Reputation Management in the Digital Era: Protecting Your Brand Image

			Reputation Management in the Digital Era: Protecting Your Brand Image

Reputation Management in the Digital Era: Protecting Your Brand Image

In the digital era, information travels faster than ever before. Within seconds, the public’s opinion of a brand can be changed and that’s hard to recover from. With a very small amount of information – for example, a short online review or a social media post – a brand’s reputation can be dashed. This is why reputation management is so important. It’s a way to protect your brand image online, ensuring that the positive things are at the forefront of what people think, and any negativity is well hidden.


What is Reputation Management?

Reputation management is the process of influencing, controlling and managing a business or brand’s reputation. Reputation is a valuable asset that can make or break a brand; it can impact success, business relationships, customer loyalty and customer perception. Without reputation management, it’s hard to control what customers, stakeholders and the industry thinks about a business, which is why reputation management involves various strategies, all of which are aimed at shaping public perception, managing online presence and reducing the impact of negative information online.


Why is Reputation Management Important?

There are a lot of brands out there, which means that customers have the freedom to choose the one that they like the most. Without reputation management, a small mistake could encourage customers to go elsewhere. A positive reputation can significantly impact the success and wellbeing of a brand, but there’s no guarantee that a positive reputation will happen on its own. Reputation management is there to guide it in the right direction.


  • Customer Trust – A positive reputation builds trust and credibility with customers and the general public. People are more likely to engage with, support or buy from businesses that they trust.


  • Customer Perception – Customers often make decisions based on the reputation of a brand, and reputation management ensures that a brand’s reputation encourages them to do so. A positive reputation can attract customers, while a negative reputation can drive them away.


  • Competitive Advantage – With a lot of competitors out there, a positive reputation can help a brand to stand out. When consumers have a choice between similar products or services, they are likely to choose the one with a better reputation.


  • Employee Retention – A lot of job seekers consider a brand’s reputation when deciding where to work. A positive reputation can attract top talent, and a good workplace reputation can contribute to employee retention.


  • Customer Loyalty – A positive reputation boosts customer loyalty. When customers have positive experiences of a business, and they perceive them to be a brand worth choosing, they are more likely to become loyal, repeat customers.


What Should a Reputation Management Plan Include?

There are a number of things that go into a reputation management plan, ranging from audit and analysis, to digital presence management and content creation.


  • Reputation Audit – It’s important to conduct a thorough audit of your current online and offline brand reputation, to give yourself an idea of what you are working with. Identify existing positive and negative content, reviews and mentions, and see what the general public are saying about the brand.


  • Define Reputation Goals – By defining your goals and objectives, you give yourself something to work towards. Outline the goals and objectives of your reputation management efforts, and specify what you want to achieve. This could be improving online reviews, addressing negativity from the public or improving brand perception.


  • Target Audience Analysis – Identify your target audience and take the time to understand their expectations, concerns and preferences. You can then tailor your reputation management plan with this in mind, ensuring that you are appealing to your target demographic.


  • Digital Presence Management – With so much of business being done online, you need to manage your digital presence. This means optimising your website for SEO to ensure that your positive content ranks higher than anything negative. You should also monitor your social media profiles with consistent branding and positive engagement, and respond to online reviews.


  • Content Creation – Content is an effective way of sending a consistent message across all of your online channels, highlighting the positive things about the brand. You can use blogs, press releases and social media to share achievements, community involvement and positive news. Your content should be positive, relevant and engaging.


  • Employee Management – Everyone who works for the business is a representation of the brand, which is why employee training is key. Educate employees on the importance of reputation management and provide guidelines for their behaviour online, especially on social media.


  • Crisis Plan – If a crisis does arise, you need to have a management plan in place. Make sure to have a key spokesperson and establish communication protocols; everyone should know who is speaking out about the crisis and how the message is being communicated. It can be helpful to draft messages and responses ahead of time.


  • Reviews and Adjustments – Once your reputation management plan is in place, make sure to regularly review and update it, as the business landscape is often changing. As the business environment changes or your public perception changes, update your reputation management plan accordingly.


There is no denying the importance of having a good brand reputation, especially if you are working towards long term success and business growth. At Profici, we take pride in how we are perceived, and we are dedicated to helping businesses improve their image, reputation and perception. Whether you need help improving your online presence or you want to showcase your involvement in the local community, we are here to help. Contact us today to find out more.