A brand’s reputation – one that inspires trust, emphasizes authenticity, and generates customer loyalty – is a powerful tool in a digital era. Yet too many brands think that reputation is something that looks after itself. In fact, curated reputation management is essential in projecting a strong image of your brand. Let’s take a look at five reputation management mistakes you can’t afford to make.
1) Neglecting First Impressions
It’s a commonly touted statistic that people develop an immovable first impression of you and your business within the first seven seconds of meeting your brand. Bad news: it’s even worse than that. New psychological research has shown that first impressions can be made within one-tenth of a second.
Organizations that neglect these first impressions are making a costly mistake, and this is equally important in digital settings as physical environments. Considering the first elements that visitors will be drawn to on your website and social profiles is absolutely essential – from profile photos and logos to headline text, these are your chances to take control of the first impression you’re giving your clients and it can have far-reaching consequences for loyalty, trust, and profit.
2) An Absence Of Authenticity
Investing in reputation management and digital marketing is important – but is it having the impact you want it to? Too many brands are ploughing money into their marketing budget, publishing a huge volume of content that lacks personality. Generating a strong impression with your audience – the key to long term consumer engagement – requires that your brand speaks with an authentic voice. Digital denizens are a savvy bunch and can see through most of the marketing spin.
“Developing a distinctive voice across all your messaging is the key to authenticity in the digital world,” says Jana Moore, a reputation manager at the State Of Writing and Paper Fellows. “Authenticity helps you stand out amongst your competitors and a clear voice demonstrates a clear vision that clients will love.” Give your brand a voice that rings true.
3) Mistaking Spam For Marketing
Spamming your audience is a costly mistake and you might not even realize you’re doing it as all too often marketing content drifts into the realms of spam. Unfortunately, everyone’s definition of spam differs and what your customers consider to be spam material might have considerable overlap with your marketing.
Spamming your audience, even unwittingly, makes you appear unprofessional and diminishes the hard-won trust you’ve gained in your customers. When you’re sending out marketing material, ensure that it contains some offer of value to the audience and run it through the face-to-face test. If you wouldn’t walk up to a customer and present them with the contents of an email, it’s likely to be received as spam.
4) Mixing The Personal With The Professional
In the digital age, brands and businesses have more reach than ever on their social platforms and often this soapbox offers business owners an opportunity to share their views far and wide. Whilst brands should strive to come across as authentic, it’s rarely a good idea to weigh in on social and political debates – when business owners use professional platforms to share personal views it can cost a brand’s reputation.
“Businesses become a success by widening their appeal and broadening their market,” says Roberta Zank, a business writer at BigAssignments and OX Essays. “Voicing niche opinions runs the risk of alienating your customers. Keep professional platforms just that – professional.”
5) Neglecting Customer Care
Providing substandard customer care is a huge mistake and one that can damage your reputation in costly ways. The first is revenue stream – it’s many times more expensive to reach and convert a new customer compared to keeping an existing one, so your customers should be cherished. Secondly, with so many outlets for customers to complain, tales of poor customer service can spread like wildfire, slashing your hard-earned reputation.
Invest in customer care and take feedback at every opportunity. The good news is that positive customer experiences are likely to be shared as well as negative ones, so consider every customer interaction an opportunity for a good review.
Reputation management is an important thread of any marketing strategy in the digital world. Brands live and die by their reputation as authentic and trustworthy, so investing in your reputation at every step from first impressions to customer care will pay dividends.
Katherine Rundell is a reputation manager and content marketer at Ukwritings and Academic Writing Services. She specializes in digital practices in competitive markets. She is also a proofreader at Boomessays.com writing service.