For many small business owners, the idea of expending resources to manage their business’s reputation might seem like an unnecessary expense. After all, shouldn’t best business practices result in a great reputation? Unfortunately, even if your business is guided by strong business ethics, you may produce the results that your business needs to be successful in the marketplace. There are important reasons why reputation management is vital to your success.
Reputation is as important as ever in the electronic marketplace. In an environment where a single negative review can significantly impact the public perception of your brand or product, businesses are increasingly choosing to take control of their reputations. One of the more common reputation-management techniques is to turn to specialists in search-engine optimization (SEO) to effectively sweep negative search results under the digital rug. This technique won't deter someone who's determined to impact your business negatively, and unfortunately, it can be impossible to know who's working against you. Competitors sometimes stoop to posing as your former clients in order to post fake reviews that will damage your reputation. Combating this kind of attack requires the type of aggressive sanitation of your image that only reputation-management specialists can offer.
Managing your reputation is about far more than keeping track of and responding to positive and negative feedback. Reputation is linked to your brand. In tech, some companies are known for having an excellent product but nonexistent customer service. Others are known for having a mediocre product but excellent customer service. Those differing reputations will appeal to a different client base. Tech-savvy users who prefer to problem-solve on their own might see the lack of customer service as an added value in terms of cost savings passed on to the end user. Working to manage your reputation can help you to define the specific niche you wish to fill in the marketplace.
The days when most information about a company trickled down from the top are long gone. Customer interaction and user-generated content are the rules of the day, and this change has had some surprising consequences. Research conducted by Octoly shows that user-generated reviews get 10 times the views of official content and create authenticity for your brand. The implications on how businesses manage their reputation are enormous. Actively engaging in a dialogue with your customer base and highlighting their voices is an essential part of modern reputation management. These conversations leave customers feeling acknowledged and valued, which results in increased loyalty.
One of the more effective reputation-management techniques is striving to offer complete transparency. Businesses understand that the blowback from negative press can be ruinous to a small company. The surprising solution is simply to be as honest as possible about your business goals and intentions while offering customers a perpetual peak behind the curtain. For small businesses without a dedicated reputation-management team, these attempts can be clumsy, inconsistent and counterproductive. Enlisting the aid of a reputation-management firm to offer transparency while putting your business in the best light can help you to avoid this tragic pitfall.
Actively managing your business’s reputation might be far more important to your success than you realize. It will never replace best business practices in defining your reputation, but it can make the difference between allowing your reputation to define you and leveraging your reputation as a tool to express your business values and goals.
BitBranding is committed to helping your business win in the marketing game. That’s why we offer extensive services centered around reputation management, social media marketing, web design, and more. Contact us today if you have more questions about what we can do to help your business’ reputation!