Reputation Management 101

You’ve heard the term slung around, but what does it mean? And more importantly, what does it have to do with you? Online reputation management is exactly what it sounds like — managing your organization’s reputation. Reputation management had an entirely different meaning before the creation of the internet and is a relatively new concept in the grand scheme of things. But now that a large majority of businesses are represented online through social media, Google My Business, and more, reputation management is more important than ever. 

What is Reputation Management Today? 

In 2021, reputation management consists of performing actions that shape the way online users view your business. This mostly comes in the form of responding to reviews and comments from customers and general internet users. Responding to all positive feedback will definitely earn you a gold star, but specifically addressing negative reviews is infinitely more important. However, like everything in marketing, there is a right and a wrong way to approach it. 

How to Address Negative Feedback 

Addressing negative feedback in places like Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and social media comments is essential to maintaining a positive online reputation. The best approach is to use a respectful and warm tone, even when the reviewer has not. Take the conversation offline as quickly as possible by providing a phone number or email address to further discuss the issue. This allows you to get to the core of the problem without the entire internet watching. 

A sample response to a negative review is as follows:

“Thank you for your feedback. We’re sorry to hear that your experience didn’t meet your expectations and would love the opportunity to speak more about this with you. Please contact our manager at 123-4567 so we can address this issue directly. Have a great day!” 

Of course, you’ll need to address each review differently depending on what they say, but the tone should always be helpful and respectful, never rude. It’s important to remember that a dissatisfied customer wants to be heard, and there’s a chance they will respond back publicly to try to escalate the issue where others can see. We recommend sticking to one public response, and not engaging in a back-and-forth. It never goes well.

2 Kinds of Reputation Management 

When it comes to online reputation management, there are two different kinds. The first is personal reputation management and the second is business reputation management. While this is fairly self-explanatory, it is important to consider both. As an individual leading or working for a company, it is just as important to have a positive personal reputation as it is for the company to maintain its own reputation. 

3 Steps to Managing Your Online Reputation

There are three key initiatives that make up successful online reputation management:

  1. Build. Before anything else, you have to build the reputation of your business. It’s key to establish yourself in your industry, and give people the opportunity to interact with you.
  1. Maintain. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. Reputation management takes work. It takes regular maintenance, timely responses, and doing what it takes to stay in good standing with the public. 
  • Recover. The third and final stage is one that you don’t want to find yourself in often, if ever. Recovering is the response to a negative reputation, whether it’s been building up over time or was caused by one incident. A common tactic is to push positive press as much as possible to soften the blow of the bad press. 

Now that you understand reputation management and, specifically, online reputation management, you might want some help. Fortunately, that’s what we’re here for. Contact us today.

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