Let's talk reputation management - Reputation Management refers to the influencing and controlling of an individual's or group's reputation. It used to be that one would only have to worry about their reputation in a heresay environment (offline), but now, there are two realms to focus on: online reputation management and offline reputation management.
Online reputation management is a marketing strategy, consisting of mentions, comments, recommendations and reviews. It's driven by your brand's website, SEO, social media, digital and social proof, and product or service sales. Offline reputation management is still traditional in the sense that most people consider it important to focus on only in time of crisis (think crisis management), but that's not the best approach. Think this doesn't apply to you because you are a small business, independent creative entrepreneur, or newly launched brand? - Oh, but it does.
The public perception of any company, institution or governmental body is fundamental to its ability to achieve its objectives. You wouldn't want to do business or support a company or brand that was down and dirty, would you? Nor would you be excited to share recommendations for a company that was just subpar. But think about the companies that you do support. They are the companies with a great reputation, the ones doing good things for the community, treating their employees well, and giving great customer service, products, or experiences. These are the companies that are using their good reputation as a strategy to build an emotional connection with its consumers and based on trust. - Case in point, you can't wait to tell others about such companies, right? And chances are you feel good about spending your money with those companies. Likewise, your potential customer feels the same way about you or your brand.
This is precisely why reputation management is one of the most important functions of a marketing and PR campaign. Even (and especially) for small businesses and the solopreneur. The hope is that with consistent, creative and clever marketing of a company's good reputation, their public relations team can wield some control over an organization's reputable image as a strategy for building brand loyalty, trust, and admiration, and thus gaining more customers.
So what are some things that you can do to create and cultivate a great reputation? Well for starters, you want to make sure your online collateral is up to par. This means:
Having a stunning website that has fresh and relevant content, professional SEO, and provides a good user experience
Make sure your social media channels and profiles are fully optimized, consistent, and active with an engaged digital community through the use of effective social media management strategy
Create an amplified platform for your in-house acquired customer reviews and share them regularly throughout all social media channels
Manage, monitor, and acquire community and consumer based reviews on platforms such as Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc. and consistently strive for 5 star reviews
Make sure your reviews (across all platforms) are recent, and high in both quality and quantitiy
Additionally putting these offline reputation marketing and management strategies into practice at your company will help you manage both your offline and online reputation:
Through quality experience, skill, and knowledge, establish yourself as an expert in your field
Host and/or participate in industry conferences and events, or public speaking opportunities
Strive to provide the best product/service/ROI within your specific industry or market
Participate in community service, community event sponsorships, and charitiable events
Network regularly with both colleagues, competitors, and your targeted consumers
Share valuable information
While creating the emotional connections and consumer loyalty through your brand's good reputation may seem like a side step or strategy that will take to long, it's an important part of your business and should not be overlooked. Not sure how your reputation or brand's image measures up or where to start on your own brand's online reputation management? Contact us here, let us at Savvy Girl PR + Marketing help you with that.
Savvy Girl PR is a national public relations, marketing, brand and social media management, business consulting agency based in Orange County, California. Priscilla Nakane is the founder and principal publicist, writer, social media manager, business strategist and business coach helping companies, brands, and female entrepreneurs with business strategy and training.
Think it doesn't apply to you?.... Oh, but it does.