How to Protect Your Online Brand Reputation

Brand reputation is a valuable asset.

A positive brand image can influence a consumer’s decision to purchase your products or services and eventually, it affects the value of your brand or share prices.

 

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Nowadays, a big part of your brand reputation depends on online reviews and social media.

Knowing that “Google never forgets,” businesses should take steps to manage their brand image by proactively building consumer trust while responding effectively when and where there is a need.

 

 

Why is brand reputation important?

Online brand reputation refers to the way the public perceives a brand.

It reflects the level of trust consumers have in your brand and its products or services.

Brand reputation incorporates perceptions regarding the quality of your products, the level of trustworthiness of your brand, and expected customer satisfaction.

In many cases, brand reputation runs even deeper. People have a desire to own a product or they can reject it because they associate ownership of the product with the brand’s values and image.

Here’s why online brand reputation is so important:

  • Everyone, including your brand, lives in the digital world.
  • Tools like social media and forums allow customers to talk, comment, and review your brand.
  • Online, anything written has a fast, global reach.
  • People often look for information online before making a purchase.
  • A negative image and even negative reviews damage sales.

No doubt businesses need to take care of their online reputation and leverage it to their advantage.

 

Online brand reputation management

Brand perception is intangible, dynamic and continuously evolves.

It shifts as a result of direct or indirect experiences with the brand, and with every comment, social media post or review.

Managing your brand’s reputation with both new and existing customers involves positive engagement and online presence.

It includes deleting inaccurate and false information and taking care of reviews and comments, especially negative ones, in a way that builds trust.

As Warren Buffet famously said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

 

How to Protect Your Online Brand Reputation

 

Where to go for online brand reputation?

Review Sites

Review sites let people share their opinion on brands, products and services.

Review sites are of great importance to brand reputation because the people who visit them look for what others are saying about you, your products and/or your services.

They usually do it when they consider buying and want reassurance.

They will then make their decision based on your reputation.

Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool: it is where your target audiences hang out, spend time and communicate.

Social media platforms increasingly incorporate reviews and ratings, such as reviews appearing on Facebook for a growing number of businesses.

Yet it is not only reviews that affect your social media reputation.

Reputation is affected by your online presence and it also involves things like questions and answers and comments – on your account and anywhere on social media.

Google

Monitoring your search results on Google and other search engines helps you know what is being written about you and where. Some content has more validity and spreads more and, therefore, impacts your reputation to a greater extent.

Being aware of online information allows you to address any issues.

Forums and Blogs

It may seem that forums and blogs are not as powerful as other online sources.

Comments on forums are not as public as conversations on social media, yet there are some online forums with passionate participants, especially niche forums. The same is true for blog posts and other news outlets.

Add them to your proactive online brand reputation management.

 

Steps to protect and promote brand reputation

1) Monitor your business online

The first step is research.

As simple as it sounds, typing the name of your business into a search bar on Google, Yahoo, AOL, or Bing can reveal things about your business and its reputation.

Searching your brand allows you to view it through the eyes of consumers.

You can find online reviews, comments on social media, online conversations, and other ways that affect your business.

Remember that whatever it is you are seeing, your customers are reading too. Also, take this further, and you can identify trends and patterns.

Review sites such as Google and Yelp are essential. Businesses can apply review management tools to help keep track of online reviews and ratings from one place. For example, you can set up Google news alerts.

The same goes for social media reviews and comments. For the purpose of monitoring what is not on your brand account, a monitoring tool can be helpful so you can respond and prevent negative information from spreading.

If you have good reviews on your page, use them to your advantage.

News and blogs are also information sources that influence potential customers. Niche blogs in your industry often have a significant effect, and it is good to be familiar with yours.

Forums in your industry can influence brand reputation, and it is worth monitoring the important ones in your industry or niche.

Monitoring is the first step. Then it is time to take control of your brand reviews and online presence and face issues head-on.

2) Be aware of inaccurate information

Competitors, suppliers, and disgruntled employees may write and share inaccurate information that damages your reputation. Read it carefully, and see how to best deal with it.

If you can delete the information, do it. But this is not always possible. Other strategies are approaching the online platform and asking for the removal of the information or allowing you to comment on it.

Fake reviews are probably the worst false information to combat.

First, you need to identify them. Fake reviews are often left by fake profiles or spam, but they can also be by someone with malicious intentions.

Start by attempting to verify if there was a purchase that matches the review and take it from there.

3) Create content

A large part of what customers know about your brand comes from you.

Yes, customers write reviews and comments, but even those can be managed with proactive steps.

Other than that, your content affects how customers view your brand, with text, photographs, videos or any other creative way.

You can also take positive reviews or testimonials and make sure they are on the top of searches (and outrank negative comments).

When you generate positive content and SEO optimize it, you can rank high on search results the way you want to.

Add this to a great online user experience and create a positive online reputation.

Creating content can also be about connecting with media channels. For example, when you partner with niche blogs in your industry, you can generate positive content. For this purpose, you can contribute your content to the blog.

You can also ask them to review your products and share their content to spread the word.

4) Deal with bad reviews

We all know that online reviews matter and the numbers show it.

According to research, 77 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews and 98% say they read them for local businesses.

It also shows that 49% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends!

Address negative reviews, customer complaints or unhappy testimonials as soon as possible.

Responding can help take control of the situation and show that your brand cares about customer experiences. Knowing this creates consumer trust.

The key to achieving the best result is a fast response.

The faster you address it, the less time it has to spread. Customers may even change their comments if you reach out and solve their problem or clarify the misunderstanding.

As mentioned before, there is also the issue of fake reviews.

If you identify one, it is equally crucial to respond to it. Show you care. Then, it is time to take action: Report fake reviews to the platform and get them taken down.

5) Build brand trust

Consumers are more likely to believe other people’s recommendations or comments than they are likely to believe ads.

Likes, shares, and positive comments feel like word-of-mouth and build trust. Brand trust and brand loyalty drive sales and growth for your brand.

6) Eliminate counterfeits

Counterfeit products can negatively affect reputation.

Shoppers may buy counterfeit products of your brand, believing they are real.

When unsuspecting customers receive the product and it does not work or is of lower quality, they turn to the original brand.

Although your brand is losing sales to counterfeits, customers are not very forgiving. Often their negative experience damages their perception of the brand.

Therefore, monitoring product listings online: on marketplaces, websites, social media accounts, apps, and more, is crucial to protecting your brand reputation.

 

Proactive Brand Protection

Securing your intellectual property assets online protects your sales, revenue, brand reputation, and essentially its value.

Protect your brand against counterfeits, trademark abuse, copyright infringements, brand impersonation, and malicious people and businesses.

 

 

Wiser Market Online Brand Protection

 

Wiser Market  – Online Protection of Brand Reputation

Reputation management is a continuous process.

With so many online platforms, monitoring your brand presence and dealing with negative comments and misinformation can be daunting.

Wiser Market helps your online brand reputation work for you.

For online brand protection, Wiser Market helps brands protect their online presence through a positive brand reputation and combating intellectual property infringements with tools that work and a team of experts that stay on top of the fast-changing online landscape.

Wiser Market’s highly effective, long-term online brand protection strategy increases customer trust and loyalty and safeguards your revenue and brand reputation.

 

Want to protect Your Brand?

Contact us for a Free Demo:

 

 

FAQ

How can a positive online brand reputation benefit your brand?

  • Boost sales by making people trust your business and product(s)
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Focus on business growth rather than damage control

What are the benefits of positive reviews?

  1. Increase sales
  2. Earn customer trust
  3. Gain insights from your customers
  4. Improve search engine rankings

 

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