So, you’ve had a bad online experience for your business that either has already or could at some future time negatively impact your company’s reputation—welcome to the club! Almost every business who has an online presence, and most who don’t too, will at one point or another need to do some extent of damage control with regards to their brand. And while the situation you’re in may make you feel like Chicken Little, there are some very effective brand management tactics you can use to get your reputation on the right path again.
Find Opportunities to Speak Out
If your online reputation in suffering and you don’t want to jump back into that shark tank yet, Adam Heitzman, contributor to Inc., suggests trying out some off-line practices like speaking at events or conferences. These types of engagements are a great way to set yourself or your company up as a thought leader within your industry. It will also help you to gain visibility for your brand in a positive manner while also building back any trust that may have been lost.
When speaking in public, Heitzman recommends making sure your logo is visible, using your own examples or case studies, and interacting with people there as much as possible to help make up for any ground you may have lost online. All of these approaches will help boost your brand reputation.
Come Up With a Combat Plan
For companies that feel like it’s an uphill battle to overcome negative feelings toward your business or brand, one of the best things you can do is to formulate a plan for combating negativity. One idea for this plan, as proposed by Insightly.com, involves responding to unfavorable comments. Make a rule for your company that you will always respond politely and respectfully to harsh comments within a certain amount of time, like 6 hours. This will give you time to assess the situation and allows the concerned customer time to cool off a little.
Take Advantage of Social Media When You Can
Although social media may seem like the enemy after your company or brand has been attacked online, you should not give up your social media strategy for your business. According to Cara Aley in a guest post on SocialMedia.biz, a carefully strategized social media push can help more positive results be found regarding your business when new customers or clients search for you online. By continuing to share reliable content on social media, you’ll continue to build trust for your brand and repel bad comments shared by others with the good ones you’re sharing for yourself.
Working to improve your brand reputation after something has damaged it can seem impossible. But if you continue to build trust in your brand through speaking engagements and social media along with actively addressing negativity online, you can come back from a tarnished reputation.