Let’s pretend for a minute that you’re Nike, and one of your shoes just “exploded” on a star college basketball player’s foot, causing him a knee injury. The next day, it’s reported that your stock has fallen by 1.1 billion dollars. What do you do now?
The exploding shoe incident is a lesson in progress. Watch and learn. You and your company may never have a crisis of this magnitude, and I hope you never do. But by watching how world-class brands handle their problems, we can all learn a valuable lesson not only about brand integrity but also customer service.
There’s a lot to learn about reputation marketing, and there’s tons of information out there on the subject. It’s tough wading through it all, deciding what to use and what to put aside.
So, we’ve pulled together a list of some great advice from a few experts that you can really trust to lead you in the right direction for your reputation marketing. We hope it helps you find some inspiration, so you can handle your own version of the exploding shoe incident with ease and know-how.
Awesome reputation marketing & management advice
There are many facets of reputation marketing & management to talk about, so we’ll break them down into a few categories.
General reputation marketing advice
We’ll start with a name you might recognize: Neil Patel. Neil is one of the biggest names in internet marketing, with a huge website full of information and ideas. When it comes to reputation marketing, Patel recommends always keeping an eye on your reviews and ratings, so that you’re able to respond in good time.
In his article, The Definitive Guide to Online Reputation Management, Patel says:
What are people saying about you? Good online reputation management is not only about reacting well to what people say about you, your brand, or your products and services, but also about whether to react at all and, if so, when. Sometimes a reaction is not necessary, and sometimes a reaction that is too late can cost you millions.
A proactive approach to the matter consists of monitoring your public reputation on a regular basis, and not just when you come to know about a specific event to deal with.
Many experts echo something along those same lines. For instance, Nadia Munno, president of Massive PR, says:
91% of searches don’t go beyond Page 1, and Google is your new business card — that’s something we tell all of our clients, and it continues to be humbling how brands, small and large, still let this fall by the waist-side. Being proactive is now a necessity, and if you’re being reactive, the reputation damage has already been done — catch up isn’t a game you want really want to play.
Key takeaway: Always be proactive! Practice offense, not defense.
On social media
Like it or not, your reputation depends on you being on social media. Just a couple years ago, companies and brands had more of a choice – should we be on social media, or should we skip it for now? There’s no “skip it for now” anymore – it’s essential. Here are a couple expert opinions!
If you want to control the messaging that customers and potential employees receive, your social media tactics can’t be treated as an afterthought. Think of your social media profiles like the windows into your company’s operations. Inactive or nonexistent platforms are like boarded-up windows — they don’t show anything and are often a cause for concern.
Key takeaway: Not being on social media means missing opportunities. Period.
Social media content and campaigns that associate your brand with your customers’ and prospects’ positive, relevant emotions go a long way to cementing positive sentiments around your brand. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen people comment, after seeing that kind of content, that they were going to become customers of the brand without any further consideration!
Key takeaway: Creating positive emotions & sentiments helps foster a positive reputation!
On bad reviews
Bad reviews are an inevitable part of life as a brand or business. How you manage them can make or break your success! Following are some thoughts on reviews from the experts.
It’s easy to find examples that demonstrate how a business’ refusal to correct deficiencies when they’re brought to the staff’s attention can result in scathing reviews. It’s obviously much better to listen and correct a problem than it is to keep writing apologies for bad service.
Key takeaway: Fix the problems that prompted the bad reviews at their sources.
When you respond to bad reviews, it’s really important to keep a couple things in mind. Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce, put his advice into a succinct yet really compelling tweet:
You can spend a lifetime to build a good reputation and then ruin your efforts with less than 280 characters.
Be mindful of what you share. Be less judgmental and mean spirited. Do not nitpick or belittle people. Do not respond to negativity. And always choose kind over clever.
Key takeaway: Be nice. Responding with negativity to something that’s already negative is a terrible idea and can easily backfire.
Reputation marketing takes time and research to get good at, but hopefully the experts quoted above have helped you understand some of the keys to doing it well. To recap, here are all of our key takeaways:
- Always be proactive! Practice offense, not defense.
- Not being on social media means missing opportunities. Period.
- Creating positive emotions & sentiments helps foster a positive reputation.
- Fix the problems that prompted the bad reviews at their sources.
- Be nice. Responding with negativity to something that’s already negative is a terrible idea and can easily backfire.