With 90% of customers searching a business online before deciding whether to buy, it’s never been more important to safeguard your reputation. Whilst this might sound like a great idea, it’s certainly fair to say that it’s easier said than done. You can’t singlehandedly police the internet, but there are companies that specialize in protecting the reputations of their corporate customers.
Here’s 10 ways that a well-structured reputation management strategy will safeguard your business so that you can continue to conquer the corporate world.
#1. You Can Neatly Sidestep Online Trolls
Online trolls have sadly become a fact of life, and there’s little that anyone can do to stop a small percentage of people from posting inflammatory content purely to get a reaction. That said, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept your corporate reputation being damaged by repeated troll attacks.
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The worst thing you can do, as tempting as it might be, is to throw your weight around and try and shut them down. By employing an effective corporate reputation management strategy you can put the trolls to one side and quarantine them. Ideal if you want to continue to project a calm and professional corporate image.
#2. Arguments and Disagreements Will Never Go Public
Disgruntled former employees, negative reviewers, and online trolls are all things which can cause even the most reasonable of people to lose their temper. The problem is that when you work in the corporate world you’re not just speaking on behalf of yourself, you’re speaking for the brand you represent.
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A reputation management strategy will include conflict resolution as one of its fundamental aspects. In the era of instant messaging this is particularly important as a poorly worded response can easily be construed to mean something quite different from what you intended. Stay calm, civil, and professional and the disagreements will never make it into the public domain.
#3. Learn to Surpass Your Competition with Positive Content
There’s more to beating the competition than saying that they’re not very good. Research shows that consumers respond far better to positive content that promotes a brand, so why not follow that approach?
Hiring an expert to see how you’re viewed by the masses is the best way to get started, and it may uncover some findings that you feel you need to act on immediately.
#4. Your Social Media Will Reflect Your Corporate Values
Social media can be a tricky balancing act. Do you post humorous posts to connect with the masses? Or do you keep it corporate to please your investors?
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There’s often not a clear right or wrong answer because it will depend on who your audience is, and what you’re hoping to achieve. By employing a reputation management strategy you can build a framework for your social media that will make it much easier to decide which direction to take your content.
#5. The Statements You Issue will always be Valid and Well Thought Through
Fact checking is one of the global hot topics at the moment, and for good reason. With fake news on the rise, and accounts with large numbers of followers able to reach millions with the click of a button, the validity of what you say has never been more important.
When you draft a statement you need to think about whether it connects with your target audience, and also about how it will be perceived by those people you’re unlikely to ever do business with. One of the worst things for your corporate reputation is to become seen as a faceless entity that rides roughshod over people. If you make sure what you’re saying is credible and accurate, you can greatly reduce the chances of being portrayed in that way.
#6. You Can Learn What People Really Think About You
As well as knowing your sales figures, you need to know how people view you. Large corporate entities are easy to portray as disconnected from everyday people, so don’t let it happen to you.
Search noticeboards and forums to find what people really think. That way you can act in the best interests of your brand before it’s too late to do anything to repair your reputation.
#7. Social Responsibility Will Become More Prominent
In the age of huge corporations, showing that you care has never been more important. A number of large corporates have given big business a bad name over the years, which means you’ll need to be proactive if you don’t want to be lumped in with them by default.
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By scouring your online footprint, and comparing it to your competitors, online corporate reputation management expert will be able to advise on just how prominent your social responsibility policies are. You might find the answer rather surprising.
#8. Transparency Can Be Your Secret Weapon in the Corporate World
In the name of transparency let’s keep this one short and to the point. If your online image doesn’t make it clear what you stand for and how you make decisions, why would your customers have any confidence that you’re doing the right thing?
By gaining a better picture of how you’re viewed you can realign your content and marketing to better articulate your vision for the future.
#9. Ensure Negatives Don’t Impact Investor Confidence
Maintaining the confidence of your investors is paramount, which means crisis management is an essential tool that no corporate entity should be without. In an age where a story can go around the world with the click of a button, it’s not enough to keep a lid on things and hope they go away.
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Hiring someone with a track record of quietly diffusing problematic stories in a way that enhances your reputation is the pragmatic approach to take.
#10. A Reputation Management Expert Does More than Respond to a Crisis
Consulting with an expert is the best thing you can do if you want to preserve your corporate reputation. There’s more to it than responding to a crisis with a clever press release. In fact, most of the work happens before crises even get started by acting on the information that’s out there and then taking the necessary steps to prevent them from happening.
Need professionals with a decade’s experience in turning negative online reputation into squeaky clean and gleaming profile? Hire us today and let’s turn those negative stories into a thing of the past.
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