How a company or brand image is created and managed on the Internet has changed a lot in recent times and continues to evolve. The media no longer have such a strong influence on the formation of public opinion. Consumer opinion plays a role. This includes not only review sites but thematic blogs, influencers, and opinion leaders. The reason for this was the increase in Internet accessibility, massive digitalization and a shift in the age of users.
Since many companies are represented on the Internet, competition has also increased. Therefore, you can often come across black PR from unscrupulous competitors. Companies and brands need to constantly work on their image and reputation, gain consumer confidence, and interact with publications and bloggers, influencers, and commentators.
Online reputation management has become an integral part of the business of many companies, as without paying due attention to business reputation management, there is a risk of being attacked by dissatisfied customers, detractors or competitors.
You cannot please all the people 24/7
Even if you are confident in the quality of the services provided or your products, this does not guarantee that negativity about your company will not appear on the network. In any case, as the saying goes, you can’t please everyone all of the time. There will always be those that will complain about something that you do.
Feedback and comments on the network must be constantly dealt with, as they can become an uncontrollable stream of negativity, which will become increasingly difficult to cope with over time. But do not give up on communication with your target audience on review sites – this is one of the most effective channels of interaction with them. After receiving positive feedback, express your thanks to the contributor, and even after having received a negative viewpoint again, thank them for their comments and promise to work hard to resolve any issues and to avoid future conflict situations. The main thing is to listen to your consumers and take action if they don’t like something about your operation, product or service. By admitting your mistakes and eliminating their cause, you will gain trust among your target audience, thereby improving the company’s image on the Internet.
Business reputation and corporate image on the Internet
A company’s reputation on the Internet is based on information available on the Internet. At the same time, unofficial sources have a more significant influence, as past practice has always shown. A different criterion in building a reputation is the company’s interaction with users. The tone of communication, reaction to negative responses and events plays a significant role. The profile of a company or its key employees on social media can tell a lot about their values and affect the company’s reputation as a whole.
To build a positive reputation in the network, it is necessary first to develop a clear action strategy. Importantly, you must give serious consideration to the current state of your standing in the information field, then define goals and work out an action plan to avoid a reputational crisis. The correct approach will help attract new customers, retain existing ones, and reduce possible financial risks.
We have compiled a short list of basic guidelines for effective online reputation management. These are:
- Encourage the publication of reviews from customers
To get started, create a convenient infrastructure for receiving feedback. This can be the reviews section on the official website and company profiles on popular social networks. This is necessary to respond to published reviews, comments or questions promptly. Next, encourage your customers to publish their opinions on their interactions with the company. This can be accomplished using emails with a request for feedback, dialogue on social networks or on the official website.
This will increase the array of information about your company and the number of users going to the landing pages. The more positive responses about the company in the search results, the more trust it inspires among the target audience. In addition, you will understand what customers like and what they don’t. In accordance with this, you will be able to improve your services and effectively interact with your consumer.
- Respond to negative comments
If negative feedback is ignored, it builds up over time and can cause significant harm to the company. In addition, it will be much more difficult and costly to deal with. By responding to negativity and eliminating causes of grievance, you will increase customer loyalty by showing that they are important to you and your company.
- Do not expect that removing negative reviews or other negativity about a company from search results will solve all problems
Negative reviews can be helpful. They can only help improve the quality of the services provided. As is mentioned in the previous paragraph, responding to negative reviews without emotional colour and showing interest in solving the consumer’s problem will only strengthen trust in you.
Managing the corporate image and business reputation of a company must be carried out on an ongoing basis to achieve the best results and to protect it during times of reputational crisis. In this regard, it is best to trust the professionals who will develop and implement the most effective action strategy for your specific company, considering the current situation and provide 100% focus on your target audience.
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