In 2019, many learnt the hard way that online reputation management is not something that they can under-resource, play at or, worst of all, simply ignore. It is not a project or initiative, but an on-going journey.
Indeed, those businesses that succeeded in 2019 realized that a good online reputation is vital for the on-going success of their brand. And resourced accordingly.
More than ever before, in 2020 having an action plan that builds and maintains a positive and reliable online brand is key to your marketing strategy. Ignore it, don’t plan for it and chaos will reign when something goes wrong in your business – and it will.
Get it right by revamping your online presence, managing negative reviews and sentiment and constantly communicating with your customers, and 2020 will be a great year.
What are the reputation management trends you should be looking for?
Make sure you know who you are – and stick to it
Authenticity is the key here. Know who you are and what your purpose is and your customers will identify with you and buy into the message.
Not sure you know? Then answer this question: Why do we do what we do in the way that we do it? Answer honestly.
Choose an online reputation management tool
There is a wealth of online reputation management tools available which make your life easier, track mentions and search for and manage negativity. Select one that provides the tools that you need, and is within your budget, but definitely pick one this year.
Some of the best available include: list of ones that you can get to sign up
Reassess your use of social media influencers
With the removal of Likes on Instagram, we are beginning to see a change away from just popular Influencers to those who truly understand and identify with your company’s niche and brand.
Show empathy even when you’re not in the wrong
This is one of the golden rules of successful reputation management. By being positive and lively, rather than corporate and dour, you’ll increase positive sentiment online.
Studies have shown that more than half of online shoppers are likely to choose a company’s products simply because of a friend’s recommendation. Happy and content customers recommend.
Do not deal with trolls
Trolls are an inevitable part of having a social media presence. They set out to deliberately damage your reputation. Complaints are just responding to a particular incident and you can learn from them.
Subscribe to the Reply Only Twice rule when it comes to trolls. If they persist despite your attempts to empathise and resolve, do not continue to engage. We’ll be seeing many more trolls going unanswered in 2020.
Interestingly, constantly clicking on negative reviews and comments gives Google the impression they are relevant. So keep away if you can.
Increase your video content marketing
Online reputation management and content marketing go hand-in-hand. Over the past year, we have seen the importance of video content. This year video content will be more refined, personalized and longer in length.
The importance of online reviews – by your employees
Online reviews will continue to dominate buying decisions in 2020. But have you considered what your staff members are saying about you online? Sites like Glassdoor, Indeed and Comparably identify what employees love, and dislike, about your company.
Businesses will begin to link to positive employee reviews and encourage them to feel safe and freely speak their minds.
Indeed, encouraging employees to become reputation ambassadors will be a big trend in 2020.
Keep talking in 2020
Active engagement with your customers will continue to benefit your business this year. So make sure they know where to find you, incentivise them to share their thoughts through your platforms and request reviews through automated emails.
Industry reputations will affect individual companies
In 2020 every business will have to be aware of the consequences of industry reputation for their own business.
Societal relevance will help you stand out
This means that you need to explain what your product or service does for society and for individuals. It’s not about philanthropic or charitable activities or corporate social responsibility. It is more about clearly communicating what the company contributes to society and how they add to people’s lives.
An example quoted by the Reputation Institute comes from Apple and its app economy, which has created and supported 1.03 million jobs.
Diversity is the key
Google does not hold the monopoly when a customer is evaluating a brand. They’ll check out:
- Review sites
- Press releases
- Wiki pages
- Blog posts
- Social profiles
So you need to adjust your strategy to include these. But in 2020 you’ll need to consider voice searches, virtual reality and shoppable posts. And yes, you need to be involved with these too.
Looking for assistance in your reputation management planning? IHS can help with a range of key suppliers. Just search our supplier directory.