Reputation Management | 1.15.14
When it comes to managing your online reputation, there are two ways of going about it – reactive and proactive. While reactive reputation management is waiting for something to go wrong and then putting out the fire, proactive reputation management is thinking ahead and taking action to build your fortress of positive visibility to combat any fires that come your way. Whatever way you decide to go, choosing to be proactive rather than reactive is critical to the success of your brand. Here are four reasons why businesses should take the proactive route when it comes to managing their online reputation.
1. You’re Strengthening and Growing your Online Presence in the Process
If the crisis hits a blank slate, the crisis wins. Claiming your reputation is often the first step to managing your online reputation. This gives you ownership and keeps anyone else from damaging your name. This proactive step entails checking to see where your company name and contact information is being listed and taking ownership of those online profiles, whether it’s on online review sites, business directory listings, yellow pages, social media, blog sites or news sites. Check to make sure all your information is correct and consistent across the web. By doing this now, you’re fortifying your brand and preventing a loss of control when something bad comes along.
2. It Will Cost You Less in the Long Run
Your biggest online reputation asset is your presence on social media. And social media is a free way to grow your reputation and brand. Take good care in updating and managing your social media properties and getting good mentions on these and other sites such as review sites and business directory sites. This will cost way less than having to create and promote content to push a bad situation off Google search. If you have good, positive content about your company, this will alleviate the intensity of a bad hit and your audience will be less likely to be lost in speculation about your brand.
3. You’re Unlikely to Go Through with Shady Practices
“Doing PR during the crisis is a lot like eating healthy during a heart attack.” For a company handling a bad crisis, lines can become blurred when the desperate need to stop the bleeding immediately becomes too much to handle. By encouraging your happy, satisfied customers to write review, it proactively balances out those few negative reviews that show up every now and then. This will make you less likely to post fraudulent, unethical, fake reviews in hopes of countering those bad reviews (which is never a good idea).
4. It’ll Help You Acquire Loyal Customers
Keeping a loyal customer is far less expensive than trying to acquire a new customer. And while reward programs can be successful, the most successful thing companies can do to encourage brand loyalty is to show that they care. Doubling up on customer service on and offline is a proactive way to maintain an emotional connection with your customers. If you put in the effort, not only does it prevent bad customer service issues from arising, it keeps your competitors from luring customers away.
Proactive reputation management is taking preventative action to secure and strengthen your brand and makes you less concerned or uneasy when negative incidents happen.