Protect Your Brand with Reputation Marketing and Reputation Management
Not all that long ago, a company’s reputation was based primarily on word of mouth. Today, thanks to the Internet, anybody can post what they think about you and your company, even your competitors. This freedom to share reviews in minutes opens up your business to both positive and negative opinions. These can make or break your business.
It’s because of this freedom to share opinions that reputation marketing and reputation management services have become so popular with small businesses and large corporations alike.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Your Online Reputation
No one should ever underestimate the consequences of having a bad online reputation. Unfortunately, many businesses do. As a matter of fact, many are surprised to discover that they have online reputation issues, and are hurt to find out that people have been saying negative things about them and their businesses. Business owners spend long years building a strong brand, and it can be devastating to wake up one day to find negative remarks online, especially if the remarks aren’t constructive (such as slanderous accusations).
Even worse, these bad reviews often end up on websites that rank high in the search engines, so that people searching for the company’s name will find these bad reviews. So what do you do if this happens to you? Well, it comes down to reputation marketing and reputation management, and there are several major differences between the two.
Reputation marketing evolved from the relationship between reputation management and brand marketing. In today’s socially connected world, a brand’s reputation is checked out online virtually in real-time by consumers who are more than willing to leave online reviews, mentioning their experiences with these businesses on social media sites. Amazon was the first company to have consumers post reviews online.
Amazon’s consumer-generated reviews greatly influenced consumers’ purchase decisions simply because they could read opinions and evaluations of the items they were thinking about buying (which at that time was primarily books).
It doesn’t matter if you’re a real estate broker, restaurateur, plastic surgeon, dentist, or head of a multi-billion dollar corporation, your online reputation is crucial. Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report found that 70% of global consumers trust online reviews when making their buying decisions.
Your business needs to have a review gathering and reputation marketing process in place today. Your investment will be worth every penny. Something important to remember is that reputation marketing produces the most positive returns when it is carried out along with other online and offline marketing efforts. These efforts can be managed by a reputable reputation marketing company.
Reputation management is about controlling and/or influencing a person’s or business’s reputation. At first considered a public relations term, the expansion of the Internet and escalating social media use, along with the expertise of reputation management companies, have turned reputation management into a specialization associated with search results.
Reputation management can also be viewed as the process of monitoring the reputation of brands and individuals on the Internet, addressing content issues that can be potentially damaging, and making use of customer feedback strategies to detect early warning signs of reputation concerns.
Much of reputation management is focused on forcing down negative reviews related to clients in the search results. These services basically attempt to bridge the gap between how a business sees itself and how their clients or potential clients view it.
Is Reputation Management Ethical?
While this practice raises ethical considerations, it’s like everything else in life: there are those who have integrity and those who don’t. Reputation marketing and management companies that do business the right way will help you leverage the power that a five star reputation will bring. An unethical reputation management firm can itself be risky to the reputation of their clients if their unethical tactics are exposed.
You’ve worked long and hard to establish your business and more than likely sacrificed a lot along the way. Reputation marketing, combined with reputation management, will ensure that all that hard work won’t be destroyed by one disgruntled client or one of your competitors trying to make you look bad.
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