Reputation Management: How to Be
Accountable for the Brand That Is You
Copyright © 2017 by Ty Howard. All rights reserved.
Reputation is an essential quality for every business. What others think about you, especially what your customers or other stakeholders think about your brand can mean the difference between being successful and bombing. These days a tweet on Twitter or a post on Facebook can go viral faster than you can say “boo” and that can be good or bad, depending on your business reputation, so you’d better be paying attention to the reputation of your brand.
A business’ reputation is shaped through its actions. How well those actions show the good or the bad will either earn you credibility or knock you down for the count. All these are reasons why reputation management is a serious business in today’s fast paced world. Business owners must take a proactive approach to their strategy of good reputation management to make your brand stand out from the crowd and be known for having a great product or service so you can attract and keep your target audience.
How can you maintain good reputation management?
First, to maintain a good reputation, you must know if your business has a good or bad reputation. To find that out you must ask your customers some questions, such as “How do people feel about your company?” or “Are people saying great things or horrible things about your company?”
If your reputation is already good, then great! But now you need to make sure to keep it that way. Your patrons, staff, and everyone else are expecting your company to hold onto your values, be honest and be dependable. One big way that people learn about your company’s reputation is via search engine results. When they Google your company’s name, you want good things to pop up in the first page of results, not some viral video that shows something bad or embarrassing about it.
Online and Offline Reputation Management
So, with the Internet today, you must manage both online and offline reputation. Online reputation management is focused on watching over the search engine results, as well as what shows up on social media regarding your company. Offline reputation management is when you handle the public’s and your target audience’s view of your company. It is normally handled via things like press releases in non-digital publications, billboards, word of mouth, etc.
For instance, Google’s algorithm plays a part in reputation management. That’s because when someone puts something into a search engine like Google it puts out the results of that word or phrase. So, if there’s some rumor going around, i.e. “XYZ business’ CEO is in jail” then your company’s reputation is going to suffer when that pops up first in the search page. It could take a long time for better information and more positive information to get placed ahead of that horrible issue since Google shows the most popular and trending data first.
So, while you may not be able to totally prevent your CEO from doing something to get arrested, you can have good public relations people who can immediately write up a few press releases informing your target audience that your company is in total control of the situation and tell them how it will or won’t affect them using your product or service. They can also interact honestly with your followers on social media and get a more positive message out – as soon as possible – that will hopefully dispel the rumor.
Size Doesn’t Matter; Customers Treat You The Same
The size of your business makes no difference when it comes to regulating your brand’s reputation, as both big and small companies must take it seriously. Information is just about instantaneous these days and if your business pisses off a customer or on the other hand, really makes a customer happy, both these sentiments are going to get out on social media, or other ways, and work toward either a positive or negative feeling about your brand.
Additionally, maintaining a good brand reputation could also mean knowing when not to say anything. Sometimes it is best to keep your mouth shut when something happens, while other times you better get word out ASAP. So, it’s necessary to do things like monitor social media, news reports, and what your customers are saying to each other about your brand. That means reacting to things like complaints and immediately engaging with that customer and fixing their issue fast.
The bottom line is that your company’s brand reputation is vital to your bottom line and your company staying in business or failing. You need to ensure that your company has a good reputation via good morals, being well respected by customers and the public, monitoring and taking care of problems fast, not ignoring criticism, knowing when to engage and when to ignore things, learning from experience and above all, taking care of your customers the way you would want someone to take care of you.
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About the Author: Ty Howard,
Mr. Untie the Knots®,
Freeing Maximal Business, Performance & Human Potential Daily!
Ty Howard is an internationally recognized authority on organizational and managerial practices that optimize employee performance and success. He is the creator and lead facilitator of the trademarked “Untie the Knots®” Optimal Performance Process, and the author of Untie the Knots®: Improving Habits, Choices, People, Relationships, Performance and Results, as well as dozens of published articles on employee and organizational performance and development worldwide. For information on his programs and services, visit: http://www.tyhoward.com.