The internet can be a battleground, and your business needs a superhero to protect it against inaccurate information, competitors, and other nefarious forces. In a bygone era, you could rely on a commitment to good business practices to ensure a positive relationship with the public. In the modern digital marketplace, it is important to implement a variety of strategies for brand reputation protection.
What Is Brand Reputation Protection?
It has never been easier for a business to target and interact directly with potential customers. Gone are the days of the anonymous comments box where businesses could receive suggestions and complaints out of public view. Today, customers use social media to offer praise or vent their displeasure.
The unwritten rule is that even if customers leave a complaint on their personal social media account, they secretly expect the brand will hear their objection and respond accordingly. This unvoiced expectation creates a need for all businesses to implement an online reputation management strategy.
Brand reputation protection allows business owners to monitor the online discussion over their service, brand, or product. All businesses hope to be the focus of a positive viral media story, which can provide a staggering level of brand visibility. However, it is equally important to protect against negative viral media attention that can cause irreparable brand damage. Brand reputation protection gives business owners the power to influence the online discussion about their brand and provide course corrections when necessary.
6 Things to Know
1. It Should Prevent Inaccurate Listings
One of the first things you need to ensure is that any online listings that reference your brand have accurate information. It is easy to ensure the listings are accurate on pages you control.
However, there are many listings that harvest and copy information from third party sites. If these listings are inaccurate, or your business hours change, they could lead to customer frustration. Frustrated customers often leave negative reviews, which can severely damage your online reputation.
Digital reputation experts use smart tools to scour the internet in search of incomplete or inaccurate data. With the regular demands of a business, you don’t have time to search the internet for listings to verify their accuracy. Smart tools help provide business owners with the peace of mind that they will not be subject to a negative online response because of an inaccurate third party listing that they didn’t even know existed.
2. It Involves Cultivating Positive Reviews
Recent studies have concluded that potential customers give nearly the same credibility to online reviews as they do to recommendations from friends and acquaintances. Many people search for a business and make their final choice based on the star rating and the number of reviews that turn up in the search. Therefore, it is important for all brands to develop a positive presence on review sites.
One star reviews can be very damaging to your brand’s online presence, but there are some things businesses can do to minimize the negative effect. Businesses can request the removal of obviously illegitimate reviews, but this can be a time-consuming process. A better response is to bury negative reviews with promotions that lead to a proliferation of positive reviews. Your digital marketing expert can help ensure that all review pages have positive reviews that will help make your business a more attractive choice for potential customers.
3. It Uses Smart Tools
A single person, or even a team of people, cannot monitor the whole Internet in search of conversations that relate to your brand. Scrolling through thousands of pages of data would be time consuming and inefficient. However, it’s very important that you know what is being said about your brand so that you can respond appropriately and make sure the conversation remains positive.
Modern smart tools can effectively monitor the internet and provide you with simple, actionable reports to a single dashboard, email, or even text messages. The sooner you respond to a trending issue, the better chance you have of converting a potentially negative discussion into something positive for your business. Time is critical for brand reputation protection, and you should consider every mention of your brand as an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to superior customer service.
4. It Involves Proper Training for Employees
Things can get out of control quickly on the internet, and it’s important that everyone involved with your business has a strong foundation in professional online etiquette. All businesses should regard online interactions with the same importance and with the same expectations for professionalism that they have for employee interactions with customers in their place of business.
Every employee represents your business and has an influence on the online perception of your brand. This applies both to your employees when they are interacting with the public from a business social media account and when they make posts on their private social media pages. Your digital marketing expert can help you design and implement workshops so you and all your employees know expectations for online interactions that will protect your brand’s reputation.
5. You Must Keep Up-to-Date With New Trends
Brand reputation protection is as important to your business as your legal or accounting team. You don’t have to be a digital marketing expert to understand that technology evolves quickly. Marketing tactics that were effective as little as six months ago become obsolete and represent a sunk cost if your business cannot adapt and implement new strategies. Keeping up to date with modern techniques, tools, and methods is a full-time job that requires the diligence of an expert.
Many businesses attempt to handle their brand reputation protection in house, but this is an inefficient and ineffective strategy. Employees do not have time to research digital marketing trends and implement them while they perform their other duties. The result is that your business will be slow to learn and implement new strategies. Building a relationship with a professional digital marketing team helps ensure you will have access to the most dynamic strategies.
6. It’s the Best Return on Your Investment
Brand reputation management is like a shield that helps ensure your business will not be caught off guard by a negative viral media story. The information you receive from your brand reputation practices can also be used to magnify the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.
The more you know about how potential clients respond to your services and your advertisements, the more you can adapt your business to suit the needs of your clients. With targeted marketing and smart tools, you can apply statistical analysis to ensure you get the most out of every marketing dollar you spend.
Take Control of Your Brand
The internet evolves fast, and if you don’t have a knowledgeable expert on your side, you and your business can quickly fall behind. The internet has enormous power both to elevate your business to new levels of profitability, or to bring it crashing down.
Disregarding brand reputation protection can also leave you vulnerable to smear campaigns from unscrupulous competitors. In the lawless wasteland of the internet, it’s important to have a protector on your side. Contact the experts at DM Collective today to discover how to take your brand to the next level.