Reputation building is like building a house with a deck of cards. It takes sustained time and effort to build it. It can come down in a moment, and customers leave in droves if your reputation is not properly managed. Take a look at these stats that show the power of a brand’s reputation.
- 70% of customers look at reviews on different sites before they buy, and buyers in the age group of 18-34 spend 33% more time on reviews.
- 84% of buyers trust online reviews and positive reviews are responsible for engendering trust in 73% of buyers.
- 69% of job seekers will not join a company with a negative reputation.
- Bad reputation has its ripple effect in other areas such as hiring where it can cost 10% more.
- 60% of buyers are turned away by negative reviews.
You may or may not choose to trust statistics, but one simply cannot ignore the fact that it is essential to build, measure, and manage brand reputation in 2020 (and beyond).
Let’s look at an example of brand building and how it works.
A wholesale electrical distributor has the challenging task of building a reputation as well as maintaining the reputation of the brands they handle. The traditional way their market segment operates is through contacts with local contractors and direct industry buyers plus over the counter sales.
This is what they did as the starting point to brand and reputation building:
In keeping with the times, they registered a website, listed all brands they offered, and offered online purchases on the site. The site has a chatbot for immediate interaction. Registering a website puts them in a class above other wholesale distributors.
They registered for social media accounts and started posting informative nuggets, encouraging existing customers to interact, leave reviews, and post comments.
They engaged a team to create content related to brands and electrical products and offered how to’s and advisories. This activity built a reputation for the distributor as an authority and as a knowledgeable source about electrical products used in the industry.
They engaged in blogging and managing responses.
This led to the creation of a niche position for the distributor. Their online sales boomed. The brands they dealt in recognized and praised the distributor’s efforts. It took six months and more for their online presence and reputation to gain traction but it resulted in the creation of a unique identity and more loyal customers.
An initial burst of activity generates some results. That may make you happy for now, but the reputation needs to be sustained with regular activity. If you track competitors you can be sure they are also tracking you. Some may even go to the extent of engaging in negative activities to affect your reputation, so you have to be on alert at all times.
That calls for a sustained activity to manage your reputation. This is no easy task since it involves considerable technical expertise, knowledge of how the system works, and plenty of time involvement. However, if you are inclined to do it on your own you could do these:
What are people saying about your company, the products you offer, your services and your team? Listen to them. You could receive emails that tell you where you stand. Social media is one place to track. If people leave a positive comment, be sure to thank them. If there is a negative comment from a customer or a potential customer, resolve it on the same platform and on other channels where the customer may have posted comments. Get them to express satisfaction for a positive outcome. Make such positive resolutions the topic of a post and reassure customers that you are paying attention to their concerns.
Managing your reputation can be challenging and time consuming. People use specific tools to keep track of all channels and even in blogs and forums that you may not be aware of. These tools can help you find time you can manage and monitor your reputation. Here is a list of 10 great brand reputation management tools you can check out.
Reputations must grow. You must measure to know the increase or decrease.
Your reputation gives you credibility and builds trust but is it growing or static or diminishing.
Measurement is broken down into positive, neutral, and negative sentiment so you have a clear picture of what consumers feel and think.
Reach and volume:
This is best done on social media channels and eCommerce platforms where you measure your reach compared to your competitors. You could consider factors such as locations and the number of people who are talking about you. One person talks but is it picked up by others and spread out? This gives you a measure of reach.
In their anxiety to market and sell, businesses often overlook other concerns such as social concerns. Did your reputation building include showing concern and posting appropriate concerns related to community, people, and society?
COVID-19 is a good topic to help you do something and increase reputation, for example. Do that and people gain a positive impression about you, as long as you do it in a genuine way. Take the case of the distributor above. The distributor offered assistance to those negatively affected by the lockdown, offering monetary assistance and assisting in food distribution programs.
Are influencers talking about you? If they are, it is all to the good because people look up to social media influencers. If they are talking, make sure to thank them and use their quotes. Give a quid pro quo.
Analytics is the toughest part and may require special tools to speed up the process of measurement and derive accurate results.
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- Measure and Manage Your Brand Reputation the Easy Way - May 26, 2020