Working with reputation: practical tips. Part 2

15 Dec. 2022

Building a reputation strategy

This is the key to the consistency of your every step. In fact, such a strategy is a plan of concrete actions that answers the question, "What to do next?"

The general plan for drawing up a reputation management strategy can be presented as follows:

• We formulate the goals and objectives that are planned to be implemented. This can be done by strengthening the rating on target sites, increasing the number and frequency of brand mentions in the network, leveling negative ratings, etc. The main thing here is specificity and measurability.

• We determine the appropriate style of communication with the audience. Do not ignore this point: the right brand tone can become your "business card." Provocative posts by VIZIT and cozy posts by IKEA are all successfully embodied by Tone of Voice. However, whatever style of communication you choose, you should immediately identify the forbidden topics for discussion. You are not obliged and should not express your opinion on every occasion; such an aspiration to "be heard" is unlikely to benefit you.

• We are thinking about how to motivate customers to create user-generated content with the mention of our brand. As we have already said, the user experience often looks more convincing and inspires more trust than the company's own materials.

• We make a content plan, by analogy with the SMM plan, but considering that publications here should work primarily for reputation.

• We prepare our own content in various formats (text, media), accumulate a database of user publications about you, and you can link to such posts in your own posts.

Important: the developed strategy can and should be modified as work progresses. Even if you immediately hit the "top ten," after a while the situation will definitely change. Therefore, be sure to monitor the effectiveness of reputation management.


Geoservices to help you

Various geoservices will be a useful tool in forming a reputation management strategy. This is an opportunity not only to visualize the location of your company but also to create a powerful battery of reviews. The convenience of geosystems is that they are suitable for businesses of any scale. It doesn't matter if you are developing a small workshop or promoting a federal-level company—you must be on the cards.

There are other advantages here:

• A high level of trust on the part of search engines—and this means getting information about your business to the top of the search results.

• Self-filling out the organization card—specify the information that is important for your goals, share photos, etc.

• Convenient communication channel with users: by answering questions and customer reviews on behalf of the company, you will emphasize that you care about the opinion of the audience. This is another plus for the company's reputation.

• The gradation of reviews by popularity and usefulness is a kind of "first impression" of you.

Important: You must currently work with reviews on geoservices. Try to respond to users as quickly as possible. Unattended reviews, especially negative ones, can be regarded as your disclaimer of responsibility for the quality of goods or services. And this will scare off potential customers.

Do not be afraid of negativity; you need to work with it.

Not every negative review points objectively to your shortcomings. Emotions can speak to the user, and this is always subjectivism. In addition, it is not necessary to exclude the possibility of black PR from competitors. So the likelihood of getting bad reviews should just be taken for granted, and you should know in advance how to work with them.

First, do not leave the negative without attention. Try to find out from the client the details of the displeasure and offer one or another form of compensation for the displeasure. Not necessarily material—at least, you need to apologize.

Important: never tell the client that he is wrong. Even if he really made the mistake himself, it should be pointed out gently.

If there is a suspicion of misinformation, try to find out the details:

• date of purchase;
• order number;
• any other information.

If it turns out that there was nothing like that, feel free to write in the answer that the review is fictitious.

The main task when dealing with negativity is to replace it with positive reviews. You need to have as many "light" links in the search results as possible. To do this, you can:

• Create additional feedback channels: a block with reviews on the official website, company registration on new feedback platforms, third-party posting, etc.

• Increase output at sites where the positive prevails.Leave comments under positive reviews; involve users in the discussion; such activity will be well regarded by search engines.

Important: Another possible option is to create a twin site where you will collect positive feedback. However, you need to use such a tool very carefully. Otherwise, you can get sanctioned by search engines.


It is necessary to work with reviews.

We should immediately note that working with reviews is a large-scale topic that deserves a separate article. Therefore, here we will give only the key recommendations:

• Make the processing of comments and ratings a full-fledged part of your reputation strategy.

• Your company profile should be on all major review aggregators.

• Create a system of reactions according to which your official responses to reviews will be built—both positive and negative.

• Stimulate your customers; if they liked everything, they'll write reviews about you; offer a discount on the next order or some kind of bonus.

Important: Whatever the tone of the review, its author should feel that his opinion is important to you. Always be grateful for feedback, but do not limit yourself to template phrases. Ideally, each answer should be individual. And personalized.

Final recommendations

Immediately tune in to the fact that reputation management is not a one-time action but a constant, systematic process with a variety of tasks. It should be based on a "skeleton" of key areas, which is then closed with concrete actions. All of them, in turn, must strictly correspond to the main task.

Great importance should be given to tracking mentions of your company and their mood. Choose the frequency of monitoring, taking into account the scale of your activity up to the daily check.
Try to be present at as many response sites, thematic forums, etc. as possible. But you should not unsubscribe on behalf of the company under every news item and under every post—you should not be intrusive.

When building a communication strategy, try to create your own unique style of communication. Avoid the same soulless unsubscriptions; actively answer questions from the audience; and do not ignore any comment, regardless of its tone.

Remember: A user who is satisfied with communicating with you is more likely to become an advocate for your brand. And this is already a reputation job "by someone else's hands."


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