In today’s fast-moving world, reputation is everything. The Internet makes it easier than ever for a brand’s reputation to change in a flash.
You cannot always buy a good reputation. But with hard work, due vigilance, and some care, you can easily maintain your brand’s online reputation. These five tips won’t fix all online reputation woes but through following them with care, you’ll be on your way to better maintain your brand’s reputation.
1.Utilise Social Media Channels
There’s no question about it. Your brand needs to maintain a social media presence. Though your brand does not need to be on every single social media channel, you will want to have a strong presence on at least one of the four big social media networks for businesses: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Each network comes with their own built-in target audience and expectations. If possible, actively use all four. All of the social networks offer built-in tools for advertisers and brands, including the ability to monitor user engagement and audience metrics. You can also use a selection of tools for more sophisticated monitoring and measurement.
2. Post Consistently
Maintain a strong social media presence through consistent posting. Continue to remind your target audience and the public about who you are through frequent, yet informed, posts.
Share news about your brand and new blogs or articles that your brand is hosting. But do not stop there. Perhaps consider a live video (which can be created through Instagram or Facebook) showing a day-in-the-life of your brand. Brands with a more irreverent or humorous voice can consider memes and joke-posts. Visual content, including photos and videos, tends to be favoured by social media networks and may allow you to see high post engagement even without buying a sponsored ad. Though you should generally avoid commenting on political events, you may want to consider researching popular hashtags on channels like Twitter and using them in a post, if relevant or appropriate.
Use dashboards like Hootsuite, Page or Buffer to schedule posts ahead of time. But be aware of what people are talking about and what is going on in the news. The last thing you want is to look tone-deaf because a post you’ve shared seems to ignore a national tragedy.
3. Monitor What People Are Saying About You
Stay vigilant about what people are saying about you. Sign up for Google News Alerts about your brand and enter it as a search in your social media dashboard, so you’ll be the first to hear about news stories coming out about you. Then you don’t need to scan every social media post for mentions of your brand or products, as it will notify you automatically of every mention.
You’ll want to stay across how people view your brand. This will allow you to take corrective measures, in the case of crisis, or allow you to change your reputation-management strategies in order to adapt to a new target audience or take advantage of current consumer trends.
4. Create Brand Guidelines
Communications from your brand, including online posts, must seem as though they share your voice. Establishing strong, solid brand guidelines now will save you significant pain later.
Brand guidelines consist of two major factors: maintaining a consistent organisational voice and a consistent design style. Having an in-house editorial style guide, which demonstrates preferred terminology, spellings and other stylistic concerns will help to fulfill the former while designing a brand style guide, which includes specifications on logo sizes, your brand’s colour scheme, and other design elements, will fulfil the latter. Be vigilant about ensuring your brand’s designers and marketing personnel consult these guides.
5. Consult the Professionals
There are times when you’ll need to bring the experts in, especially when your brand is facing a crisis. But a crisis does not need to be the only time that you consult a professional. You might also wish to consult someone to help determine what your brand’s voice or social media strategy will be or how to appeal to a specific target audience, especially if it is a target audience your brand has never previously appealed to.
Consider consulting an outside public relations or social media agency. Though some companies choose to work with PR or brand management firms on a long-term basis, consulting a firm on a short-term basis to deal with one particular situation also works well.