Before executing any steps in managing your brand’s reputation online, it’s important that you figure out what the baseline is so you know how much work still needs to be done. Here are some important questions that will help steer you towards a good start.
The most common sources that determine the general opinion about your brand are blogs, forums, social media, and review sites.
Go to these places online and type in the name of your business and check out the results. Are they mostly complaints about your product or service? Do they show your brand in a positive light? Is your website on the first page of search engines or are other sources shown first? The results will give you an idea on what your potential customers see and what their first impression might be when researching about you.
It’s important to note specific quotes and complaints or praises so you have a more concrete idea on how you’re being perceived online. This will also give you a more rounded view of your online reputation goals.
The Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland said it best when he told Alice, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will lead you there.”
The same truth applies to reputation management. You can’t just be general about your goals. “I want a better online reputation” will not do. You have to be specific in what you want to happen. Is your business being bashed in forums? Plot a game plan on how to combat that. Does the competition keep on posting untrue reviews about you? Find a way to make them stop. Does your brand need more positive reviews? Get strategizing to encourage happy customers to share their experience with you.
It also helps when you divide your goals into immediate ones versus the mid-term and the long-term. That way, you can prioritize better and can audit your accomplishments more clearly.
Yes. Again, you won’t know how far you’ve come if you don’t mark where you started. Write down all measurable info about your current reputation online, compare it to your goals, and set a game plan on bridging the two. Some of the most common things you can measure in your audit are:
- Your brand’s average customer rating on review sites
- The number of positive results on Google when searching for your business
- The number of likes you have on Facebook
- The number of complaints your help desk receives in a specific period of time
- Your brand’s Klout Score
These are just examples of measurable data you can base your goals and strategy upon. It’s also essential to remember to set a timeline for these items so you know how often to conduct your audits and adjust any items needed.
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