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How to Shield Your Brand’s Social Reputation

Mom taught me not to care about what others think. She also said that sticks and stones could break my bones, but a bad name… Well, that could never hurt me.

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How to Shield Your Brand's Social Reputation

As it turns out, mom was wrong.

Entire product lines have been wiped out. Vacation destinations and hotels have been left with only the sound  of crickets, simply because a group of customers rallied together and called them a bad name. According to eMarketer, consumers trust other consumer reviews nearly 12 times more than do the manufacturers own celebrity pitches and technical jargon. A company’s worst nightmare is for a customer to say, “your product sucks, and I’m going to tell.”

If it concerns your customer, it should concern you. This is a tough lesson to overcome for those of us who still look up to mom’s advice. The simple truth is that your brand… your reputation… Is on the line each and every time a customer walks away unhappy.

It’s not only the negative reviews that can hurt your reputation. Unanswered questions can be just as bad. According to New York University, as many as 90 percent of your customers will be less likely to buy from you if you leave unanswered queries on your blog or website. Rather than talk about how great your brand is; show your customer how important they are, and how significant it is that they be a part of it.

There are three ways to accomplish this.

3 Tips on Shielding Your Online Reputation

1. Monitor Your Brand

You wouldn’t leave a five-year-old in a swimming pool unattended, and in today’s social marketing platform, you shouldn’t leave your image without keeping an eye on what is being said about it, both good and bad. Remember, a poor review is always only one Tweet away, and 40 percent of these come from mobile devices.

2. Quick Response

When a customer is unsatisfied with your service, you still have a chance to turn things around. In fact, you can make a negative situation into a positive, just by taking the necessary effort to make sure that each customer complaint is handled promptly. 90 percent of disgruntled customers will stay with a company, so long as their complaint is resolved promptly. Even more amazing, 50 percent will become an advocate of your brand.

3. Personal Attention

The automated service center has devastated consumers by de-humanizing their problems into pressing numbers on their telephone until they become so frustrated they just hang up. Today’s consumer wants you to speak to them in their language. They want to know you care.

You only get one shot at your brand’s reputation… Make it count! And don’t be reactionary it a time of crisis, build equity through a proactive approach to fortify your reputation, or it can easily be toppled. You know what they say about first impressions, and its amplified online.

Guest Author: Mark Nicholson is the founder of reactorr, an online branding/search and social marketing consultancy where his blog about online branding reputation management and social media lives. He can be found on Twitter @markjnicholson .

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