Marketing on social media and online marketing requires a very high level of technique for customer interaction. The interaction means the consumers are easily able to publish the comments, reviews, and complaints about your business and brand. This all will easily show up in the results of the web search and if there is any negativity in it then it will affect a lot to your brand.
This article will provide with the seven tactics from the reputation management and will offer the proactively for protecting the brand reputation online. This will also help in how you will react to the problem when you will face the reputation crisis.
Now marketing has changed in digital and social media channels. Customers are having more control over interacting with the company. Now marketing is not monolithic in which the messages are sent to faceless and nameless customers. Now in digital marketing more individuals are engaging in the conversations.
Keeping this in mind you must do transparent marketing, because as you all hear that people are not buying from the companies, but they are buying from the people.
You will also find the downside in the customer base, because now in the digital world anyone would be able to easily attack your brand and the legitimacy of it. So, it is more important now to monitor and manage your reputation.
Tony Wright who is the CEO of WrightIMC, a marketing communication firm, is having a very interesting view of reputation marketing.
In 2001 on 11th September Wright worked with a very large PR firm and his responsibility was into corporate communication with the marketing department of American Airlines. Immediately after the attacks in the morning, Wright headed to the headquarters of the American Airlines and started to monitor the internet manually for any rumors about his company that were unfounded.
Since then, the task of protecting and tracking your brand reputation online has considerably changed. For reputation marketing, it is most important to be proactive. If you cannot handle a crisis and do not have planning for it then your brand cannot move on to the top and stay there. If you start doing reputation marketing or crisis handling after the crisis arrives then you are surely too late for it and it will not do you any good.
Here we bring to you seven simple tactics that will help you to build and manage your brand’s reputation and handle a crisis if it hits your brand publicly.
1. Keep Control of the Result Pages on the Search Engine
The search engine page, also known as SERP is a page that appears when any user searches for a specific term on the search engine. The term can be your company name. usually, the SERP would show around 10 results at a time. The goal of your reputation marketing should be to show positive results for your brand on that page.
These results need not be your web pages. But you will get the link of the three results which would be directly getting a link to your website. For improving the SERP of your brand you need to go out and then find out the positive results and then need to push the links to those results. More fortified you will make the positive results on your SERP, more would be difficult for the piece of the negative information to come in the list of top 10 results.
Search Engine Optimization
Even if you need and want the positive results from the sites other than your own then you will have to understand the SEO and do everything which can fully optimize the website. You must make sure that the code is formatted properly, and the content is rich in the keyword.
It is not easy for SEO to attain every incoming link from the external sources. Wright is believing that it is separating the men from the boys.
Google is suggesting that when you are typing in the search box of Google Search. These are the suggestions which have been created from popular searches. The issue of reputation will appear when the brand name is getting tied with the negative search time ex. Rip off.
Wright explains that People always want to know the bad stuff and they will always click on the auto-suggested search button. And when people are doing this then this will reinforce the negative search popularity.
But there is no proven way of combating this issue besides driving a large number of searches which will not include the negative term. Wright is saying that the PR campaign will help in creating the brand but, the negative googles suggest search is very difficult to counteract. But you must always remain aware of this area of reputation management.
2. Asking Positive Reviews from the Customers
The huge area of the customer online empowerment is the reviews of service and the product. Positive reviews are always great, and people are often motivated for writing reviews about negative opinions and experiences.
He is also adding that every single company no matter how good it is will have someone for writing bad about it at some point in time. And this negative review will not be true. It could come also from your ex-employee, might be somebody having a bad day or someone who is trying to increase their count of reviews.
Wright also asked about How do combat negative reviews. Well, there is no way by which you can stop people from writing something bad about you.
The best way for combating this is to create the strategy for the positive review. Always ask your customer to write positive reviews for your brand. Instruct the salespeople and the frontline employees to ask the satisfied customers to give their reviews online.
Create the Review Portal
It is better to create a review portal on your website rather than requesting them to give their online reviews on different sites. Make this page into your main page navigation and then transfer your customer on this page so that they can give their reviews.
