Your reputation is one of your most valuable assets in the business world. Think about it, when doing business, your clients need to invest their money and trust you with their private info, such as their physical address and their credit card information. Why would they do this if they have any concerns that you might not be trustworthy enough? With that in mind and without further ado, here are six things you can do in order to protect your brand’s online reputation.
- Learn how to say no
The majority of times that your company fails to wrap up a project in time or complete it with a satisfying degree of quality is due to the fact that you’ve accepted a task that’s beyond your team’s abilities. For this to work, you first need to know your business inside and out, so that you can recognize when a request is beyond your capacities. Second, you need to learn how to refuse people without insulting them or making them not want to do business with you ever again. Burning bridges is one of the most dangerous things you can ever do in the business world.
2. Ask people to leave positive reviews.
Another thing you need to do is try to make sure that the number of positive reviews exceeds the number of negative ones at any given point. This is problematic due to the fact that those who are dissatisfied are more likely to leave a review than those who are happy with your products. Therefore, you need to start asking people to be open about whether they like your products or not. Also, you need to ask them to make a public statement about it. You would be surprised at how much of them would listen.
3. Prepare for a crisis
Sometimes, the damage to your reputation won’t be consistently happening all over the place but it will have a root cause in a single controversy or problem. Before you can resolve this, however, you need to know the exact proportions of the crisis and one of the ways to do so is to find a platform specialized in crisis management. This way, you can monitor brand mentions in order to see exactly what kind of situation you’re dealing with. Needless to say, this will help you come up with an appropriate response.
4. Remove negative content
There are some scenarios in which all you have to do is reach out to bloggers and ask them to take down the content that has a negative brand mention. However, this is a tactic that might potentially backfire, due to the fact that some people may feel personally insulted by the request. Instead, you can try other methods to get content removed from the internet. Negative reviews can be removed, just like search results from Google. This may just give you the tools to further insulate your brand from unjust online backlash. Before that can happen, though, you need to make sure that the content violates the terms of the service.
5. Make sure that you respond in time
If you respond to controversy right away, you might not have enough information and may make the situation even worse. On the other hand, sometimes, delaying your answer for too long may make you appear substantially guiltier. The key to resolving this issue to your own benefit lies in trying to predict a crisis before it spawns. Sure, such a thing isn’t always possible yet, you need to accept that things won’t always go smoothly.
6. Your clients aren’t the only ones who need to be pleased
Sometimes, even if you can make your customers happy with a response, the same will not go for your shareholders or partners. The thing is that someone who has their money in your business isn’t going to be pleased with a generic apology or a Twitter statement. Here, you’ll need to invest more time and effort into explaining everything and be ready to answer all of their questions. Also, this is something that you need to do in person, instead of entrusting it to a PR team.
The very last thing worth considering is the fact that protecting your brand’s reputation needs to be a continuous effort. Therefore, it’s much safer to think about the above-listed six items as mechanisms (to be used and reused) than temporary methods. Also, being proactive (instead of being reactive) is probably the best way to protect your brand in the years to come.