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It’s the most romantic day of the year so naturally we have jumped onboard the love-machine and put our marketing spin on Valentine’s Day. (#sorrynotsorry)

Do you love and protect your brand as much as you should? Do you know what others say about your brand behind your back? Are your customers prone to cheating? Eek.

Read on to see how you can get a little more love for your brand through brand reputation management.

What is brand reputation?

Put simply, brand reputation is the relationship your brand has with your audience – we all have brands we love, brands we always go back to, and most importantly, brands we recommend to others. Cultivating a solid relationship with your audience is the best way to ensure that your reputation stays strong in this busy, competitive, and crowded world we live in.

Brand reputation should be a fundamental part of your marketing efforts. Thanks to social media, we interact and engage with hundreds of brands daily, if this isn’t something you are consciously thinking about then your brand runs the risk of landing in hot water, or perhaps worse, becoming invisible.

There are lots of ways to assess and improve upon your current brand reputation, here we’ve lovingly listed some quick wins as well as long-term strategies that you can build into your marketing plans.

Quick wins

Check your tone

Making sure you are using a consistent tone of voice across all online and offline comms will strengthen your brand recognition and ensure that the relationships you build with your audience are seamless across multiple platforms. The same applies to design, having brand guidelines and social media training can work wonders for your business.

Current perceptions

The best way to understand your current brand reputation is to find out what is being said about your brand online. One of the easiest ways to start to follow the conversation is by setting Google Alerts, (you might also want to set up alerts to see what people are saying about your competitors).

Claim your reviews

Most of us tend to read reviews when considering a purchase, and 91% of 18-34-year-olds will trust those reviews as much as advice from family and friends. By claiming your brand identity on the most popular review sites and responding to your consumers you can boost the influence of positive reviews and reduce the effect of any negative feedback.

Long-term

Do your research

As an insight-led agency, we believe that all of your plans should be based on research, and while setting up Google Alerts and keeping an eye on review sites can show you the conversations happening online, they barely skim the surface of true brand perception. The most effective way to find out about your brand reputation is to conduct research, this should at least include an audit of your channels and audience surveys.

Once you know all there is to know about your current reputation and where you want to go you can start to plan how you will manage your brand reputation going forward.

Manage the conversation

One of the strongest ways to manage your reputation is through the power of public relations. You can shout about how fantastic your products/services are through clever adverts, social media posts, and having quirky merch at expos, but third-party endorsement through a credible publication or broadcaster is invaluable. News sites are also highly rated on search engines which makes your brand more visible online.

PR is an invaluable part of your overall marketing strategy, not only to proactively get positive stories in the media but also to have a plan in place should anything negative happen. Depending on your business, issues and crisis comms could be vital in maintaining your reputation.

EVP (Employee Value Proposition)

Another asset that is sometimes overlooked is your employees – if your team is happy then they become huge brand advocates; treat them well and don’t take them for granted – with sites such as Glassdoor you need those positive reviews.

Community management

How you speak to your fans and followers in public forums plays a massive part in developing and sustaining your reputation. Once you have a distinct presence on social media, you may feel as though your brand reputation is in good shape, but the key to maintaining a positive reputation with your consumers online is continued interaction.

You should be interacting with your audience as much as possible… also known as community management – the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you experience any negative feedback online, don’t ignore it, responding quickly and with a solution (even if that’s an email or number to call), is one of the best things you can do to limit the effect on your reputation long-term.

This not only helps to maintain a positive brand reputation, but you can also use these interactions to inform your current business and marketing plans, demonstrating that you listen to you audience and act on their feedback is a great way to boost your reputation.

Rose are red, violets are blue, we love managing reputations, and can do it for you.

Love,

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