Reputation Management: More Than Putting Out Fires

Rep Management. It’s a pretty self explanatory topic; you manage the online reputation of a client. It’s an essential part of any marketing or PR strategy, yet so many businesses and agencies neglect the practice.

 

What, exactly is rep management?

Here are the basic components of effective rep management:

  • Responding to reviews, both good and bad, across platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google My Business
  • Answering any questions or messages that prospective clients send
  • Responding to relevant comments made on any social media posts or ads
  • Monitoring mentions, shares, location tags, etc. to ensure that we can respond to any customer feedback
  • Diffusing tense situations with negative customer feedback

Digital marketing is a conversation with consumers; reputation management is your side to the conversation.

 

Why is it such a big deal?

1. We Live In A Viral Digital Landscape 

Everyone knows the power of going viral, and nothing goes viral faster than negative business feedback. Take a look at United Airlines’ PR disaster, Cosmo’s headline mess-up, or Pepsi’s failed Kylie Jenner commercial. Those are all massive brands, but it took less than an hour for someone to post about it on social media and make it spread like wildfire.

Need a refresher on how simple mistakes snowballed into costly PR disasters? Here you go (and yes, those are the actual news headlines):

"United Airlines Shows How To Make A PR Crisis A Disaster" 

"Twitter Accuses 'Cosmopolitan' of Pushing 'Cancer as a Diet' Plan"

"Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner Ad Was So Awful It Did The Impossible: It United The Internet"

(Our reaction to those headlines...)

Guys. The internet can't even agree on whether .gif is pronounced with a "guh" or a "juh," yet in under 48 hours the entire population of Twitter was in agreement about one thing-- Pepsi being public enemy #1. All it takes is one screenshot and a well-timed share to create a massive PR scandal. A solid reputation management team can help you deal with the fallout, and prevent smaller issues from going nuclear. 

2. Bad Reviews Are Unavoidable 

Mistakes happen. Customers get angry for (occasionally) unjustifiable reasons. Businesses screw up. It’s a fact of life, and part of being human. You can’t avoid every single mistake, but you can address them and prevent damage to your brand. Most customers just want to be acknowledged and want their problem fixed. A simple response with a promise to reach out and discuss the matter can diffuse even the worst situations.

Rep management goes beyond just dealing with your negative customers. It’s also about rewarding and thanking those who praise you! If someone takes time out of their day to tell their Facebook friends or the Google universe how awesome your company is, then you should take the time to thank them for it.

3. Consumers Want Conversations

Studies show that consumers want to engage and connect with the brands they buy from. It’s why people are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media. New platforms and technology make it easier than ever to talk with your audiences, and consumers crave that interaction. Good content is important, but so is interacting with the person that comments to ask if a store has a certain size.

4. It Makes You Money

Good reputation management creates strong relationships with your audience. Strong relationships inspire brand loyalty. Brand loyalty generates new leads (and repeat customers). New leads (and repeat customers) increase profits for your business.

The advertising industry is no longer this linear model where the goal is to get your name and product in front of as many eyes as possible. Consumers are bombarded with branded content all day, every day. In order to stand out in the crowd, you have to give them a reason why your product is better than every other product they see on any given day. You have to establish trust that your product is going to solve their problem.

Who are you going to trust more? The reputable company that responds to questions openly and honestly, discusses solutions to problems, listens to audience feedback, and who genuinely seems to care about whether customers had a pleasant experience with their company? Or that shady business that never responds to inquiries and doesn’t care about their customers past the point of sale?

Yeah, that’s what we thought.

 

The Good News (And Bad News, Depending On How You Look At It)

Right now, studies show that only 12% of brands respond to customers on social media.

The bad news is that a lot of brand and the agencies that represent those brands are missing out on a key factor in digital marketing. The good news for you is that since not a lot of brands are doing this, you'll stand out that much more. Establishing a strong reputation management protocol is essential to generating new leads and maintaining a good rapport with existing customers.

Don’t have the the time or the tools to effectively manage your company’s reputation? That’s where we come in! Agency901 offers full reputation management services as part of our digital marketing retainer. We’ve got a rep management team that works around the clock to make sure you’re aware of how the public perceives your brand while effectively influencing public opinion.