Brand Reputation Management: 10 Strategies to Avoid Damage

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Earlier than we dive into the nuts and bolts of brand name repute administration, we wish to apologize. You’re most likely going to get a parody model of Joan Jett’s “Dangerous Reputation” caught in your head sooner or later throughout the studying of this text, and we will’t assist however really feel it’s our fault.

As a result of, yeah, we do give a darn about our model repute. And it is best to too.

An amazing repute can skyrocket your small business to new heights; a nasty one can set you up for a protracted, sluggish wrestle. (And you probably have no repute? Effectively, you most likely want to brush up in your social search engine marketing.)

The idea of a enterprise counting on repute is nothing new, after all. Earlier than Yelp critiques, companies thrived on phrase of mouth (and, uh, city criers?). However in 2023, social media offers manufacturers a novel alternative to handle their reputations on the entrance traces. Right here’s how.

Bonus: Obtain a free information to learn the way to use social media listening to increase gross sales and conversions at the moment. No methods or boring ideas—simply easy, easy-to-follow directions that basically work.

What’s model repute?

Brand repute is the widespread opinion the general public shares about your model.

Are you dependable? Are you hilarious? Are you snobby? Is your spokes-candy smokin’ hot? What, exactly, are people quietly thinking — or not-so-quietly tweeting — about your brand and product?

For instance: Patagonia is beloved for its commitment to the environment (it even landed at #3 on the 2022 Axios-Harris poll of the most reputable brands in America).

In a perfect world, your reputation is based on your past behavior or actions — but sometimes, one wrong move can turn the world against you. (Or even worse, untrue rumors can spread and poison an otherwise pristine public record.)

What people think of you as a person may or may not matter to you (for example, if you are Joan Jett), but when it comes to your brand, your rep is everything.

A good reputation can help with recruiting and retention, too: the majority of U.S. candidates won’t work for a company with a bad rep. On the flip side, people are downright clamoring to apply for Gainsight, which was named the #1 best place to work by employee-review site Glassdoor in 2023.

In other words, a business that has a reputation for being trustworthy and authentic is going to thrive.

No wonder internationally beloved toy company Lego reported a 17% growth in 2022. Meanwhile, Wish, one of the brands that was featured lower on last year’s Axios-Harris poll, reported a net loss of $384 million that same year.

Source: Axios

Your brand’s reputation is impacted by many different factors, such as:

  • The quality and relevance of your products or services
  • How you interact with customers or potential clients
  • The brand values you promote (in words or actions)
  • How you handle a crisis or mistake
  • Your employees’ or partners’ behavior
  • The working conditions of your office or production facility
  • The content of your social media accounts, ad campaigns, or creative productions

Basically, any touchpoint you have with the public — online or offline — is an opportunity for judgment.

The good news? You don’t necessarily have to sit back and accept public sentiment. You can be an active participant in cultivating and defending your brand.

Whether you’re beloved by the world or loathed, social media is a vital tool for both shaping and managing your reputation. (And if you don’t have social media accounts for your business set up yet… what the heck are you waiting for? Here are 22 reasons you’ve got to get your brand online, ASAP.)

10 top brand reputation management strategies

1. Build your brand awareness

It’s hard to build a great reputation if no one knows about you.

For instance, did you know Neil Young had his own brand of MP3 player? And are you surprised at all to hear that it didn’t go super well?

Brand awareness is a measure of how well people recognize your brand, including how “aware” they are that your product or business exists at all.

Rather than a simple individual metric, brand awareness is a concept that touches on many different KPIs, from traffic to social share of voice.

Develop your brand aesthetics and voice, follow best practices for social media, and make sure to be on your best behavior as you grow that audience.

Wendy’s currently has 3.9 million followers on Twitter, because the social media managers have done such a spectacular job of building the brand’s digital reputation.

The account showcases a snarky, silly brand voice that has delighted the internet and captured the attention of millions. (Competitor burger resto Arby’s, comparatively, has 80,000 followers. No shade, just respect to the big W.)

Be taught extra about constructing model consciousness right here

2. Maintain your model constant

Sturdy reputations are constructed on consistency. That’s not to say you possibly can’t have enjoyable together with your content material (shock ‘em with a livestream, why don’t you?), however moderately that your viewers ought to have the option to depend upon you to ship nice content material, services and products with no hiccups.

