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Online Reputation Management: A Guide for Businesses

Published on:

Thursday, June 22, 2023

The expansion of the internet, technology, and various online platforms and marketing tools means that businesses are more connected to their customers than ever before. However, the digital age is not always easy for businesses - with the increase in online touch points and competitors meaning that businesses need to be savvier than ever when it comes to managing their reputation.

The more places that you’re active online, the more you need to focus on finessing your reputation across the various touch points and marketing outlets both owned by you and managed outside of your business.

In this blog post, we’re taking you through the basics of online reputation management from a business perspective - sharing the importance of managing the different perceptions of your brand online, how to create a cohesive brand presence, and how to navigate the complexity of so many different channels.

What is online reputation management and why does it matter?

Online reputation management refers to the management of your brand’s perception online through the eyes of customers and clients. With so many different touch points now available, including those managed directly by a business and those which are built and contributed to directly by external users (for example review sites), a solid reputation management strategy is designed to balance any negative press with constructive activity, ensure a cohesive vision and message across all platforms, and reacting to reviews of every nature so as to establish your brand as trustworthy and reputable.

Online business reputation

When online reputation management is done correctly, even a negative customer review can be spun to deliver a positive outcome for the business through the correct response and action - boosting customer loyalty and resulting in increased conversion, revenue, and growth.

For businesses that are looking to take full control over their online reputation, this is an organisational focus point which monitors customer perception on an ongoing and consistent basis, addressing potentially damaging situations as they arise and ensuring that your business is always looking for ways to improve its connection with customers.

Keep reading for some advice on how to protect your online presence and bolster a positive online reputation.

How businesses can protect their online presence

One of the most important parts of online reputation management lies in the perceived safety of your brand and how trustworthy it is. If customers don’t feel that your website or content is safe to engage with, they will nurture a negative perception of your brand as a whole – which is why everything from partnerships to advertising opportunities must be carefully selected and monitored with your target customer group in mind.

Look, for example, at the effect of controversial influencer partnerships on some brands in recent months. Bud Light has lost billions in market shares as a result of one influencer decision they made; meanwhile channels and movies which become too directly connected with celebrity scandals can fast become blacklisted by the public. All of this is an example of how damaging the wrong business partnerships and actions can be, with the online world as it is making every small mistake or decision impossible to hide.

So, it’s important for brands and businesses to nurture safe practices which make their customers and followers feel safe and secure - placing ads in the right online locations, partnering with the right influencers and platforms, and ensuring that all activity is regarded as appropriate.

Tips for starting an online reputation management strategy

As a starting point, it’s critical for businesses to ensure that the messaging across all their platforms and online touch points is consistent - creating a cohesive experience for users who jump across and between different platforms.

Of course, this is the easy bit, with external platforms far more difficult to control when you don’t have ownership over them, or the content being shared. This is when having a strategy in place for managing any negative reviews is key - responding to all reviews in a positive and constructive way and developing a tone of voice which is used consistently to respond to all comments and reviews.

They say that actions speak louder than words, with this statement never truer than when faced with a negative review or portrayal of your brand or business online. Taking positive action which is both appropriate and respectful is infinitely better for your online reputation than simply ignoring bad press, demonstrating to customers that you are listening to them and that you are committed to making positive change.

Here at Social Loop, we work with brands and businesses to not only develop positive and effective marketing campaigns but to balance their online reputation and establish great connections with loyal customers across all touch points. Reach out to us to learn more about our packages and services, and to discover how we’ve helped boost the reputation of brands across all industries.