Your company’s reputation is influential to the success of the business. However, whilst it can be a positive influence, it can also hinder any progression or growth your company makes too. It’s beneficial to understand your presence on the market and within your own industry, as well as what can be done to positively impact your reputation online and offline.
But how do you go about gathering that information and using it to better your company’s rep? In this article, you’ll understand how important company reputation is to monitor and five ways that help discover how good it is and what improvements need to be made.
Why is company reputation important to monitor?
Company reputation plays a big part in how you attract new leads and maintain existing customers. With 91% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, reputation has a lot to do with how new and existing customers engage with your business.
We’ve all heard the saying that ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’, but is that something that rings true nowadays? A bad rep could see you lose customers and it could limit the opportunities your business gets as a result.
After all, most industries are saturated with competition, meaning consumers have more control and decision over who they decide to engage or shop with. A company’s reputation can influence how often a customer buys from the business and whether they choose to shout about it from the digital rooftops of their social media handles.
In the same article, 84% of marketers believe that building trust is the primary focus of future marketing campaigns. Trust in your products or services, as well as the brand itself, will help secure more customers and will heighten your presence on the market.
Five ways to better understand your company’s reputation
So how do you go about understanding your company’s reputation? With companies having very little control of what people say about them online, it’s good to be proactive in knowing where your reputation is currently and where it needs to be. Below, we’ve put together five ways to better your company’s reputation that you can implement straight away.
Do more research on your target audience
Learning more about who your audience is and what your target audience requires from you is important. If you’re not offering the right services or products, then they’re likely to look elsewhere. Customer experience is also an essential part of your business, with 86% of buyers willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
The more they enjoy your brand, the more willing they are to praise it online where others can see it. There are lots of platforms, online tools and software that you can make use of discovering who your audience is and what they’re after.
Some recommended tools to start off with would be Google Analytics for website traffic monitoring and your social media analytics can be a good focal point for looking at demographics. The data you have on your audience can help formulate the right content and to help with other marketing initiatives that you have ongoing to help strengthen your company’s reputation.
The main benefit of this data collection is that most of it can be done for free, which helps many smaller businesses and startups too.
Look at where you rank on SERPs
How high you rank on the search engine pages will likely indicate how popular or unpopular you are. A prime example of someone who has managed to grow their reputation online is Neil Patel. A specialist in digital marketing and SEO, a lot of his company webpage’s are ranking at the top or at least on the first page when it comes to his content.
Where you rank on SERPs can tell you whether or not your current content is doing enough to help improve your presence online. If not, then you can make actionable changes to what you’re putting out through both your website and social media platforms. It can also help to identify those key metrics that are influential to ranking higher.
Engage with your customers through social media platforms
It comes as no surprise that nowadays, social media dominates the internet. It’s where most tend to go for their news, to connect with friends, family and to follow what their favorite celebrity or influencers are up to.
As a brand, it’s essential to make use of social media platforms, regardless of how many you’re on at present. The analytic side of the platforms can be a great insight into how well your content is performing and who is seeing it.
Social media is a great way to advertise your business but it can also be a great way to engage with your customers too. It’s important to interact and communicate with them, especially over their personal platforms. This avenue of communication can certainly help build trust and create a closer connection between the brand and its customers.
So whether it’s replying back to comments, engaging with customers who’ve featured your product or service on their profiles to responding to a DM – it’s all useful.
Conduct brand monitoring
Brand monitoring is effective in discovering the scale of your popularity. It’s helpful to know where you’re being mentioned and who by because that often helps you find where your target audience is.
There are lots of brand monitoring tools out there. A good one for Twitter would be Tweetdeck and as it’s specialized to the social media platform directly, it’s a good one for collating all the brand mentions, relatable hashtags, etc.
For one that’s more generic, you have SEMrush which is a great tool for those with a website. This can help track pages as well as filter the results you receive for a more accurate picture.
Seek out feedback and distribute surveys
Finally, a useful and common way of receiving information on how reputable your brand is is by asking your customers. You could also open this out to focus groups if you’re still in the early stages of the business.
Seeking out feedback and distributing documents like a brand perception survey, will help gather more intel on what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. Attest is a good resource and tool for consumer research, consumer profiling and market analysis. All of which would be handy in helping to understand your market more.
How to improve your reputation as a business
So how can you improve your reputation as a business? With 86% of people willing to pay more for services from a company with higher ratings and reviews, it pays to be active in improving your rep.
Develop and maintain a brand identity
A brand identity is important because it helps you to stand out from the crowd. If you’ve not established a brand image or identity yet, then it’s useful to do so. It helps your audience recognize who you are and it contributes to how your customers and the public in general, see you.
You never know what might happen with your business, so having a brand identity could be crucial to establishing yourself overseas too.
Focus on your customers
Your customers are a priority and if they’re not happy, then it’s likely going to tarnish your reputation as a business. Engage with your customers and be open to feedback that you can take on board and action if appropriate. Acquiring customers is one thing but nurturing them is what will keep them coming back for more.
Happy customers will hopefully result in increased sales. They’re more likely to talk online and offline about you to their friends, work colleagues, family and even their followers if they have an influence.
Don’t forget your offline reputation too
A lot of people nowadays are consumed by the online world, however, it’s important to be wary of your offline reputation too. From the newspapers and magazines to radio and television, these are all still influential platforms to audiences across the globe. So whilst you’re building up a reputation online, it’s important to remember that some of your audience will be engaged elsewhere.
Consider what collaborations you involve yourself in and who you decide to feature with when it comes to press and public relations. In the online world, users have a habit of forgiving and forgetting. However, in the real world, you can be stung quite badly if you do something that the public doesn’t like.
Prioritize your company’s reputation
Your company’s reputation will always be important and should be prioritized whether you’re a small business just starting out or you’ve been established for several years. There’s always an opportunity to help improve your brand image and how it’s talked about online and offline.
A better understanding of your company’s reputation is always a worthwhile investment and great use of your time for the future of your business.
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Author Bio: Natalie Redman (LinkedIn), freelance writer for many clients across multiple industries. Natalie has two years of copywriting experience. Natalie has a wide range of experience copywriting for web pages for businesses across many industries. She’s also an owner of two blog websites and a YouTube content creator.