Takis delivers completely unhinged recipes usually on TikTok, as an example. Whether or not you’d need to eat a “loopy cucumber” or not, it’s comforting to know what to count on from the playful snack meals model.

Takis Loopy Cucumber 🥒🔥 #Takis #recipe #spicycucumber #foodtok

♬ Candy psycho – Official Sound Studio

The trick to constant, partaking social media posts begins with a method information.

A social media content material calendar can assist right here, too — and don’t neglect to schedule your posts for constant, reliable appearances in your followers’ feeds.

3. Create social pointers and a disaster administration plan

Avoiding social media snafus begins with developing with your individual pointers to comply with in occasions of disaster. Chaos reigns once we let feelings rule our Twitter accounts.

Crafting a set of greatest practices in your social media accounts and a disaster administration plan ensures your model has a set of pointers for the way to behave in a worst case state of affairs. Pondering forward about how to reply when a troll or PR nightmare comes alongside will assist your model seem as level-headed as potential if hassle begins brewing.

4. Contribute to your group

The very best reputations don’t simply come from fastidiously managing your tone and picture — they arrive from providing real worth to your group and cultivating connections.

Hershey has partnered with the Mmusic Initiative and makes use of its social platform to showcase the group’s work. Fairly candy transfer. (As a result of it’s a sweet firm? And in addition a pleasant factor to do? You get it, you get it.)

How are you going to model give again and take part? How can your model be beneficiant and useful to everybody else? Attempt making a Fb group in your followers. Reply to feedback with respect and heat. Ask your group questions and shout-out main contributors. Run a giveaway or contest.

Principally: be a superb pal, and a stellar repute is certain to comply with.

In fact, not all brand-building occurs on-line. You’ll be able to set up model consciousness by contributing to your group in concrete methods like sponsoring occasions, providing company donations, or facilitating workers’ participation in charity work.

Discover extra methods to construct your model consciousness and repute right here.

5. Strategy partnerships with warning

Partnering up with different manufacturers, influencers and ambassadors could be an incredible alternative to get artistic and unfold the phrase about your model. However teaming up with anybody signifies that you may catch warmth for any of their errors.

Some research earlier than you companion with one other group or particular person is all the time a good suggestion. Do their previous posts align together with your values? Have they been the topic of any controversy or drama which may put your organization on the defensive?

Simply because somebody has a whole lot of followers doesn’t imply they’re the fitting ambassador in your model.

6. Follow social listening

Whether or not somebody’s completely trashing you or signing your praises, you’re going to need to know.

Arrange Hootsuite Streams to catch all the recent goss, proper in your dashboard. Streams permits you to create customized feeds with social posts related to your small business.

You’ll be able to filter posts by account, key phrase, hashtags, and even location.

Streams show posts together with public feedback and reactions, serving to you effortlessly sustain with necessary conversations occurring in your trade.

You may as well arrange a stream with your individual content material to control how your posts are doing and simply interact with feedback and reactions.

Twitter advanced search Hootsuite Streams

Hootsuite Streams may also enable you spot potential model crises early and shield your on-line repute. By holding monitor of brand name mentions, you are able to do higher model sentiment evaluation, simply acquire useful suggestions, and step in earlier than conversations get heated.

Attempt Hootsuite free

7. Be responsive

The quickest route to a nasty repute? Dangerous customer support.

However in the event you deal with folks effectively once they have an issue, your buyer loyalty might be by means of the roof.

An Inbox administration device like Hootsuite Inbox could also be generally known as a customer support device, but it surely’s actually a repute administration device at its coronary heart.

Why? With Hootsuite Inbox, you possibly can bridge the hole between social media engagement and customer support by managing your whole social media messages in a single place.

Hootsuite Inbox unassigned messages

This consists of:

  • Non-public messages and DMs
  • Public messages and posts in your profiles
  • Darkish and natural feedback
  • Mentions
  • Emoji reactions
  • … and extra.

