Managing the Reputation of Your Brand in Today's Online World

The digital space is always changing. And businesses need to commit resources if they want to grow their brand online. Website work should always be ongoing. But it’s important to give attention to online reputation management as well.


What is online reputation management?

Online reputation management (ORM) is a mix of strategies used to promote and protect your brand on the Internet. Here at KennedyC, we like to think of ORM as digital PR.

These strategies include:

  • Optimizing web search results with updated business information and links
  • Monitoring and engaging with social exchanges concerning your brand
  • Maintaining an active presence on review sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook

Why does ORM matter?

Online reputation management matters because it affects the bottom line. According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report, 66 percent of consumers completely or somewhat trust opinions posted online. In terms of earned media, this is second only to recommendations from people they know.

However, trust only matters if it correlates to action. And research has shown that it does.

In a consumer study from Bright Local, 54 percent of respondents said that they will take the step of visiting a brand’s website after reading positive reviews about the company. 87 percent of these respondents also reported that a business needs a rating of 3-5 stars before they will purchase its services or products.


The KennedyC approach to managing your online reputation

The ORM programs we implement for clients focus first and foremost on the consumer. A successful reputation management strategy requires that all concerns are listened to and handled with genuine care.

The two primary tactics utilized in our ORM efforts are the Voice of the Customer program and social monitoring/listening.


Voice of the Customer program

The Voice of the Customer program, or VoC, was first developed in partnership with Culligan’s corporate team. The end goal is to increase the number of total reviews while improving the average Yelp and Google star ratings for local dealerships.


The Culligan VoC process

Our VoC program includes the following steps:

  • Claiming
  • Optimizing
  • Monitoring
  • Responding

Once a dealer opts into the program, the onboarding process begins. We first claim all business listings on Google MyBusiness and Yelp Biz. In certain cases, duplicate accounts may exist. Should that happen, we work to merge all listings so customers will not be confused.

Following the claiming process, our VoC specialists comb through provided business information. We ensure that all details visible on the review sites are correct and linked to the proper communication channels.

With the listings ready to ‘go live’, the monitoring and responding portion begins. Using industry leading tools like Review Trackers, we respond to every review received for every dealership enrolled. Regardless of whether it is positive or negative.


Culligan VoC and beyond

We launched the Voice of the Customer program in April of 2016. Since that time, we’ve responded to over 2,200 Google and Yelp reviews. And we have increased enrollment to over 130 dealers.

Collectively these clients hold an average star rating of 4.8.

With the success of Culligan’s program, our agency expanded the VoC offering to clients in other industries. While the four main steps stay the same, we tailor the process to the individual customer.

This ensures the best user experience and results for our clients.


Social Monitoring & Listening

Social media allows brands to share news, information and updates. It also provides an opportunity to have conversations with real consumers.

People use social platforms to talk about brands both positively and negatively. So we use social monitoring and listening as another one of our online reputation management tactics.


What’s the difference between monitoring and listening?

Social monitoring looks at individual messages received for and about your brand. Social listening considers the meaning behind the data as a whole.

Social monitoring is used to:

  • Have an open dialog with consumers about things they are happy with or want to see improved.
  • Build an approachable brand identity with personalized customer interactions.
  • Provide a real-time solution to any and all concerns, problems or inquiries.

Social listening is used to:

  • Hear what consumers are saying about our clients and the industry.
  • Gain insight and understanding about target demographics and the marketplace as a whole.
  • Learn about potential problems and how to troubleshoot in advance.
  • Source ideas for future content and messaging.

Keeping track of social conversations

Social media conversations happen at lightning speed. And the community nature of social can magnify issues just as fast. To protect our client brands and provide real time customer support, we utilize tools such as Facebook Business Manager, Sprout Social and Meltwater.

These platforms allow us to receive and respond to any brand mentions. They also provide useful data insights that inform and drive our overall content strategies.


Conclusion

The Internet and social media are becoming more customer-centric than ever. Your company must take an active role in the dialog to protect its image and brand.

Our KennedyC content specialists have the experience, creativity and problem solving skills to ensure you maintain the best online reputation possible. Give us a call or contact us to learn more.