Think about how you see your brand. Is it warm, inviting, and the apparent first choice?

Now, consider how your customers view your brand. More importantly, think about how customers converse about your brand online? What is your brand’s reputation?

Do the two viewpoints align?

With the majority of information about your business residing online, your brand’s reputation is built and can inevitably be torn down online. Research suggests that a first impression forms within 50 milliseconds, so you want to put your brand’s best at the forefront of potential customers. When brand management is left unattended, perception is purely crafted by past, current, and potential customers, or really, anyone who writes about the brand online. This unattended content may create an especially negatively skewed perception of your brand.

Managing brand reputation gets tricky, thanks to human’s innate “negativity bias.” Our bias pushes us to seek out negative reviews more frequently than positive ones. Psychologists suggest that humans are more psychologically activated by negative information; it seems to pique our interest more than positive information. Fortunately, your brand’s reputation is not totally out of your control. Reputation management can help tend to an inaccurate and negative perception and shape it to better reflect the bulk of feedback a brand receives. In addition to providing an excellent product or service, a brand reputation management strategy can help you stay in good standing with customers and actually increase positive feedback.

Getting started with brand management

Follow these tips to get started on your brand’s reputation management.

1 GET A BENCHMARK

Try to look at your brand from an outside perspective. What do reviews, social media posts, comments, and mentions say about your business? Aim to create a positive to negative ratio. Your initial perception and ratio findings will serve as a benchmark to help you with future data analysis and reputation management. If you have difficulty finding enough bustle about your business to make a proper analysis, your reputation management strategy should first center around collecting feedback and reviews from customers. Reviews add validity to a business, and with adequate brand reputation management, they attract new customers.

2 LISTEN IN REAL-TIME WITH BRAND MONITORING

Set up notifications for any brand-related mentions, hashtags, keywords, or comments. Following what people say about your brand can help you get ahead of negative information, respond quickly, and resolve the issue. This attention enables you to retain existing customers and reflect a positive image to potential customers. Thanking reviewers, sharing positive reviews, and thoughtfully interacting with negative reviews are all ways to better your brand’s public persona.

3 START COMMUNICATING

Consider how messages are sent and received from your business. Your brand’s social media, emails, newsletters, and public-facing channels compose your communicative presence. Interacting with your mentions and reviews is just one opportunity to craft the narrative about your brand. If you think highly about your business, you should feel empowered to share that sentiment. By crafting social media posts, blogs, and newsletters, you can highlight your brand’s best and place it directly in front of your audience.

Brand management in the 21st century

Thanks to new tools and technology, brand reputation management is getting more innovative and more accessible. In other words, you don’t need to actively monitor and respond instantly to every notification that comes in. Brand monitoring platforms can give you raw data and information statistics to understand your reputation’s standing. Services like Sprout Social and Mention streamline your social media feeds so you can monitor and respond to posts on your social channels all through one platform.

Brand equity

Brand reputation has value-added beyond a positive public persona. Brand reputation directly relates to brand equity- the commercial value derived from consumer perception of a brand. Contributing factors to brand equity include consumer expectations, word of mouth, and how well a business delivers on expectations. When a business has positive brand equity, it is seen as superior to competitors and may charge higher prices for its known quality and reliability. In short, through proven brand reputation management techniques, businesses can profit off of brand equity.

Need help managing your brand? GROWL is here to help you tend to your brand’s online presence.

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