The all-in-one workspace makes it simple to deal with messages (not to point out optimistic and unfavorable critiques) as a workforce, monitor metrics, create automated responses, and every part else you want to be sure you by no means miss an opportunity to make a buyer’s day. This may tremendously enhance your buyer expertise, as your clients will get assist extra rapidly and effectively.

8. Monitor your social sentiment

Okay, so you recognize individuals are speaking about you. However typically determining how they really feel about you is a bit of trickier.

That’s the place social sentiment instruments are available in. And we could also be biased, however Hootsuite Insights is our favourite possibility right here.

Powered by Brandwatch, Insights permits you to use detailed Boolean search strings to monitor social sentiment mechanically.

You’ll additionally get phrase clouds displaying the commonest phrases used to discuss your model. Plus, charts that benchmark your social sentiment towards your rivals.

Brandwatch sentiment volume

As well as to optimistic and unfavorable sentiment, Hootsuite Insights tracks particular feelings, like anger and pleasure, over time. This permits you to search for sudden adjustments, or ongoing traits.

You may as well filter sentiment by location or demographics, so you possibly can see how sentiment varies throughout your viewers. There’s additionally an AI evaluation possibility to mechanically establish the causes of serious adjustments in sentiment.

Insights is on the market to Hootsuite enterprise clients.

Get a free demo

8. Construct a social advocacy program

One wonderful means to get folks speaking about you is to… ask them to discuss you.

A social advocacy program rewards people who’re singing your praises on the market on the world-wide internet. That may embrace your workers, your clients or your super-fans.

Glossier’s associates program affords fee, however your advocacy program may have totally different perks — VIP entry, particular swag, factors you possibly can redeem for prizes… comply with your coronary heart!

Generation Glossier affiliate program

An engaged group leads to higher gross sales outcomes. Brand advocates enable you join with potential clients and reduce by means of the noise on-line. They’ll increase your visibility by:

  • Displaying off your merchandise on social media
  • Leaving optimistic on-line critiques
  • Driving extra visitors to your merchandise

Be taught extra about creating a powerful social advocacy program right here.

9. Share user-generated content material

Person-generated content material (UGC) is unique, brand-specific content material created by clients and revealed on social media or different channels. UGC acts as a belief sign, taking your model authenticity to the subsequent stage.

It’s extremely influential in shaping the notion of your model in the marketplace. Folks see other people loving your tee shirts, and so they begin to consider that you just’re making one thing particular. Put extra plainly: use peer stress to your benefit!

Nike Working reshares posts from individuals who tag the model, which leads to a (good for Nike) vicious cycle of different folks wanting to publish their personal content material to be featured to allow them to be a part of a cool, unique membership.

Nike Running Instagram Story reshare

Nike Working clearly isn’t posting anybody complaining about blisters… so there’s completely an incentive to preserve public feedback optimistic if you would like a few of that candy, candy Nike consideration, proper?

Be taught extra about cultivating and sharing user-generated content material right here.

10. Follow model security

Brand security means making certain {that a} enterprise’s adverts aren’t related to inappropriate content material that might harm the model’s repute.

This consists of creating insurance policies and measures to shield the model from showing alongside content material that may very well be offensive, controversial, unlawful or unethical.

Brand security is most frequently mentioned within the context of paid adverts. That’s as a result of social media adverts generally is a huge funding — however they will additionally pose a critical danger.

Learn extra about avoiding model security dangers right here.

How to measure model repute

Measuring model repute requires paying consideration to what individuals are saying about you. And meaning placing social listening and model monitoring instruments to be just right for you.

1. Monitor model and product mentions

Arrange Hootsuite Streams to monitor official tags of your model or use of your hashtag, however don’t neglect to create streams to look ahead to misspellings and slang, too. If individuals are chatting about loving the pizza they obtained from “the Hut,” you’re going to need to know.

2. Measure the temper

It seems that emotions could be scientific. Use an analytics device like Hootsuite Insights by Brandwatch to crunch public sentiment into chilly, arduous numbers.

Social sentiment generally is a highly effective information level to assist social media targets and set KPIs. Certain, monitoring the variety of followers or engagement development is necessary, too, however realizing in case your followers and commenters truly like you makes these stats much more significant.

