Repair Online Reputation Scores, Bounce Back From Crisis, and Restore Your Brand Image
When your company gets hit by a reputation crisis you will need to take serious steps and actions to repair online reputation scores for your brand. In case you don’t take these necessary steps on time you risk losing the market value of your brand and diving into a financial hole.
If you are wondering how to avoid reputational damage that can bring a lot of problems to your brand we will provide you with some steps that should be taken so you can overcome the crisis and rebuild your brand’s image.
1. Investigate the damage caused
In case your brand suffers from a reputation crisis the first step you should take is to evaluate the seriousness of the problem. In this case, it is normal to take a step back and analyze the depth of the damage that is caused.
You will need to measure all the changes that your reputation has suffered if you want to understand the seriousness of the situation. When measuring the changes that your reputation has suffered you will need to check other aspects such as change of perception about your brand among stakeholders and employees, and a negative attitude towards the company.
During your analysis, it is very important to explore and find specific problems related to your brand or any executives that are responsible directly for the problem that occurred.
Keeping a track of the situation on Google search results and social media platforms is very important because every brand crisis is reflected online. Additionally, you will need to check the non-media metrics such as share prices, sales performance, and profitability.
For you to have an answer to all customer and media inquiries you will need to make a detailed evaluation of the crisis and the impact that it has on your brand. Also, it will be crucial to monitor how stakeholders react while the recovery process is in progress.
In order to successfully overcome a brand crisis, you will need to have all the necessary data about the incident and carefully separate facts from fiction.
2. Informing key stakeholders and investors
After you better understand the current situation you will need to talk about the impact that the current crisis is going to make. Major stakeholders in your brand should be the first group of people that you are going to inform about the current situation and this includes customers, investors, business partners, etc.
In this situation, you will need to provide the details about the event and how it led to the current crisis. Also, it will be good to let the stakeholders know what kind of actions you are taking to sort out the situation. Your capacity to bring your company back in order depends on how well you can engage key stakeholders.
If you are searching for examples of a company crisis and how those companies handled the situation, we have some examples for you. There was a situation in 2019 with Twitter when compromised accounts of notable public figures were used for cryptocurrency scams. Twitter users and the Twitter community were informed of what happened and the actions that Twitter is taking in order to resolve the situation.
Always remember to remain honest when you are informing your customers about your situation. If you are giving false information you are risking bigger problems and ruining public trust.
A good example of this situation is Target which suffered a major security breach in 2011 and they tried to manipulate the numbers of credit cards compromised. After the actual statistics came up showcasing the real numbers, Target’s credibility was reduced as a result of their actions.
3. Making a strategy to inform the media
The main purpose of the reputation management strategy after every crisis is to cool down the situation and shape public perception. Part of this strategy requires dealing with the media, where you need to make a public statement about the whole situation that occurred and you will need to select the right person that will be able to deliver that statement.
Public opinion is very important and defending your brand’s position in front of your followers and consumers is not going to be easy as it sounds. Because of this reason, you will need to make a detailed plan and organize everything before you decide to release a public statement.
We have some situations with three different scenarios that apply when you decide to release a public statement or to communicate with the media.
The first example is when your company is responsible for the problem that occurred. In this kind of situation, it is best for you to acknowledge the mistake and to admit your company’s fault.
Trying to channel the problem to another party or attempting to hide the truth will only worsen the situation and may break your brand reputation even more. The best option in this situation is to deliver an apology, admit the failure, and inform the public that you are working hard in order to resolve the problem.
Another scenario is when it is not your fault. In this situation, you do not simply roll over, take the blame, and make a halfhearted apology. The public might consider your brand weak, which is equally damaging. You will need to stand up and stay firm in your brand’s position.
The third situation is when the reputational harm is made by fake statements released online or by local news sellers. While looking for retraction might seem helpful, it is very important to take a more collaborative path by asking the journalist or author responsible to politely apologize and share the true version. This is going to promote better understanding and improve public trust.
It is important for you to know that contacting the media in situations of crisis is not always a good option. There are situations when it is best for you to pull away from all the media that surrounds you and to make communication with them only when you can.
4. Channel your energy into strong internal communication
When your company faces a crisis or any other difficult situation, your employees are the best ambassadors of your brand. As an important part of the company management, you need to make sure that your employees clearly understand the whole situation (reputation crisis) and why that problem occurred. You will need to inform and prepare them so they are able to contribute to sorting out the high-heated situation and make corrective actions to help you lower the impact.
Because not every employee you have is able to proactively defend your brand and company, you will need to pick the most enthusiastic workers that you have and train them to properly deal with the situation.
Besides training, you can also offer some rewards in order to motivate your employees. The main purpose of this action is to build a surrounding where all your active employees will be able to stand up and protect the brand image in times of crisis.
