How Businesses Manage their Reputation Online
A business will live and die by their reputation, particularly in the online market where there is a vast number of different competitors all struggling for a piece of the action. Managing their reputation online is of paramount importance to their success and different sized businesses take different strategies when doing so. Quality online reputation management service is needed to bring a business to a new level and to protect it from negative buzz.
Large businesses will often have individuals dedicated solely to managing their reputation online. The dedicated individuals will read reviews of the business and their products and identify what the problems with the products are and attempt to provide management with a summary of the issues that customers are facing in order to possibly remedy this issues and improve their reputation as a result. This is often a longer term goal of reputation management for larger companies.
In the short term different responses are often developed by large firms. Many will respond to negative reviews and attempt to provide their side of the story or at least acknowledge that there was a problem that this individual was facing and post their regrets that this situation occurred. Others will try to fix the problem itself, sometimes with a cash refund in order to make the client happier and the online viewers of the review less critical of the company. There are different ways of doing so but an honest and conciliatory policy is often recommended for the best results.
This can backfire if the right person and tone is not struck by the company and significant amount of care should be used in not only selecting the right person to perform reputation management online but also to manage that individual and to adjust the strategy and results as time goes on.
Other less noticeable business reputation attempts are made as well by businesses. Many businesses will have positive reviews and news stories planted in various news sources which help to stir up positive enthusiasm for their products with the hope this stirs up sales for the business. Businesses will often try to use market influencers to drive the positive feedback by first getting them on their side and then using them to drive additional sales.
Hiring an external public relations firm to manage the business reputation online is also comment and as an external resource they can often use their unbiased views to avoid taking attacks personal and developing a global plan for the overall business reputation management online.
Small businesses will also have a person who handles reputation management but they can rarely dedicate the resources to make it into a full time job. Instead it is typically a part time role for someone who is going to do so in their spare time, sometimes the owner or a member of management. While this is necessary and many of the same things mentioned above are done by them as well, the message may be inconsistent and the owner or management may take the negativity personal and lash out online. This is the wrong way to go and will typically lead to backlash by the online community.
Business reputation management is a necessary step and needed for all businesses. Whether this is handled internally or with the assistance of an external public relations firm is dependent on each company’s financial situation though resources should be dedicated to business reputation management as a result of the pervasive impact it has on the business overall.