It's important to know your company's reputation at any given time. The Internet makes it easy to keep an eye on how you're perceived by the general public, but it makes it equally easy for one angry customer to ding your brand.com. Here's what goes into brand reputation management.
Social Media Brand Image Management
Social media offers you multiple avenues to communicate with your customers and fans. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube…they all offer unique opportunities to reach out to your customers. But each also have their own individual cultures you need to be sensitive to.
For example, the comments section of YouTube is infamous across the Internet, and they can draw notoriety to even the most innocuous product, so they may have less value than comments on other social networks. Any social media presence needs to be monitored carefully, both for general unpleasant behavior and specific complaints about your product; angry comments can go viral if not handled with the proper brand management.
Search Trends And Brand Management
It's a good idea to monitor trending topics and search volume for your company. For example, Google offers Google Trends, a good way to monitor search traffic around your business or products. If you see a sudden spike in activity, it can be an alert that your company is attracting attention, and direct you to precisely why, the foundation of good brand reputation management.
Another component of buzz is, of course, reviews. Each industry has general review sites. For example, services businesses generally have to keep an eye on Google+, while product-based companies keep an eye on the reviews on Amazon. Generally, you'll want to read each review closely to see what's consistent between them, both good and bad. Customers who care enough about your product or service to review it are generally doing so because they've had a very positive or a very negative experience. Reviews often help you define a brand management strategy.
When Should You Weigh In On a Comment?
As a general rule, it's good branding strategy to show engagement with your community; if somebody has something nice to say, acknowledging it is a good way to build more of a relationship and have a little more brand engagement. Negative comments, however, will require a little more consideration.
Before replying to any negative comment, you should ask yourself if you want to engage with the customer. If a customer is overly angry, abusive, or profane, it may simply not be worth speaking to them. If a comment is raising reasonable objections or concerns, even if they're angry, you should certainly reply, whether publicly or messaging them privately. Be sure to get all the details from the customer, and then see what happened according to your employees and records. Often showing that you're listening will do wonders for the customer's attitude.
No matter what happens, be polite, even if the customer becomes hostile. The more polite and reasonable you are, the more polite and reasonable even an angry customer is willing to be.
If you need help building or protecting your brand.com, ReputationDefender can help. ReputationDefender can help any business from the corner store to a multinational corporation construct the best possible brand, so call us today and start building up your company.