If Cinnamon Toast Crunch doesn’t have the same appeal to you as it did due to their recent viral incident, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, Cinnamon Toast Crunch was the most recent brand to come under fire because of its poor response to a negative situation, landing itself in hot water with consumers.
This PR fiasco is just one of many disasters we’ve seen over the years – and another example of why it’s so important for multi-location brands to have a reputation management strategy. In this week’s blog, we cover how your multi-location business can build a strong reputation that is crisis-proof and can help to build an excellent customer experience.
What is Brand Reputation Management?
Brand reputation management is the process of monitoring, improving, and managing any conversation about your brand. In today’s digital-first world, many of these conversations take place online and it’s important to protect your reputation so you can grow your brand’s presence and build a positive relationship with your customers.
How to Improve Brand Reputation
- Claim and Clean Your Business Listings & Social Profiles
- Monitor the Conversation Around Your Brand
- Optimize Your Review Management Strategy
- Ask & Answer Questions on Google Q&A
- Engage with Followers on Social Media
- Refine and Repeat Your Reputation Management Process
Claim and Clean Your Business Listings & Social Profiles
The first step to a successful online reputation is making sure your business information is accurate and up-to-date online. Nearly half of all Google searches come from consumers looking for local information.
As a first step, you need to claim your business listings and social media accounts so you can be ready to monitor all conversations that take place on these accounts. If you find any duplicate listings or local social accounts, make sure to get in touch with the support team of the platform your duplicate account exists on to get it resolved.
Adding the correct business information on local listings, social media, and review sites will help connect you to local consumers and give them the information needed to purchase from your business. If consumers come to your brand’s Google My Business (GMB) page or Instagram only to find incorrect hours or incorrect information, you’ve already lost their trust and potentially even their business.
Comb through all of your business listings on tier 1 directories and social media profiles to check for NAPWCHD consistency, Chatmeter’s acronym for the types of business information you need to regularly keep up-to-date. This includes your business’s name, address, phone number, website, categories, hours, and description. Business listings and social media profiles are the two most popular sources for go-to information, so maintaining their accuracy will go a long way in building trust and credibility with consumers.
Monitor & Control the Conversation Around Your Brand
Monitoring and responding to conversations around your brand is fundamental to the success of your business. Customer feedback is one of the best indicators of how customers feel about your brand and can reveal ways to improve your customer experience. Monitoring and responding back to this feedback regularly will also give your brand the opportunity to turn negative customer experiences around and make it right.
Optimize Your Review Management Strategy
85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Tier 1 review sites such as Yelp, Google, Facebook, and Bing need to be consistently monitored since they play a large role in consumers’ buying decisions.
Over half of customers expect their reviews to be responded to in an hour. Depending on the industry you’re in, you should also be keeping an eye out on review sites specific to your industry. A positive reputation on all review sites will generate more business and push your business to the top of the search results.
Providing the right response in a timely manner is also just as important. Here are some best practices you can use as a guide for a successful review management strategy:
- Build Review Response Templates – Review response templates are a great way to quickly respond back to customer feedback. Our review response templates guide can help you easily create templates for any kind of review, positive or negative.
- Adhere to Standard Brand Guidelines – Whether your brand takes on a more serious or playful personality, it’s important to maintain your brand’s voice in review responses. Make sure all of your new and current staff in charge of responding to reviews are well educated on brand guidelines.
- Remain Honest & Appropriate – The best way to handle a negative situation or a mistake is with transparency and an apology. Everybody makes mistakes, but it’s up to your business to manage them appropriately or face a consequential backlash. With any negative review, make sure to address it with a quick response that highlights you want to resolve the issue. Invite the conversation offline by providing contact information such as a support phone number or email address. This can help turn it around and oftentimes result in the removal of the negative review by the reviewer.
Ask & Answer Questions on Google Q&A
Did you know consumers are asking questions about your business on your GMB profile? Since anyone can answer these questions on Google Q&A, it’s important that as a business owner, you take control of that conversation by providing brand-verified answers yourself.
Even if you find that another consumer answered a question correctly, you should still respond to confirm the answer is correct. In addition, you can ask your own questions on Google Q&A that other consumers may be interested in knowing more about.
Engage with Followers on Social Media
Social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have become one of the primary sources of information for consumers since COVID-19. Today, the average consumer spends an average of 82 minutes per day on social media. This consumer increase in time spent on social media should also mean more time spent monitoring conversations around your business.
You can regularly monitor your social media channels by keeping track of metrics like brand mentions, relevant hashtags, and customer comments. As you continuously monitor your channels, make sure to address any feedback with a quick response. Actively responding to social media comments and inquiries will help you quickly provide support to customers and show consumers you care.
Refine and Repeat Your Reputation Management Process
As you can see by now, a large part of brand reputation management is addressing customer feedback and providing accurate and up-to-date information regularly. This process needs to be a regular part of your daily or at most, weekly, routine. Once you have a good routine set in place, start analyzing which areas of your reputation management strategy you can improve on.
With Chatmeter, you can easily streamline your reputation management process with our all-in-one dashboard. With Chatmeter’s listing management solution, you can easily optimize your online presence and local listings for all store locations through our dashboard or mobile app. Our review and social media management tools can help you take control of all conversations around your brand and never miss a beat.
It may feel like brand reputation management requires a lot of effort or has many moving parts to it, however, it’s worth the work. Reputation management is an integral part of creating an excellent customer experience and showing consumers you care. A strong brand reputation management strategy will increase your customer acquisition and retention efforts, as well as contribute toward a stronger brand presence.
Are you looking to streamline and scale your reputation management strategy with Chatmeter? Schedule a free demo today to learn more about how you can reach and convert consumers with our all-in-one reputation management and local SEO dashboard.