The Benefits of Reputation Management

    Main social media brands - IllustrationIf you are like me as a child you grew up under the premise of “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” The expression noted that no matter what you said you’re not going to harm me with name-calling. However, there are other organizations products and services like yours, so there is always another competitor to go to if your clients are not admiring you.

    The value of a brand is that customers invest for the brand’s own sake and not with the usual amount of analysis, cynicism or caution. A brand creates a response among the public. Think of brands that you use that create eponymous communication. Branding is more about the perception of excellence than about the perception of a good deal. This holds true for all types of business categories, where negative press can instantly and immeasurably harm brands. You and your business must be involved with a new process known as reputation management to aid in protecting the brand.

    What is reputation management?
    The use of the Internet is now ubiquitous, with more than one billion web pages and more than 40 percent of the world’s population now engaged online. Prospective customers are now using search engines to find new clients while conducting a tremendous amount of research to determine if the brand matches the values of the person doing the searching. In addition to the myriad of websites there exists numerous places such as forums, Twitter, and Facebook where comments about your brand exist, some undoubtedly true, false or indifferent. The fact is, the digital footprints cast a blanket over your brand.

    Is reputation management worth it?
    A proactive approach requires business owners, CEOs, executives and staff to monitor the web on a regular basis. There are simply too many entry points that create bad press. The World Wide Web has also created a revolution of individuals that are free to comment about a brand.

    For example, I am certain that you have made use of Amazon to some degree. Amazon as many know is a broker of goods and services. Many products are sold on Amazon such as books, music and even movies. With each one there is a comment area so that readers or listeners can allow others to understand what they’ve enjoyed or not about the particular product or service. Herein lies the question: how many products have you refrained from because of another reviewer’s comments whether they were truthful or not? This then is similar in your world.

    How do I begin?
    The first step in any successful campaign is simply utilizing a search engines such as Google or Yahoo and research your own name. Simply enter your first and last name into the search bar (assuming the business is your name, alternatively enter the company name) and begin to review the sites that allow comments. Determine for yourself what existing and prospective customers are saying about you and your staff. By the way this is a tremendous way to also mystery shop your business.

    Now all this seems practical, there is also the idea that you’re very busy seeing customers and don’t have the time. If this is true then it is always helpful to hire a reputation management company, a social media management company or even an Internet virtual assistant that continually monitors the web for such activity. While the prices may vary based upon the experience and level of sophistication, the fee invested will be better than the lost opportunities.

    What many business owners and executives fail to realize is that their name, and their business is a brand. Based upon services offered, customer service and other nuances, there is value placed in the consumers mind. It is this positioning that creates an emotional appeal whereby customers book appointments for brand sake.

    Reputation management when handled appropriately could potentially increase pipeline flow decrease obstacles to prospective patient entry and increase your revenue. Similar to planting a tree and ensuring that it has tremendous root structure, reputation management is analogous to that. It will aid your reputation and root your future revenue flow.