Reputation Management: Why it Matters

Chelsea Miller and Morgan Shaffer shake hands in the 8THIRTYFOUR office while five stars are superimposed over them.

Here’s a hard truth: your reputation can make or break your business or brand. In today’s world, if you’re not taking the time to manage and monitor your online reputation, you’re screwed. People love to speak their minds (that’s like…literally the point of social media), and without you to manage it, that can be murder on your business.
Although you can’t control what people are going to say about your brand, there is one thing you have complete control over: how you respond. Here are a few simple tips on how to manage your online reputation.

Have a Plan

It’s crucial that you have a plan, not just for a crisis, but for day-to-day situations, too. Make sure that you have a basic social media plan in place that outlines messaging, standard customer service responses, approved content and steps to take if a crisis should hit.
When someone flames you, do you shift to private messages? Do you want them to call your business? What about a really bad situation? We’re talking worst-case, where someone threatens legal action. You need to be prepared to handle anything that comes at you. When you don’t have a plan, mistakes happen, and we have seen brands seriously suffer from it.

Always Respond (Quickly) to Negative Feedback

Ignoring negative feedback is not an option. You’ve essentially given your customer the middle finger and said, “I don’t care what you think. Shout into the void!”
Did you know that 90% of customers read reviews before purchasing from or working with a business? That means that the little comment you’re ignoring could be costing you. Literally (side note: we really love this word).
A meaningful response can save your reputation. Make sure to address the poster’s concern and let them know that you want to fix the issue. Most importantly, respond within 24 hours of the original comment. The longer you wait, the more the conversation will build as others chime in. All that time without a response is time for retweets and shares of the negative feedback.   

Refine Your Business Strategy

Pay close attention to the feedback that you’re getting. By reviewing your negative feedback, you may realize that your customers’ negative experiences are all related to the same area of your business. This is a great opportunity to improve processes!
Swallow your pride and fix the problem. Sometimes your harshest critics can be your biggest blessing.

Maintain Thought Leadership

Maintaining thought leadership is a great way to stay at the forefront of your industry and be seen by your target audience as an expert in your field. Be sure to post relevant, useful information for your audience. Show them how you’re making strides in your industry or why you’re an authority on a specific topic. Credibility goes a long way towards brand loyalty and establishing a solid reputation.
Not sure where to start? Contact us! We’d love to talk about what you’re doing (or not doing) to manage your online reputation.

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