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 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:
- Nearly nine out of every ten consumers use online business reviews to inform their purchases.
- More than eight out of ten people will research your brand online before making a purchase.
- Nearly three out of four consumers trust a business more when it has favorable online reviews.
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 have a direct effect on your bottom line, and here are some reputation report stats to illustrate the point:
- One in ten companies has reported losses of at least $100,000 due to a damaged reputation.
- Half of those same companies say the losses due to damaged reputation are closer to $600,000.
- More than one in five companies are spending money on various strategies intended to mend their brand.
Business reputation management strategies
The internet is where the vast majority of impactful conversations about your brand are happening. That’s where you should place the majority of your energy so you can 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 successfully manage their reputation can help you develop your reputation management strategy. Here are 12 successful strategy ideas for you to consider:
1. Employ public relations (PR)
Public Relations 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 and into the limelight.
If you’re considering a PR campaign as part of your company reputation management strategy, you may want to start by speaking with an industry professional.
2. Utilize search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO reputation management is a seemingly subtle but highly 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.
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 an incredible one, but a poor customer experience can damage your brand reputation. That’s why you need to make every last step of the customer experience a good one. 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 needed most often 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.
Done right, 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.
9. Nurture brand advocates
Satisfied customers, engaged employees, loyal partners are among your company’s biggest brand advocates. Use social listening tools to get notified when your organization is mentioned in a positive light, and then take the time to respond. Engaging with your brand champions who recommend your company can elevate your reputation to a higher level.
10. 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.
11. 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 they’re more likely to refer your company to others. That’s why it’s vital to improve employee engagement within your organization. You can do this by prioritizing employee recognition, developing a people-first culture, and encouraging 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.
12. 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 are an indication 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:
- Monitor to determine your company’s brand reputation.
- Decide how you would like to change your brand reputation.
- Craft a strategy based on your objectives.
- Carefully address negative reviews while encouraging positives.
- Capture feedback, measure results, and adjust accordingly.
The key is to continuously revise your strategy to meet your company’s current needs. Revisit your company reputation management plan often, and don’t forget to encourage and respond to constructive criticism.
Build your employer brand with Top Workplaces
Make a positive impact on your brand reputation. Top Workplaces can help you build your company brand with regional and national awards recognition as well as industry and culture excellence awards. Take the first step today!