When your company's reputation takes a hit, you need to work diligently to get it back to where it needs to be.
Accidents happen, everyone knows that. However, just because they happen doesn't mean that you're not going to have to work to regain people's trust. You can't always move past it seamlessly.
Online reputation repair takes a lot of work and strategizing and it can feel pretty daunting when you're staring down the barrel of a full-scale rebuild. Fortunately for you, we're here to help. Today, we're going to give you 5 great tips for repairing your online reputation.
By taking responsibility for whatever happened and being willing to work to regain people's trust, there's no reason you can't get your reputation back to where it used to be. Let's get on the road to recovery.
1. Identify Where Things Went Wrong
The first step in rebuilding your reputation is identifying exactly what went wrong in the first place. You can't proceed with operations unless you understand how to avoid those same mistakes happening again.
Make sure to have a meeting with your entire team and assess the events leading to the downfall of your reputation. Were you negligent of your customers' happiness in favor of gaining profit? Maybe you lost track of your brand and voice and said something that offended someone on Instagram.
Whatever the problem was, you need to figure out a way to let your audience know that it'll never happen again. Address it internally so that everyone's on the same page, then you can start strategizing about your reputation rebuild.
2. Build Your Online Presence
Once you apologize publicly for whatever the problem was, you need to bury it in a sea of good press and content. To do this, you have to start building up your online presence so that the public sees, not just that you've changed, but that you're ready to put it past you.
We'll talk about your publicity and your online reviews next, but you should first consider how you're presenting yourself on your website, in your content, and on social media. This is especially important if you've noticed a drop off in your search ranking, which is always liable to happen after a reputation crisis.
One of the best things you can do during this time is consulting an outside content creation team so that you can continue to focus on the day-to-day operations at your business. Keep your content strategy fresh and relevant so that you can push the bad press down, and eventually out, of people's searches.
Social media, in particular, is so important to your brand and your reputation. Engage with your customers constantly and even respond to negative comments so that your followers can see that you're present in your rebuild.
3. Review Management
Keeping tabs on your online reviews is going to be a huge part of this rebuild. Chances are, your ratings and reviews on important sites like Google, Yelp, and other listings sites took a hit. However, it's not impossible to reverse the damage caused by these negative reviews.
The first thing you should do is scour all of your recent reviews and respond to the ones that seem in need of a response. Good or bad, the way that you respond to negative reviews can steer the narrative more than you might think. It's most important to come off as genuine in your response so that people know you're serious about your customers' wants and needs.
Be appreciative when responding to good reviews and maintain professionalism when responding to negative ones. Admitting mistakes and understanding where the reviewer is coming from is paramount when responding to negative reviews.
In the end, you want to regain people's trust, but you also want to bury that negative press. To do this, encourage all of your current and future customers to leave you 5-star ratings and positive reviews on their favorite listings site. It'll take some time, but eventually, you can even out and negate the effects of the bad reviews.
4. Rebuild the Brand
Brand building is tough to do, even without having to manage a negative online reputation. Often, the best thing to do in these situations is to perform a full-scale rebrand. This shows your old customers that you're making a big change and it helps you distance yourself from your former reputation, making you more attractive to new customers.
Make sure that you're appealing to the right audience with your online profile. Your voice on social media and your content strategy are integral to this concept, but it's crucial that you understand who it is that you're trying to appeal to.
Finding your niche market and engaging with them will help you direct your brand-building efforts. You do have to be careful with the public's perception of a rebrand, though. If it looks forced or you do it too quickly after your reputation falters, your customers will see through it.
5. Invest In Reputation Management
Even after you've brought your company's reputation back from the dead, you need to be careful about reputation management. Every situation is a little bit different, but it's always wise to bring in a team of marketing professionals to help you manage your public persona during this time of transition.
At DeSoto Consulting LLC, we specialize in things like reputation management, social marketing, backlink building, listing management, and brand development. These are the building blocks to building a solid online reputation and it can be difficult to manage these things and run a business at the same time.
Contact us with your problems and we can help you build a strategy for repairing your online reputation so you can focus on pushing forward and being the best business you can be. A hiccup in your online reputation doesn't have to be the end of your company.
Online Reputation Repair Takes Time
The real key to online reputation repair is patience. You're not going to get back on your feet overnight, but with the proper help, you'll once again become the company you were always meant to be.
Visit us at DeSoto Consulting LLC to find out how we can help you to repair and even surpass your old public image.