Do you want to improve the reputation of your online business? Reputation is vital for building relationships as an individual, but it's equally crucial to build your brand reputation with consumers.
Have you ever visited a website that had a questionable design? Encountered a brand that had terrible crisis management strategy or poor public relations skills on social media? If so, you know how much one small mistake could harm your business. Warren Buffett said it best: "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it."
The more time you spend building trust with your followers, the more likely you are to see more engagement, traffic and sales. With that in mind, let's look at five tactics you can use to boost your brand reputation.
1. Write high-quality content.
First, let's talk about your content marketing strategy. Business owners and marketers spend a ton of time creating content for their blogs and social media, all in the hopes of convincing more people to spend time on their website.
Let's get one thing straight: If your content is lackluster, you're going to have a hard time building a reputation that gains you followers. The information boom we've experienced throughout the last decade has resulted in countless websites popping up, with many in the same industry uploading similar posts.
So what makes one brand more effective at building rapport than others? Simply put, your content needs to be actionable, informative and entertaining. This mixture of elements is hard to nail down for some people, especially those who are new to writing.
However, if you're willing to engage with your audience and find out what they expect from your brand, you can create high-quality content that meets their needs. The more relevant posts you have on your website, the more your company will be viewed as an expert in your industry. When people see you as an expert, you're building a positive brand reputation.
2. Engage with social media influencers.
Social media influencers are internet celebrities who spend their time on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Influencers have already built rapport with their audience, who see them as reliable sources of information for their community.
Publicly engaging and partnering with these individuals can help you shape the way consumers see your company. When influencers create sponsored content or respond to your tweets, they are sending a signal to their followers that they trust you with their time, information and money.
If people from influencer accounts start following your brand, there's a good chance they'll eventually become your email subscribers or paying customers. When you consider that 94% of people plan on buying something from a business they follow on Twitter, it's evident that engaging with influencer figures on social media can pay off for your company.
There are over 3 billion people across all social media platforms. You can reach these people and build your reputation through influencers and a well-thought-out social media marketing strategy.
Editor's note: Looking for help managing your brand's online reputation? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.
3. Create a conflict resolution plan.
While we're on the topic of social media, let's talk about establishing a conflict resolution plan for your accounts. You're going to see people saying they didn't have a great experience with your brand. Sadly, it's impossible to please everyone, no matter how hard you try, because something that benefits one person may put someone else at a disadvantage.
There's a good chance you've scrolled through social media and spotted an outlandish response from a business to a consumer that had an issue. Depending on the severity of the problem and the company's response, it might have utterly destroyed its brand reputation because it didn't have a conflict resolution plan in place.
The key to resolving these issues is to have a strategy for when you get customer complaints on social media. You should try to get them away from a public discussion as politely as possible. A simple message such as "I'm sorry you had an issue with [problem area]! Please contact us through DM or email, and we will get this sorted out for you" can do wonders for your conflict resolution.
Additionally, you'll want to use social listening tools to see what consumers are saying about your brand when they are not on your page. Knowing what your followers think of your company, can help you strategically improve your reputation, even with customers who have complaints.
4. Fine-tune your CX.
Customer experience, or CX, is how consumers interact with your brand. If you work hard to perfect the customer experience on your website, you can look forward to a boost in your reputation.
Several factors contribute to good CX. First, you have to think about your site design. Can users easily navigate to each page, without getting lost or confused in your page hierarchy? You can bet that if a customer has a bad time browsing your site, they are going to form a negative opinion of your brand, which can harm your reputation.
The design rules apply to every aspect of your site, especially your forms. Contact and payment forms are prevalent in blogs and online stores. Research shows that a staggering 67% of visitors will abandon your form if they encounter any issues. While 20% of those people will make an effort to contact your business, the rest will leave and likely never come back.
You don't want to give your visitors a poor CX, because they will remember their experience and tell others, potentially damaging your company's reputation.
5. Show social proof.
Social proof is the psychological trend of people being more likely to buy something if they see other people enjoying that product. Common forms of social proof are activity popups for users, testimonials and reviews on individual products.
Reviews, in particular, are vital for building your reputation, considering that 83% of people prefer reading reviews to marketing materials. The best way to get more people invested in your brand is to allow users to show their experiences with your brand.
If you were browsing Amazon for shoes, would you buy something from a five-star or two-star seller? Chances are you would pick the five-star seller every time, because we are likely to see brands with more positive reviews as more reliable.
You can allow consumers to add their own reviews, share feedback from your customers on social media, and include testimonials from other influential people in your community. If someone has never heard of you but knows some of the people leaving testimonials for you, they are more likely to see you as trustworthy.
Our reputations define our personal and business lives. If you want your business to be highly regarded in your industry and among your audience, you have to work to enhance and then preserve how people perceive your brand. You'll face some hiccups along the way, but if you are vigilant, you can improve the reputation of your online business. Use these five tips to get more consumers to trust your business, showing them why you are worth their time and effort.