5. Social media response plan
A large number of business owners (more than 60%) think that social media have a negative effect and can worsen a brand crisis which is not far from the truth in today’s socially-driven world. However, with the right approach and good plan you will be able to speed up and improve the recovery process if you take control of your social network platforms. This applies to taking charge of conversations made on your review websites, social media channels, affiliated blogs, and other online platforms.
It is expected from the man in charge to publish a formal apology that will be released on all these platforms. The apology that you are going to send should be short and on point, similar to Starbucks’ situation when they had to apologize to the public about a racist incident that happened in one of their places.
Another good option will be to make and publish a video with an apology where the prime executive (CEO) delivers the apology to the public.
Once you make an announcement, you will need to keep a track of all keywords and hashtags that feature your brand. In this situation, the option is to use a social monitoring tool that will be able to send you alerts whenever your customers or any other online users talk about your brand.
With this, you will be able to keep a track of the conversation that is made online about your brand and you can respond to all comments right away. When it comes to maintaining good relationships with your customers, showing your online community that you care about them can really pay off and bring you some benefits.
When responding to online messages, always stay constant. You need to ensure all subsequent responses reflect your brand position as portrayed in the primary statement.
6. Be transparent when handling public issues
Rebuilding your status after the crisis is usually a battle against negative articles and other damaging content material that blew up your image in the first place. Sometimes, this includes revising your content material, deleting content, suppressing damaging material, and publishing positive content material.
As you take care of content material, keep in mind that company status lies in your delivery, and never on your promises. To ensure that clients can proceed to work with your brand, they want assurance that you would be able to take care of the current crisis successfully.
Right here, you will need to transparently reveal how you are dealing with the problem. In case you make any promises during the crisis, make sure you fulfill them if you want your business to keep its status.
7. Restoring trust and key corporate values
In today’s corporate world, trust is without doubt one of the defining characteristics of success. Because of this reason regaining client trust is essential for your brand to efficiently rebuild its status after the crisis.
Even if you think that you have regained full control at a certain point, you should never relax. Instead, make sure that your brand can carry positive elements such as longevity, financial stability, accreditation, and all the positive feedback that you managed to acquire in the past.
This is a chance for your brand to demonstrate its core values to the general public. You need to remind clients of the strides the corporate has taken through the years to achieve its current success. The bottom line right here is assuring clients of your dedication and displaying what measures you have taken to ensure success moving forward.
8. Looking forward
After the crisis is over and the people are more relaxed and are looking to return to normality, you should remember there is still one more thing that you will need to do which is planning the future of your company. The crisis should be a chance to evaluate how you can keep your brand’s reputation in the long term.
Warren Buffet said that “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Because of this reason, every brand needs to put in place a concrete plan to ensure that the same crisis is not going to happen again.
Making minor changes in your internal processes, proactively training the employees, and making a reputation crisis management plan are the steps you need to take so you can protect your brand in the future.
When it makes sense to invest in online reputation management services
Online reputation management is king in today’s culture no matter if you like that fact or not. After all, the Internet is the place where individuals are getting information, set trends, and find answers to their questions.
One of the questions that are often asked online involves searching for local companies. People go to Google in order to find the best small businesses that are working in their area.
Many companies are aware of this situation and they took steps to improve their online reputation management. This is done by keeping their social media profiles updated and monitoring customer reviews.
People, who need to work on their online reputation management are often asking themselves, how is their business is going? Are they able to properly manage their online reputation? If not, then your organization could be affected by a negative image on the internet.
We have a couple of steps that you need to take in order to improve your online reputation.
1. Most of the customers rely on reviews
In case you are looking for restaurants online, how can you determine the quality of food or service they are offering? In this kind of situation, most people are reading customer reviews.
This doesn’t only apply to restaurant-seekers but also to people looking for different sorts of local businesses. Their perception of your business relies on other peoples’ reviews when they decide where to shop.
It is obvious that positive reviews are going to bring you a lot of new customers, however, having negative reviews about your business can make potential customers avoid your business and go to your competitors.
In case you want to invest in an online reputation management strategy, you are going to minimize bad reviews that people are writing about your business and you can get more positive reviews.
2. Online interactions can improve your customer loyalty
If your customers notice that you are giving them cold answers online they are going to do the same thing to your business as well. This is because people don’t like when they are getting ignored.
One of the best things that you can do in order to properly manage your online reputation is to reply to every customer review that you are going to receive. This may look to you like an endless and boring thing but you need to know this will give positive publicity to your business.
If responding to customer messages is your priority, be sure that your customers will greatly appreciate that. Additionally, this kind of action will increase the chances of them remaining loyal customers.
In case you don’t want or don’t have time to respond to the reviews on your own, hiring professional marketers will help you with this task.
