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“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”—Warren Buffet
Your brand was going strong and everything was going according to the plan. Suddenly, a terrible experience turns everything upside down. Few disgruntled customers can vent out their frustration on social media and share the bad experience they had with your brand with the world. Unfortunately, the story does not end there.
The vicious cycle continues as more angry customers join the fray and suddenly you start feeling the heat. This is where smart reputation management comes into play. Instead of sitting back and letting things get out of hand, it is better to act before the problem gets wind. How can you improve your brand perception and manage your brand reputation in today’s social media age where there are no secrets?
1. Optimize Your Website
“Charity begins at home.” This age-old adage rings true when it comes to reputation management. Start your reputation management process from your own website because you have complete control over it.
Dig deeper into technical SEO aspects such as internal linking and semantic markup but go beyond that too. When it comes to content, prioritize quality over content. Build a library of high-quality content. Try to build quality links so that search engines start to construe your website as an authoritative source. When search engines consider you an authoritative source, they start to rank you higher up their search engine rankings. By following some of these SEO techniques, you can double your website traffic.
2. Leverage Public Relations
You might be good at something that others might be lagging. Use your insights and amplify it by acquiring media coverage. By doing so, you can create a valuable asset for your brand reputation. Make sure you add more value to the audience you are targeting to get published; otherwise, you won’t make the cut. Identify what your target audience wants to read and considers valuable. Don’t expect top publications to write a feature on you. You will have to reach out to them.
In order to get more exposure, you should write on trending topics that can make highlights. According to Cheryl Snapp Conner, crisis PR and thought leadership expert, “The key to maximizing reputation in PR is to provide remarks or content that provides high value in terms of being something the readers didn’t know and wouldn’t likely have guessed, such as a surprising insight, backed by data (with the data properly linked and sourced), and perhaps some color and complexion around an example of how that surprising finding plays out in real life.”
She further adds, “Include your characterization as an expert and whatever link is best for people to use to find out more about you. That leads people to the right association with you, as opposed to, perhaps being linked for contributing a ‘sky is blue’ quote to an article on something unrelated to your expertise, such as tips for closing a deal on a golf course”
3. Contribute to Leading Publications
The biggest advantage of contributing to top industry publication is that they are considered an authority in their respective domains. Why? Because they only publish top-notch content. Moreover, each content piece is related to others, which helps you earn more links. Pitch your idea to two or three top industry publications and use your mutual friends if you have any, to introduce you to the editor. Be prepared to answer any questions that they throw at you. Make sure that the article provides original insight, offers detailed instructions or guidance about how to do something and cover the topic in detail.
4. Harness the Power of Social Media
Your website might not rank on the first page of Google search results, but that does not mean that your social media profile will meet the same fate. They are easier to rank as compared to websites so make sure you keep your social profiles updated. Include contact information such as address, phone number, email address etc. Mention your opening and closing timings and include the link to your website as well.
Use your brand logo and follow a consistent theme throughout different social channels. You can use social media to highlight the positive side of your brand to the world. This is what digital marketing companies in Dubai can help you with. Get in touch with customers and respond to their queries in order to win their trust. More importantly, handle negative criticism smartly.
Which social media platform should you choose? To answer that question, you will have to analyze which social media platform your target audience hangs out on the most. Once you know their preference for social networking websites, you can target them more effectively. Your goals should be to steal the limelight on social media.
5. Get Positive Reviews
You cannot always please everyone. One way to combat negative reviews is to have many positive reviews from real users. This will somewhat neutralize the damaging impact of negative reviews.
All you have to do is collect feedback. Whether they had an enjoyable or terrible experience with your product or service, they will surely express their opinion. You can use positive reviews as testimonials, and it is a wonderful way to attract new customers to your brand. Higher ratings, more positive reviews and testimonials can also paint a positive picture of your brand which you want the world to see. All this goes a long way towards changing brand perception and improving your brand reputation.
What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced in maintaining your brand reputation? Which tactics do you use to improve your brand perception and maintain a positive brand reputation in today’s dynamic digital world? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below. We would highly appreciate your feedback.