations (PR) is an effective strategy for maintaining a positive image and increasing brand awareness. A strong PR campaign can take a damaged reputation and begin to reform it. It can also thrust a little-known brand into the limelight. If you’re considering a PR campaign as part of your company’s reputation management strategy, you may want to start by speaking with an industry professional. Reputation management software is also available to track the progress of PR campaigns and reputation management plans. 

2. Utilize search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an impactful way to manage your brand online. This strategy gets more eyes on your company, which builds authority and improves public perception.  It can also help to reform a damaged company reputation. SEO as a reputation management strategy reduces the negative information about a company from search engine results and replaces it with positive content. 

3. Get active on social media

Maintaining a positive and active social media presence can help establish your company as a source of information regarding your organization. It can also showcase and expand your brand reach There are entire positions at companies today centered on social media presence. That should tell you all you need to know about its impact on brand reputation.

4. Develop a content marketing strategy

A well-planned content marketing strategy is a great way to showcase your company as a credible authority on relevant industry topics. Building audience trust has a significant impact on your company’s brand reputation.  Here are some things to consider when creating a marketing strategy:
  • Create an authentic, sustainable brand image and reputation.
  • Define your target audience and competitive advantages.
  • Control the narrative with quality content creation.
  • Make sure all messaging supports a clear mission and vision.
  • Ask for feedback often and provide solutions.
  • Monitor for reputation issues and address online issues promptly and professionally.

5. Improve customer satisfaction

Satisfied customers are one of your greatest assets for company reputation management. They can be your biggest threat, too.  One-to-one interactions, product quality, value, and support are just a few of the things that impact customer satisfaction. Develop a reputation management strategy around improving customer satisfaction, and your customers will do the rest of the work for you.  

6. Deliver a good customer experience

Your product or service may be incredible, but a poor customer experience can damage your brand reputation. That’s why you must make every last step of the customer experience memorable. Some helpful ideas include: 
  • Emphasizing friendly customer service.
  • Offering round-the-clock customer support.
  • Focusing on designing a user-friendly website.
  • Utilizing feedback to improve your product and processes.

In an ultra-competitive market, customer service excellence is an important differentiator for company reputation. 

7. Provide excellent customer support

Customer support is often needed when a customer is experiencing an issue with your product or service. It’s a vulnerable point in the customer relationship that can harm company reputation if not handled well.  Excellent customer support can be the difference between a dissatisfied customer who speaks negatively about your company and one who becomes a loyal champion. 

8. Personalize customer reactions

Your brand reputation can benefit from personalizing the customer experience. Customers feel valued when you recognize them as individuals. Using data to connect with your customer base will help you develop a strong rapport and loyal customers. Responding promptly and professionally to all customer reviews, including negative feedback, is essential. Keeping your tone consistent while responding in a personalized way minimizes reputation risks. 

9. Build a crisis response plan

Crisis communications help companies respond promptly and professionally to unforeseen issues. Although it’s impossible to be prepared for every possible issue, it’s helpful to identify responsibilities ahead of time. Building a crisis plan is also a great way to maintain consistent messaging, even during periods of chaos.

10. Leverage competitor data

We’re living in the golden age of data, where it’s easy to find helpful information about competitors and industry trends. Keep an eye out for issues at other organizations and take notes. That way, your teams can focus on creating a competitive edge instead of repeating competitors’ mistakes.

11. Nurture brand advocates

Satisfied customers, engaged employees, and loyal partners are among your company’s biggest brand advocates. Use social listening tools to get notified when your organization is mentioned positively, and then take the time to respond. Engaging with your brand champions who recommend your company can elevate your reputation to a higher level. 

12. Feature customer testimonials and success stories

Few things can do more to sway opinions about your company than the good word of your customers. Potential customers will take their word far more seriously than they take yours. Encourage positive feedback in the form of good reviews, written testimonials, or positive social media posts, and then offer rewards and perks for those who provide the feedback you want.

13. Improve employee satisfaction and engagement

Employee satisfaction and employee engagement are an important, yet sometimes overlooked, part of company reputation management. People are far more likely to trust an employee’s opinion about a company than a piece of marketing collateral.  Engaged employees speak positively about their employer and are more likely to refer your company to others. That’s why it’s vital to improve employee engagement within your organization. You can prioritize employee recognition, develop a people-first culture, and encourage feedback through employee surveys. And with virtual work environments on the rise, take time to implement remote employee engagement strategies that ensure your dispersed workforce remains committed to your company. 

14. Earn recognition as an employer of choice

Earning recognition as an employer of choice is an incredibly effective way to build a positive company reputation. Third-party awards showcase the qualities of a great workplace with a seal of approval.   Top Workplaces is one example of a credible recognition program. Based on feedback captured by an employee engagement survey, these regional and national awards indicate that your company prioritizes a people-first culture. 

Develop and implement a business reputation management plan

Here’s how to do it in five steps:
  1. Monitor to determine your company’s brand reputation.
  2. Decide how you would like to change your brand reputation.
  3. Craft a strategy based on your objectives.
  4. Carefully address negative reviews while encouraging positives.
  5. Capture feedback, measure results, and adjust accordingly.

The key is continuously revising your strategy to meet your company’s current needs. And monitor results regularly. Revisit your company reputation management plan often and note what’s working well. Here are some helpful KPIs to track results:
  • Customer loyalty
  • Employee engagement
  • Online reviews
  • Sales performance
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Social media reach

Build your employer brand with Top Workplaces

Make a positive impact on your brand reputation. Top Workplaces can help you improve your employer brand with regional and national recognition and industry and culture excellence awards. Top Workplaces is authentic and credible because it’s based on employee feedback captured by a brief, research-backed survey. Participating online is free; you receive a result snapshot, too. Plus, you can use the positive employee feedback to build your employer brand as soon as your survey is complete. To participate, nominate your company below.  

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