A Definitive Guide to Understanding Online Reputation Management

A Definitive Guide to Understanding Online Reputation Management

digital reputation management

Did you know that 91% of people read reviews online? The majority of those people trust what they see as much as their own friends’ opinions.

What people say about a company has more influence than we tend to think. And, if you’re not careful, those opinions could do a lot of harm.

Keep reading to learn about digital reputation management, its significance, and how you can use it to grow your brand.

What is Digital Reputation Management?

Imagine that you’ve made an embarrassing mistake at work. In confidence, you tell a trusted co-worker, thinking that they’ll have your back and will reassure you.

Soon, you begin to hear talk around the office about your mistake, and not all of it is honest.

You may have only made a typo or sent the wrong document to a client, but now everyone in the office thinks you bombed a big case and can’t be trusted. Now, your reputation around the office is tarnished.

In fact, what was only a simple mistake now might affect your ability to work with certain teams in the future.

You’d need a way to handle the damage and clear your name. That’s what brand reputation management is all about.

Reputation management is the collection and analysis of your brand’s public perception and the strategies you use to address and enhance that perception.

Why Does Reputation Management Matter?

We rely on the Internet more than ever. We use the Internet to shop, work, order food, connect with friends, and research local businesses.

What you see online has the ability to influence your purchasing decision.

Say you’re looking into two similar restaurants. One has a four-star rating, while the other has a two-star rating. You’d likely choose the four-star restaurant.

Ultimately, it was that public influence that helped you make your purchasing decision. That’s why reputation management is so significant.

It can help you understand what people are saying, why they’re saying it, and what you can do to address their concerns.

Digital Reputation Management Tips

So what does brand reputation management look like in a practical sense?

The first and most important step is to analyze the public conversation about your brand. What are people saying? Where are they saying it and how can you respond?

You can’t tackle a problem without first understanding it.

One easy way to monitor your reputation is by setting up a Google Alert for your business. Anytime someone mentions your brand, you’ll get a notification.

Which brings us to an important topic: What should you do about negative comments or reviews?

Though your first reaction could be to defend your business or ask the person to take down their negative comment, doing so will only harm your business in most cases.

Unless a user is flat-out lying about something or you believe there’s legitimate malicious intent behind their comments, it’s best to leave their comments up.

People value transparency. If they see you actively trying to manipulate the conversation in a way that sweeps the problem under the rug, you’ll have far bigger issues.

What you should do, however, is respond to those messages. Be kind and thoughtful in your response. Address the person’s concern and ask what you can do to make the situation right.

If you’re seeing a lot of negative comments about the same thing, you may choose to release a statement first. That way, your followers at least understand that you’re aware of the problem and you’ll have a bit more time to respond to each person.

Be Part of the Conversation

To wrap things up, digital reputation management is about more than just good PR. It’s about understanding the public’s perception of your brand and learning what you can do to improve those opinions in an honest, transparent fashion.

It’s time to take an active approach to your brand management.

If you’d like to see what people are saying about your business, get in touch for a free scan of your business!

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