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Reputation Management and Branding are King

February 26th, 2014

Branding and Reputation are interlinked. While one cannot exist without the other, It’s important to understand how closely related the two terms are. Although the internet and social media have vastly changed the game when it comes to branding and reputation, Brand Reputation Management (BRM) has been around for quite a while now. As user generated content and feedback is thrown at you for free, who knows which direction it will take. Maintaining a brand reputation in the day and age of social media is a unique challenge that brands are often faced with. The lucky bit is that companies can also use the internet and social media to steer conversations their way.

The importance of maintaining brand reputation cannot be stressed enough. Reputation is driven by word of mouth and social shares. Customer perception and opinion is what translates into sales and a bad brand reputation always means slower sales.

Online Reputation

Try to place yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. Studies show that nearly 80% of potential customers will research a brand and product online before making a purchase decision. What would the customer find when they type your brand name into the search bar of a social media site or in Google? Social pages can easily accumulate negative feedback. This negative feedback maybe exactly what your potential customer or employer is searching for. One hint of a bad review will be enough to make them switch to the competition. Specialized online reputation management teams are created by brands in order to manage such negative feedback and initiate conversations with their followers. Paying attention to brand loyals and social media influencers will help increase positive feedback on the page and make sure that the brand reputation remains untarnished.

Companies often hire branding and online reputation management teams to handle their online presence. Branding and reputation management has always been a challenge for corporations, which has inflated as social sharing rears its head.

Visibility

You may think that a good way of staying away from negative feedback is to stay away from the social media monster. This maybe the worst thing that you could do to your brand. It is time for brands to reach the customers on a more personal level which can only be done through social media and the internet. Not having any online reputation could be a fate worse than having a negative one. The importance of online visibility can be ascertained by the fact that most companies are striving for visibility with optimized keywords on the front page of Google organic search results. It is important to understand that online visibility is not a onetime thing, but a constant battle. There is new content being created everyday and if you fail to keep up, you will definitely be drowned out.

Build Trust

Your personal branding is one of the key factors that determine your credibility. Since perception is everything when it comes to maintaining an online presence, it’s important to be consistent across the board. The value you bring needs to be crystal clear and linked to your brand. Following a uniform, on-brand message from your portfolio to your profiles and networking channels will help build a strong online identity.

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