It's no secret that managing your brand's online reputation can be a daunting task. With hundreds of articles and blog posts about reputation management, it can take time to know where to start.
Brands need to understand what people say about them online because we all know the power of recommendations and reviews.
Fiona Lucas is a highly regarded Australian-based Social Media & Online Community Strategist, Consultant, Mentor, Moderator, Speaker & Author. She is the founder of the 4Rs of Reputation with her business iRespectOnline. She believes in putting humanity first in all online engagements.
She works with both small businesses and large corporations developing innovative digital strategies for growth and engagement and helping them to humanize their brand. Fiona has a holistic approach to strategy, ensuring that digital strategy is aligned with the external goals of an organization and minimizes risk to the business. She is fascinated by interactions between human behavior and technology, and the social impact of tech.
With a background in Business Management & eCommerce, Fiona is a certified Trainer (Cert IV Training & Assessment) BCom, and a Facebook Digital Marketing Associate. Fiona is also a Mentor for the Victorian Chamber Small Business Program. When she’s not working you will find her enjoying social occasions, cooking up a storm, riding her bike, engaging in communities, or enjoying time with her family.
How To Monitor Your Reputation:
There are so many actions that you can take, and tools that you can use, to monitor your brand’s reputation.
From consistently checking your tags and mentions online, to using social listening tools like Agorapulse, there are tons of ways to stay informed about what people are saying about your brand online.
Staying informed is the first step to monitoring your reputation because if you don’t know what’s being said about you, you can’t respond and take action.
The second step is to communicate with these folks.
When it comes to reputation management, it is essential to respond to both positive and negative remarks about your brand.
Responding to positive remarks is how you create a loyal customer base and show your fans that you appreciate them; this incentivizes them to want to share even MORE about your brand online. Win-win.
Responding to negative comments is how you transform an unhappy customer into a satisfied one that feels seen, heard, and respected. Taking the time to address negative comments and show that you care as a brand is hugely influential in maintaining a strong online reputation.
People can see whether a brand responds to comments and in today’s social media-driven world, the brands that don’t respond are the brands that stand to lose out on driving repeat and referral business.
The Six Rs of Reputation Management:
In today’s world, where 90% of all buying decisions start online, people are comparing brands and looking for recommendations.
“The key is this is something you can’t buy, it has to be part of the root. Your culture and reliability - how you treat your customers and team - are where it starts.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)
Your digital presence is also an amazing place to convey what your brand stands for.
Company values are hugely important to the younger generation that wants to buy from brands that align with their personal values.
To best understand what brands can do and how to break down the complex topic of reputation management, Fiona shared her 6 Rs.
This is all about being mindful of others’ values and thoughts.
As a brand, you will have your unique values but it’s always important to be mindful and respectful of others.
Having a clear values statement as a brand is essential for communicating your brand’s value and what you stand for.
Brands need to take ownership of what they do, how they show up, and how they treat people.
It's important to own when you make mistakes and always show up with a heart-centered approach to make things right.
People want to feel seen, heard, and cared for. When your brand does that, you create loyal customers that share your brand with their friends and family.
Even more, showing up to care for your employees will turn your team into brand evangelists.
If brands want to survive in today’s competitive landscape, they must be adaptable. Learning how to cope with a rapidly changing and evolving industry is important to survive.
Just think about how the pandemic taught us the importance of pivoting your business. Those who were able to act quickly were able to thrive and survive.
Even more, resilience is about how ready your brand is with a plan for responding to negative comments or brand experiences.
Being prepared with a plan in place for how you respond to negative feedback and experiences will help your brand save time and execute faster to show your customers that you care.
Taking the time to do your research as a brand is so important – researching trends in your industry, what your competitors are doing, and what your customers are saying.
Take the time to search across all platforms to find the information that pops up when people search your name, brand name, plus iterations of your brand name like your brand’s name plus your industry keyword.
A fun challenge for your brand >> Invite your team into the mix! Ask your team to help in the effort and give each person one specific term to search for and write down what articles, photos, and videos come up.
If you want to keep your competitive edge as a brand and constantly find new opportunities to elevate your brand and build relationships, never stop learning and listening.
Being reliable is everything. People need to be able to trust your brand and know that you’re going to deliver on what you say you will.
Protip for brands: be sure to respond to every single comment you get.
Being consistent on social media and showing up daily with heart and care for both your team and clients is how you gain trust.
Take the time to look at your reviews online and see what people say about you.
The best brands take time to respond to reviews and take action based on the feedback they get from customers because they know how valuable it is.
How you show up online is noticed by current and prospective customers and simply caring and being responsive can truly do wonders for your brand’s reputation.
Putting It All Together:
Taking time to implement the 6 Rs will be paramount to creating a strong reputation management and monitoring system that sets your brand up for success.
By responding to every comment, treating your audience with respect, taking responsibility for things going wrong, being resilient, and doing your research, you stand to seize every opportunity available to win over customers and show how much you care.
While it takes a lot of time to monitor your reputation, answer customers, and respond to issues, it’s worth it because it’s truly how you show up to out-CARE the competition.
Want to connect with Fiona and learn more about reputation management? >> Head to her Facebook page and type “Reputation checklist” in a message to receive a free download from her!
What actions or tools do you use to keep track of what people are saying about your brand online? What brands do you think do a great job with managing their reputation online?
We’d love to hear your thoughts!