With Hootsuite Insights you may also arrange alerts for brand-sentiment adjustments so you possibly can react rapidly and mitigate danger.

brand reputation 08

3. See the way you stack up

Your repute doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Even in the event you aren’t that in style since you’re in a troublesome trade, it may be useful to know simply how far more likable you’re than your competitor. So be sure you’re not simply analyzing your individual model repute; analyze your rivals’ reputations too.

Folks might not love one ride-sharing firm, but when that ride-sharing firm remains to be a extra in style firm than one other ride-sharing firm, they’ve obtained one thing to have a good time. (Yet another plug for Hootsuite Insights right here, as a result of it’s nice for keeping track of what your competitors is up to.)

Get a free demo

Brand repute FAQs

Why is model repute necessary?

Your model repute is necessary as a result of it impacts each your gross sales and your means to entice and retain expertise.

Eighty-two p.c of buyers need to purchase from corporations whose values align with their very own. Folks admire nice customer support, good high quality merchandise, and optimistic working circumstances. So if there’s a public notion that you’ve all of this stuff, your small business is in the very best place to thrive.

Grocery chain Wegmans, for instance, has a repute for being trust-worthy and moral… and introduced in income of greater than $10 billion in 2022.

Conversely, if the general public and media consider you provide poor customer support, are making unethical choices behind the scenes, or provide horrible worth, you’re most likely not going to be having a banner 12 months (or entice your subsequent super-star worker).

Whether or not or not it’s true, the notion of your model and the public sentiment of your model affect shoppers’ decision-making course of. Making certain that you’ve a optimistic model repute ought to be a significant part of your social media advertising and marketing technique.

Professional tip: A social media administration dashboard like Hootsuite can assist you schedule reputation-boosting content material, work together with commenters, observe social listening, and deal with unfavorable points earlier than they spiral uncontrolled.

Watch the video under for bonus social listening ideas from our personal social advertising and marketing workforce right here at Hootsuite.

How do you identify model repute?

Figuring out model repute requires paying consideration to what individuals are saying about you. And meaning placing social listening and model monitoring instruments to be just right for you.

Listed here are two of our favourite methods to monitor your model’s repute:

  • Hootsuite Streams is a device for real-time social listening, permitting you to monitor mentions (even un-tagged ones!) of your model, product, or marketing campaign so that you by no means miss an necessary dialog. Streams can be found to Professional Plan customers and above.
  • Hootsuite Insights permits you to set alerts for adjustments to model sentiment so you possibly can react rapidly and mitigate danger. With Insights, you possibly can control how sure merchandise and campaigns are performing and modify your technique as wanted. AI evaluation helps reduce by means of the noise and uncover rising traits about your repute. Insights is on the market to Enterprise customers solely.

How do you preserve a superb model repute?

A superb model repute begins with partaking, moral conduct, after all. Attempt to do the fitting factor — be thoughtful to your workers, your followers, your followers, your buyers, and everybody else you come throughout. (That good ol’ ‘do unto others’ rule won’t ever fail you.)

However sustaining a optimistic repute in your model can also require some defensive maneuvers, too.

Social listening is the act of monitoring social media for mentions of your model, your merchandise, and your trade. With social listening instruments just like the Hootsuite dashboard, you possibly can catch points and complaints earlier than they blow up into one thing brand-damaging.

Be taught extra about social listening right here!

What’s an instance of a powerful model repute?

Dealer Joe’s is an efficient instance of a model with a optimistic repute. In a 2022 ballot by Axios and Harris, TJ’s was ranked the #1 most respected model in America.

Why do U.S. buyers love the grocery chain a lot? It’s not nearly these tiny peanut butter cups (although they most likely don’t harm). Folks see it as a extremely reliable, extremely moral firm with a transparent and admirable imaginative and prescient and an ideal firm tradition.

Trader Joe's category scores

Supply: Axios

The shops themselves are laid-back and welcoming. The merchandise are wrapped in pleasant packaging, and Dealer Joe’s says it strives to embrace sustainability each time potential. The social media accounts are optimistic and useful, sharing recipes and alluring the group to participate in banana bread contests and dialog.

Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you possibly can publish and schedule posts, discover related conversions, interact the viewers, measure outcomes, and extra. Attempt it free at the moment.

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