For years, companies across the globe have invested billions of dollars on advertising and marketing expenditures to grow their businesses. From full campaigns to paid ads, companies have invested countless dollars and time to promote their businesses to ensure their name is in front of the right consumers.
Reputation management is often the other half of these marketing/advertising efforts and involves everything from basic PR to calculated strategies aimed at managing the image the company portrays across multiple platforms. At VIG we’ve seen many of our clients take essential steps to managing their reputation.
From staying on top of social media to encouraging positive reviews of their products and services, reputation management is an important part of standing out in today’s crowded marketplace. To help passionate professionals just like you, we’ve pulled our top tips from the team to help you understand the essentials of how reputation management can help you make a strong impact in today’s market.
Manage Your Digital Footprint
One of the first areas we discuss with our clients when the topic of reputation management arises is the concept of effectively managing each area of your digital footprint. The digital footprint of your company can include everything from the content on your website, profiles on social media accounts, and even company descriptions/content on directory sites.
Ensuring that you have a professional image across each one of these touchpoints is essential to not only building your reputation but managing it as well. If your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, or even LinkedIn are neglected and feature outdated company logos, about sections, or posts, it’s not helping you portray a clean and professional image for your business.
Performing occasional housekeeping and updating logos and content on your website, social media accounts, and online directories like your Google Business Listing is essential to creating a cohesive brand image and managing the reputation of your company. This will help you create a professional image for your company and build credibility and trust among your customers.
This trust can translate to more communication in the form of likes/shares on social media, contact form submissions on your website, and higher organic SEO rankings for your website.
Add a Personal Feel to Your Company
One of the easiest ways to build and maintain the reputation of your company is to build trust among your customers. Many professionals relate the trust customers have for a company to honest and straightforward practices, fair pricing, and transparency with customers. To build and improve on these areas, it helps to add a personal feel to your company’s image.
All too often, companies focus on creating an overly professional image that’s focused on selling a product or service and not necessarily concerned with connecting with customers on a more personal level. One way to avoid this is to show the personal side of your company and create a friendlier image.
Creating an about page, team page, and showing off some of your company culture is a great start. It not only shows there are real people behind your company but also gives a candid feel to your brand. Showing customers that you have a personal side and that you’re people-oriented makes you easier to trust and also adds to your credibility.
Done well, adding a personal feel to your company can help you open a line of communication with customers, find qualified candidates for future positions, and improve company culture overall.
Encourage Reviews & Feedback
In the world of marketing and PR, honesty and transparency are pivotal to a company’s reputation. Whether you sell products on an eCommerce website or install HVAC systems in customer’s homes and businesses, encouraging reviews and feedback of your products or services is essential for building your company’s reputation.
Take a step back and think of your company from a prospective customer’s viewpoint. You’re looking for products/services that fit your needs. You have a budget you need to stay within and you’re unsure about whether choosing this company over a competitor is the right choice. If you’re like many customers in this position, you’re going to research and learn as much about this company as you can.
Reading reviews on Angie’s List, Yelp, and other professional websites would probably be your first step to finding out if this is the right decision for you. To successfully manage the reputation of your company, you need to encourage reviews on these sites and develop a plan to respond to negative content.
Positive reviews are great and help reduce cognitive dissonance for your customers. Negative comments are obviously unfavorable but present an opportunity to open a line of communication. If a customer leaves a negative comment about your product, service, or customer service, you need to make a plan for how you are going to respond to this comment, adjust your approach, and how you’re going to move forward in the future.
This will truly help you engage in reputation management in a literal sense and also help build credibility among your customers both now and in the future.
Promote Great PR
One of the main concepts of managing a company’s reputation is actually building one over time. Many experts gravitate towards traditional facets of reputation management like social media, content, and reviews without focusing on quality PR. Everything from press releases to published articles and events can be great opportunities to spread the word about your company.
We’ve seen many of our clients choose a mix of these tools to promote their businesses in a positive way. If your company has an important milestone such as a big anniversary, a press release from a local news outlet like the Central Penn Business Journal might be a great way to let your customers and the general public know.
If you are involved in several events and organizations throughout your community, sponsoring the next bake sale or 5k might be another great way to get your name in front of a wider audience. These efforts not only show potential customers that you’re an active company with milestones and accomplishments, it can also show that you’re civic-minded and have great ties to the community.
Reputation management has been a central topic of concern for marketing and PR professionals for years. Whether you’re a master of social media or love uploading fresh content to your WordPress powered website, taking effective steps to building and maintaining a strong relationship with customers is one of the best ways to cut through the clutter and grow your business.
Feel like your reputation could use a boost? We’re here to help. Think VIG!