Online reputation transparency offers significant benefits, helping to build and maintain trust between you and others.
Today’s consumers demand more from the businesses they patronize. While quality of products and services is still an integral part of the business environment, customers prefer authentic brands and companies with strong and visible brand values.
“Transparency” is a popular business buzzword, but what does it mean, and how can businesses leverage transparency to build a robust online reputation?
In our guide to transparency in online reputation management, we’ll share insights that can help you implement the strategies needed to ensure business success with a brand reputation you can be proud of.
What is Your Company’s Reputation?
In the digital age, how you are perceived online can present new opportunities — or a negative perception can hold you back from achieving your personal and professional goals.
How is your business perceived in the digital environment, and what goes into creating a positive or negative perception? Let’s explore some of the factors that influence your brand reputation:
Positive Online Reputation
A positive reputation is built on both the quality and quantity of search engine results. These search results may include the following:
- Positive reviews from satisfied customers
- Positive mentions on social media channels
- Customer feedback in the form of star ratings on third party platforms
- Positive content on owned web properties or positive user generated content on blogs, forums, and websites
Negative Online Reputation
When someone searches for your business name or brand, what search engine results are they discovering? Negative online reputations are the result of:
- Negative reviews
- Bad publicity
- Feedback from unhappy customers, including negative comments or ratings
- Embarrassing images or negative content on blogs, forums, and websites
- Unflattering mentions or online conversations on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
When your target audience searches for you, the strength of your online reputation can pave the way to success — or it can stand in the way of your goals. With online reputation management, you can influence public perceptions and react quickly to emerging reputational threats.
What is Transparency?
According to Forbes, a leading business publication, transparency in business is defined as:
“The process of being open, honest, and straightforward about various company operations. Transparent companies share information relating to performance, revenue, internal processes, sourcing, pricing, and business values.”
When something goes right, companies share this information with their audiences. When something goes wrong, transparency in business operations means that you don’t try to hide it from your consumers. Instead, you take a proactive approach by sharing what went wrong and what your company is doing to fix the problem.
People trust companies that are open and honest. In numerous studies based on feedback collected from consumers, survey respondents indicate that if a company is committed to transparency, that organization tends to retain high levels of trust over the long run even if a business error or misstep has taken place.
Making Online Reputation Management Matter
Having a positive reputation is great, but shaping your brand reputation is an ongoing process. Every positive customer experience “moves the needle”, encouraging word of mouth recommendations when one satisfied customer tells another of his or her experience.
On the other hand, every negative customer experience serves to erode the trust and authority you’ve worked so hard to achieve in your industry.
It is clear that in the modern world, your online reputation matters more than ever before. With a positive reputation, you have the potential to improve sales, improve brand awareness and brand reputation, and stand out from your competition. Companies that use transparency on the internet as a reputation management tool can influence perceptions, and this influence translates into a strong and visible brand.
Build Your Brand’s Online Reputation Through Transparency
One of the best strategies for digital marketing is to add transparency to your marketing efforts. Incorporating transparency is relatively easy if your organization is committed to shining a light on the inner workings of your operation. Tips include:
- Share what you’re doing — and why — with your customers.
- Provide insights about crucial decisions your company has made to ensure a strong and successful future.
- Encourage feedback from your customers, and respond when that feedback is less-than-flattering.
- Engage with customers on social media platforms.
- Provide clients with the details needed to make informed purchasing decisions.
- Be active on review sites like Google reviews, Trustpilot, and Glassdoor.
In the digital world, a great reputation is a valuable asset. By becoming radically transparent in your business operations, you’re setting the stage for valuable client relationships while working to mitigate any serious problems that may occur.
Engage Customers by Responding to Online Reviews
It’s no secret that online reviews form the bulk of a company’s brand reputation. This is especially true of a new business or locally-oriented business that may need a boost in attracting a steady stream of customers to the company.
Whether good or bad, responding to these online reviews tells clients you care about their feedback. Here are some tips for when you choose to respond to each online review:
Tips for Responding to Positive Reviews
- Thank the customer for sharing their feedback.
- Personalize your response for each online review.
- Ask relevant questions about the customer experience to encourage engagement.
- Highlight the positive aspects of your brand — the aspects that result in satisfied customers.
- Ask your customers to reach out if they have questions or need additional help.
Tips for Responding to Negative Reviews
- Be honest and open about what went wrong when you respond to the review.
- Take ownership of the negative experience. Combative language or accusations do not help the situation.
- Offer to investigate what led to the negative review or negative feedback.
- Provide consumer incentives to give your business another chance.
- Make things right.
Believe it or not, when potential customers see that you are transparent enough to respond to the negative reviews, you’re sending the signal that you have nothing to hide. As an online reputation management strategy, this is worth its weight in gold in terms of brand value and brand reputation.
Using Transparency to Build Trust
Whether positive or unflattering, each review represents a learning opportunity for business owners to understand what’s working and what needs improvement. A single negative review may not be much to worry about, but the more negative reviews you collect, the more damage they can cause. When you manage your reviews by responding, monitoring, and engaging, you can tell your customers their feedback is valuable.
Transparency doesn’t have to be a mystery for businesses. Brands that use transparent strategies to share insights into how the company works and what it stands for build a trustworthy and engaged brand that resonates with your customers.
Using Social Media Marketing to Extend Client Relationships
Social media has revolutionized how companies interact with their customers. Social media serves as a way to put a human face on your brand and operation. Brands that use social media to engage each customer gain strategic advantages over their rivals.
Social media marketing can include tactics like sharing positive content with followers, providing business insights, or highlighting new products and services. As your posts are shared with others, this provides “social proof” that search engines use to evaluate the authority and trust of your brand. With enough social media activity, you can secure the top rankings in search engine results.
Monitoring Your Online Reputation
Smart companies know that online reputation management is a never-ending process. Even if your reputation is strong, emerging threats can upend all the hard work you’ve done.
A powerful reputation management tool is the process of monitoring your reputation. Reputation management professionals use automated tools to scour the web for mentions, comments, online reviews, and news articles related to your business. This monitoring is a proactive tool for identifying potential threats before they can damage your reputation.
Whether you choose to manage your reputation on your own or hire a reputation management team for assistance, monitoring review sites, social media activity, and other web platforms for negative reviews, negative feedback, or negative comments allows you to address problems, ultimately protecting and reinforcing your online reputation.
Contact OnlineReputation Today
OnlineReputation is a leader in information resources for the online reputation management industry. Our guides provide the details you need to make informed decisions, helping you to make smart buying decisions about an online reputation management tool or service.
Your brand’s reputation is a valuable asset, but protecting this asset requires specialized tools and knowledge. Business owners who wish to stand out in competitive marketplaces need reputation management services to get the most from their digital profiles. By harnessing ORM and brand transparency, your company will stand out to the people who matter most: potential customers who are searching for you on the web.
To learn more about online reputation management for businesses and individuals, including review management and social media management solutions, contact our team today at 844-230-3803 for a free consultation.
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Online reputation transparency offers significant benefits, helping to build and maintain trust between you and others. Today’s consumers demand more …