3. Bad reviews are manageable if you have an online reputation management plan
Let us imagine that your reputation management strategy is not sorted out. There are situations where you will notice a negative review posted about your company online which will normally upset you. There is a possibility you answer angrily to those comments and you make the bad situation even worse.
In this kind of situation, you are not only going to upset the customer who wrote that review, but all other people on the web will be able to see your angry reply.
Professional online reputation management is used to make sure this kind of thing is not going to happen ever. If you want to be sure that your company appears professional when dealing with these responses you need to make a plan on how to respond to positive and negative reviews.
This is another good reason why you should let professional marketers sort out your reputation management. With this action, you are going to eliminate the risk of overly-emotional replies.
4. Positive reviews are an opportunity for free advertising
If you are not paying attention to reviews you are probably letting the chances to highlight the effectiveness of your company slip through your hands.
You need to know that positive reviews are the best and most honest way of advertising. It will be a bad idea to start ignoring them.
People are deciding to leave a positive review about your company on their own without being forced, and that is the ultimate proof that customers are satisfied with your products and services.
It will be best for you to highlight these testimonials on your websites or social media platforms. If you need help with this task you can get a graphic designer who can make these reviews into great-looking graphics and then post them on your websites and your social media channels. Our suggestion is to make use of these positive reviews and don’t let them go to waste.
5. Other businesses are tracking your progress
If you have a project and you want to partner with other businesses in order to make a bigger impact you will need to be sure that your reputation is good. If your company has a negative reputation you can be sure that other businesses are not going to work with you.
In this situation, a good move will be if you keep your company’s social profiles updated in order to impress potential business partners. If you keep your social profiles updated the other companies who are looking for your business online will have enough info and will like what they see.
6. Attracting top-quality candidates
Keeping your online reputation in great shape will bring bigger interest in your company to quality candidates applying for a job. In most cases, people who are searching for a job are going online to check companies’ social profiles and to see if they are a good fit for them. If they find accounts/profiles that are not updated for a long time it will definitely look suspicious to them.
Profiles that are getting regularly updated will make a better picture of your company to the people who are searching for your business online and will also look like a great place to work.
7. A reliable business is a successful business
Online reputation management is all about having people’s trust. In the end, if any problem is constantly circulating around your business people will avoid buying your products.
If you manage to keep active communication with your customers online you will probably make a strong bond that is going to bring you a lot of benefits sooner or later. They will get used to your brand and will appreciate its value.
Online reputation is free and open to the public and that is one of the best things about it. People don’t have to pay in order to see the response on the reviews or to see the things that you are posting on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social network profiles.
People will love and appreciate your business more if you offer them free value through managing your online reputation.
What do online reputation repair services do?
Reputation management or online reputation repair process is protecting your business and allowing it to develop free from inaccurate or malicious buyer feedback, negative articles, and online reviews.
They are meant to sabotage brands, together with other content material that can make your company look bad to your potential customers and cause them to keep away from your services and products.
Online reputation repair service ensures that your online presence is a correct reflection of your business integrity, quality, and customer service excellence.
Keep in mind, that there might be malicious content material (negative search results) able to hurt your company’s status and drive away clients without you even realizing it exists. Always be sure to make a Google search as soon as possible and search for your company name or business.
The first part of this battle is being aware of your online reputation. The second is discovering online reputation management companies to use ORM to deliver good and positive content material to the fore and take away, bury or suppress negative search results and negative content if it appears on a social media or website. Negative reviews can harm your company, but you are not alone and you can ask internet reputation repair management for help.
Why does a positive reputation matter?
All companies can agree that their personal online reputation has a great impact on their business. Reputation is the cornerstone of the trust between customers and your business and it establishes the credibility of your brand. When your company’s reputation is at risk and runs through the moral grinder, it can cause big damage and make you lose your business.
Because of this, many companies make it an objective to get out into the community and create outreach programs to improve their general image. However, online reputation is the area that often gets overlooked.
Your business’s online reputations are much more important than the reputation that spreads by word of mouth. Your consumers can more easily share the experience they had with your business with social media and review platforms available on the internet.
In case they have a negative experience they will most probably make a comment or review about it. In order to learn what can be done to manage and improve your reputation, you need to understand the ins and outs of your business’s online reputation.
When you speak about online reputation management many people get associated with the time-honored star rating system, however, your online reputation is much more than starts and reviews.
Online reputation management is successful when it involves a mix of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), public relations strategies, and online marketing campaigns to protect and promote a positive online image.
In case you need help you can go and search for an online reputation management company and let them care about your reputation online.