Wright has offered an example of the car dealership client. The dealership is having the service department which is of great marks, but only the unsatisfied customers are leaving the reviews over there. Then the company created the review portal and asked the satisfied customer to leave the positive reviews on their website.
There are the companies who are also asking about the post-purchase surveys which can be used internally besides asking the reviews from the customers. In this way, you will get the customer feedback, and this will also help in creating more and positive reviews for your brand online.
3. Dealing with Customer Complaints
It is always advisable not to get in an argument with the customer online. It is like fighting the battle in the territory which is not yours. And in this case, you will sound defensive.
Go on a platform like a radio when very limited people are calling, and thousands are listening. When someone is putting the complaint or griping about the company online then you should handle that properly as loss of the people are watching you as to how you are handling the situation.
Below are some of the ways by which you can handle most of the online complaints
- Don’t admit the guilt
- Always open the conversation with I am sorry that you are facing this problem
- Try to take the response online
- Do this by writing as, please give me your email address or phone number.
- Never air your dirty laundry in social media
If you get the complaints on Twitter, then ask the person to follow you so that you can send them a direct message
When you get to face a very combative personality who is continuing the interaction in the public only then this will create more negative content about your brand in the search engines.
If the problem is very simple and easy to solve, or if you are providing the information then always go ahead and handle the situation publicly.
For the complaints which are taking offline, try to find out the issue. Sometimes you might have to deal with people who are not happy. But if there is a real issue then always try to solve the problem.
As a good thumb rule, always solve the problem offline not more than three times. If the person is not ready to accept your offer and continuously posts the negative content about your brand, then you start looking like a reasonable party, and the negative impact of the complaint is diffused.
People are having megaphone on steroids and it is known as social media.
Monitor your brand
The way of tracking down the online complaints regularly is to monitor the brand through free tools like Google Alerts. Also, there are various paid solutions available with more features.
This is not something that will break the bank, but it is something which is having the potential to save your business.
Rules have Changed
The reason for the change in the rule is because now content is consumer-generated. In previous days on the message boards, it is not advisable to respond to the complaints on the same forum where it is happening as it will flood the negative comments about the company.
Now in the social media digital world, you can directly address the complaining customer and then quickly move them to the offline conversation.
4. Sometimes it is Best to just tie-up with the CEO
The crisis to the CEO might not be the real crisis for the business. Which the C-suite seems to be a crisis might not be a real problem. This is because when the CEO is investing in getting customer reviews then they expect to get all positive reviews only. Even a mix of 30% negative and 70% positive reviews is a good thing for the company.
This is because 30% of people are also not so bad customers like the C-suite thinks they are. If you survey outsiders of the company about negative reviews of your company, they will say that few negative reviews are completely neutral, but if you as the employees of your company then they will start being a lot more defensive. So the bottom line here is not to overreact to few neutral or negative reviews about your business or brand. This is because they will not have a huge negative impact. So do not try to be overly defensive.
5. Do not be too Afraid to ask for help
It is quite easy to lose your brand reputation, and this can be done by reacting too late to solve the issues associated with your brand. If you find a crisis that is occurring, you should look out for someone competent in your company or outside it to solve the issue of the crisis on priority.
It is important to get immediate help if the crisis or issue is appearing in the SERP results.
Because over here the reputation problems can cause a lot of damage. Those businesses that are not a common name are at a higher risk for negative results on SERP. With the help of proactive reputation management, you can avoid or solve these crisis issues. You cannot do any calculation of ROI that you spend on being proactive. But if you do not save your brand reputation proactively then you might lose a lot of money and face the crisis.
6. Define Success or your Least Bad Outcome
How should you handle a reputation crisis? You should look out for success in it. Your success, in this case, would be to get the negative item out of your SERPs, keep your news coverage to be neutral and change the overview of your reviews to be positive as compared to negative.
7. Pick up your Pieces and Try to Avoid your Problem Again
After your business faces a crisis then you should check out about what happened, how it can be prevented, and how it affected and how it will affect in the future? By answering these simple questions you can prevent such crises from appearing again for your business.