Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | November 12, 2020

What is a Brand Reputation Management Strategy? Do I Need One?

Your business may have great products and services, but consumers won’t deem it worthy enough to buy if you don’t have a great reputation to back it up. In today’s world, your brand’s reputation is everything. But what exactly does it mean to have a positive online brand reputation and how can your team build a successful reputation management strategy?

In short, managing your brand’s reputation means that you’re listening and responding to customer feedback through reviews and social media. This blog will give you an overall strategy and best practices to manage your brand’s reputation.

Step #1: Monitor Your Online Presence Through Listings, Reviews, and Social Media

Keeping an eye on your online presence is a must when it comes to brand reputation management. Your listings, reviews, and social media paint a picture of your brand’s online reputation. It’s critical as a business to actively monitor your listings, reviews, and social media so you can understand what others are saying about your brand and identify potential issues.

Business listings are typically where consumers have their first experience with your brand in their initial search process. You don’t want consumers to visit your business only to find it temporarily closed due to inaccurate information, so make sure all your listings on tier 1 directories are completely up-to-date. Chatmeter’s term NAPWCHD is an acronym for all the information your business should keep updated at all times. Having accurate business information is one of the best ways to build trust with consumers and establish brand credibility.

Reviews help consumers decide if your business is worth visiting or not. Tier 1 review sites such as Yelp, Google, Facebook, and Bing should take first priority for your business when it comes to monitoring reviews. These directories are where the majority of your customer feedback exists. Some industry-specific review sites like ZocDoc or OpenTable might also be critical to your success. They could be the top place where your target consumers will do additional research on your brand. Monitoring reviews give your brand a deeper insight into each business location’s performance. This insight helps you take action around negative feedback quickly and create a better customer experience.

COVID-19 paved the way for a dramatic increase in social media usage among consumers, with over half of consumers using social media at increased rates during this pandemic. It’s a critical area of your online reputation to monitor what’s being said about your brand. When monitoring your social media channels, think about your overall customer sentiment. Keep track of metrics like brand mentions, relevant hashtags, customer feedback and sentiment, and competitor mentions. Monitoring these metrics will provide a better understanding of consumer sentiment and also help you improve your brand’s products or services.

Site #2: Actively Listen & Respond to Your Customers

Once you’ve taken the steps to monitor these areas of your online reputation, make sure to follow up with a response. Even if the feedback you receive is vague, negative, or positive, taking the time to address customers shows others that you care.  After having a positive experience with a company, 77% of customers would recommend it to a friend. Responding to customer feedback gives your brand the opportunity to turn negative customer experiences into positive ones, create word-of-mouth referrals, and increase customer acquisition.

Use Google Q&A and Google Posts to address common questions and any information consumers may find important about your business. The Google Q&A section in your GMB profile allows your brand to take control of conversations around your brand. Here, you can answer all questions from consumers and also create questions to address yourself. When a brand directly answers each consumer’s question, this builds more brand authority and credibility. Your business should share any new updates, offers, or other information you want consumers to know through Google Posts.

Your customers and consumers will also be looking for answers through social media. 31% of consumers expect a response on social media in 24 hours or less. Whether it’s a question about your business or a complaint about your product, customers expect fast answers from your brand. Responding to your customers quickly on social media increases your chance of getting a conversation going with that customer. This in turn increases brand engagement and can help your social media content be seen by a wider audience. The more conversation there is around your brand, the more customers you can reach through social media. Actively responding to social media inquiries will also help you resolve any potential issues and provide support to your customers.

When you are a multi-location brand, it becomes tricky for businesses to ensure all reviews at every location are met with the appropriate response. Here are some best practices to use as a guide when responding to reviews:

  • Create Review Response Templates – Review response templates will help your team address reviews much faster and have a template of the general response. You can use our guide that covers information on creating review response templates for every kind of review.
  • Maintain Your Brand Voice – Review responses are an extension of your brand’s personality. Use your brand guidelines to steer how you want your review responses to sound. Most importantly, always remain professional and appropriate. 
  • Remain Honest & Transparent – Everyone makes mistakes. A customer might have written an angry review due to their unsatisfactory experience with your business, staff, or something else. Regardless of what the situation is, you should always remain honest and turn the situation around by inviting the conversation offline. If you own up to your mistake and provide a sincere apology, you show consumers that you care about their feedback and want to make it right.

Step #3: Analyze, Refine, and Repeat

Once you’re in a routine of monitoring and responding to customer feedback, assess which areas you can improve on. Perhaps you’ve noticed customers discussing similar issues over time or that your business is taking too long to respond to comments on social media. You’ll start to naturally notice areas of improvement after you get into a regular routine of managing your reputation. Analyzing your online reputation can help you set the right benchmarks in place, track the proper metrics, and refine your reputation management strategy. This will help you drill down into your customer experience and guide your future strategy.

You can easily leverage tools from Chatmeter to streamline your reputation management process. Our listing management tool gives brands the ability to monitor and update local listings for all locations from within our dashboard, or through Chatmeter’s mobile app. Chatmeter’s review management and social media management tools ensure that your team never misses a beat when it comes to responding to customer feedback. Lastly, your brand can stay on top of it all with Workflow – which assigns tasks to team members, provides notifications of new feedback, and keeps your reputation management process organized.

Reputation management isn’t just a one-and-done job. Based on priorities and needs, monitoring and responding to customer feedback will need to be a part of your team’s daily or weekly routine. Actively repeating this process is what will take your brand’s reputation management strategy to the next level and increase customer acquisition. Your online presence is a reflection of your brand’s reputation, so it’s essential for you to be consistent with brand reputation management.

Interested to see how Chatmeter can take your reputation management strategy to new heights? Schedule a free demo today to learn how we can help you directly increase customer acquisition and retention with our all-in-one reputation management and local SEO dashboard.