Local Search and Reputation
Google and other search engines have an algorithm that looks for the best results for that search when someone types something into the search bar. For example, if someone is looking for a car repair in Arlington, Texas, Google will do anything to serve the best matching results for that particular search. Google knows that satisfaction will make you come back next time when you need help finding something on the internet.
In order to protect the customers and to make sure that businesses are legitimate Google considers many different factors into account when ranking content on search pages.
- Domain authority – Relevant and factual information on your website is establishing your authority. You will be able to manage your authority through internal and external linking that will make users sure they find exactly what they are looking for.
- Relevance – Relevance signifies how relevant your online content is to what is being asked by the users. You can easily manage this process through page titles, anchor text, and most importantly your keywords.
- User experience – You can guarantee a good user experience if you make strong content, pages that load quickly, and easy-to-use website layouts. This is required because all search engines want the top-ranking websites in their search results to be more attractive.
- Trusting the source – This factor includes things like the age of the domain and the content, as well as how good the backlinks are (backlinks are actually the links that are published together with the content on other high-authority sites, and they ensure that the information is trustworthy).
Making sure that you take the time to increase the local visibility of your website will improve your business standing online and its reputation. This will help people that are looking for your service to find your easily and will establish your business as an authority in your field. With constant search engine optimization planning and techniques together with an easy-to-use website, you will discover that the popularity your business holds online will being to soar.
Business’s reputation and online presence
It’s not just on Google that you need to worry about your online reputation. While it’s true that your professional website is how customers discover valuable details about your business, social media is among the finest ways to make a long-lasting connection.
With many people spending up to 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media daily, it has turned into probably the most valuable marketing instrument on the market. Ensuring your business has a powerful presence on social media might help skyrocket your business into the spotlight.
Say you’re a roofing company whose home office is positioned in the country but you service the greater DFW area. Since a lot of your clients won’t ever see your actual building, it can be hard to attract attention to your services. While trying to compete with the other roofers with just your website, you notice business isn’t climbing as quickly as you want/need it to. Social media might help.
Social media channels act as a window into your business. It could show off your latest tasks, and products, highlight the incredible information or unique characteristics of your staff and let your clients know who your business is.
An active account can create buzz around your business, create a following, and assist people to think of your business the next time they need your services or products. All the things from fun online quizzes, photos of your work, infographics, and even new findings in your job field can spark engagement.
Another essential aspect of successful online reputation management is keeping track of your reviews. There are two different categories of reviews available: Google reviews and third-party reviews. Both are used to find out a business’s rank in search results, but they don’t seem to be weighted equally.
Third-party reviews in contrast to Google reviews
Google reviews have a tendency to hold more weight than third-party review websites. Google takes into consideration how many reviews are present and the quality of these reviews. A technique to make sure that your good reviews are being counted where they hold more weight is to invite individuals to place good reviews on Google and lead the bad reviews to third-party websites.
The most effective way is to maintain the communication line between you and your customer open. At the end of every service, you need to ask your customer, whether it be in person, via e-mail, or text, whether they would suggest your services or products to a friend or member of the family. If the answer is yes, then you possibly can ask them to give you a review on Google. If the answer is no, they are often directed to a third-party review website so that their frustration won’t hurt your online reputation too much.
Can I fix online reputation issues myself?
If you are looking to handle minor reputation issues you will probably be able to sort them out on your own. Here, we are thinking about simple things like requesting from a webmaster to remove your mugshot from their website.
But to be totally honest the experience and workload that is needed in order to repair your online reputation on your own will probably outweigh your capacity.
Skilled employees such as SEO analysts, content writers, and PR specialists are required whenever you try to promote positive content material and suppress negative online content.
In order to create a lasting online reputation that will make you satisfied, you will need professional help that only an online reputation repair company is able to offer through SEO (search engine optimization) strategy.
In case you cannot afford to get professional help we have some tools and steps that can use to repair your reputation.
Reputation management repair tools
Digital Millenium Copyright Act – This DMCA act will be able to protect you from the people who are trying to use your copyrighted material in a bad way. If you want to remove any online images you can send a notice to Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). Under protected content, you can find text, photos, and other intellectual property.
Google Alerts – This is a tool provided by Google which can be used once you open a Google account. This tool is great for brand monitoring and you can put keywords that you are interested in and set up alarms so Google Alerts can inform you whenever someone mentions your brand online.
Help A Reporter Out – A great way to repair and improve your online reputation is when experts are mentioning your brand. These citations will help your brand build trust. In order to get free publicity as an expert source, you can use HARO to directly connect with journalists.
Hootsuite – Hootsuite will be able to help you promote your brand, connect with customers, and build your audience on social media channels.
Quora – Whenever you answer industry questions on the internet you have a chance to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Here, you have an option to get connected with other experts and make a professional profile.
Learn more about how to repair online reputation scores by reading our blog here.