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Online Reputation Checklist For Your Business

Business Growth
Reputation Management

Be it a person or a business entity, creating and maintaining an online reputation is necessary in these times. The internet has made it possible for people to search for others and find out relevant information about them in a manner of minutes. After acquiring that information, they can claim, harass, or extort any person […]

by  Brad S |  May 29, 2022 |  Read 5 min

Be it a person or a business entity, creating and maintaining an online reputation is necessary in these times. The internet has made it possible for people to search for others and find out relevant information about them in a manner of minutes. After acquiring that information, they can claim, harass, or extort any person in the name of stolen identities.

That’s why it is necessary to have solid online brand reputation management in place. Thanks to the best online reputation management software, it takes seconds, or minutes at best, to learn all about the online standing and user perception regarding a person or a brand.

Still, brands that are dependent on online chatter, including feedback, mentions, and tweets, must take stringent steps in creating and sustaining their online personas.

In this post, we will go through;

This will give a clear view to both marketing professionals and business owners to pursue a fruitful course of action, followed by both short and long-term gains.

Importance of Online Reputation

From hiring a new employee to going on a first date, we need and rely on authentic information from the internet to make the decision. Keep in mind that it is a double-edged sword that either benefits or hurts both sides.

For instance, if a person wants a new job but his online profile on LinkedIn is rife with negative comments and subpar engagements, what are the chances he would end up getting the job? Most companies run background checks, at least gauge the character and overall personality of a person based on his behavior with others.

As for the company, if its online profile is bombed with criticism from former employees and other maladies, how many bright professionals would want to join such a firm?

This example alone is eye-opening for both individuals and brands who are dependent on the internet to create a positive perception among their audience. 

Online Reputation Checklist

There is no denying that when it comes to guides and content regarding creating and sustaining an online reputation, there is just too much content online. It is available in the form of free online blogs and articles as well as in the form of paid courses.

The problem with this model is that it is incomplete.

Bordering on pure motivational to pseudo-practical, much of the content available is theoretical in its reach and scope. For a professional who is entrusted with the online reputation management process, it is essential to have workable content. 

This is where this checklist comes into the picture!

From the conception and knowing the current scenario to move forward in the right direction, everything is chalked out in this online reputation checklist. That’s why it would not be an overstatement to say that it is a must for practitioners in all types of online reputation management.

Before we analyze all the variables in-depth, here is a rundown of all the elements behind a solid and well-rounded online reputation checklist:

Crystal Clear Vision

For all the things tangible and intangible about a brand, it all comes down to the vision. Since it is the starting point, it is essential to take the necessary steps in the right direction from the very beginning.

In terms of intangible, brands need to consider how they want their audience to feel about them and what kind of feelings and emotions they want to induce in them.

As for the tangibles, here are some of the positive reinforcements that make a huge difference in terms of the vision and philosophy of a brand:

Through social media accounts, brands either devise or participate in social initiatives which, when combined with these, play a significant role in setting and dedicating a vision. 

Potential Stakeholders

In most cases, stakeholders are slumped in the target audience alone as if only they are responsible to make or break a brand. In reality, it takes different and often antagonistic players to make a brand successful, both online and on the ground. This includes brand partners, employees, creative partners, media, etc.

This is a necessary step after having a strong vision about the kind of brand one wants to create and sustain.

Following are some pointers that will prove helpful in creating a persona:

This will allow a brand to not only start on the right note but also proceed in the right direction. 

Distinct Brand Voice

After dealing with the foundation, including vision and stakeholders, it is time to take care of the brand voice.

In most cases, it depends on what a brand is offering and what its target audience is. For instance, if it is a fast-fashion apparel brand with young adults and teenagers, then the brand cannot connect with them without adopting their personas.

That’s why it is necessary to talk to the prospects and customers in their voice and vernacular.

Another thing about having a distinct brand voice is that followers even recognize a brand from its distinct voice.

Following are some traits that brands can combine in their brand voice:

Strict Brand Guidelines

From defining a vision to set the tone and voice of your content, it is time to tie it all up with strict brand guidelines. This is where internal documentation starts to take place. 

This documentation or a “handbook” helps both new employees and old ones to maintain a consistent brand identity throughout, from responding to feedback to design and aesthetics of multimedia and info-media.

A repository of case scenarios and how to deal with them can be helpful in this regard.

Following are some of the areas that must be addressed in the guidelines:

These are necessary to avert any PR storm that will leave a bad taste in the brand’s mouth.

Preferred Platforms

There are hundreds of social media platforms around the globe. Depending on the target audience and the intended product or service your brand wants to offer, it is best to limit your online presence to a handful of platforms.

Another way of finding this out is by monitoring and analyzing online chatter through the best online reputation management software, such as Trust Analytica. It allows you to see the users on which platforms are more interested in your brand and even the domain in which your brand is operating.

Through productivity tools, it is best to earmark all the major platforms and websites that the brand wants to pursue and devise a reputation management strategy.

Strong Media Ties

There is no way around this – brands need media and PR channels to not only thrive but even survive. There are many cases when even brands didn’t have any idea about the kind of free marketing and endorsements they were getting out of online forums, blogs, news outlets, etc.

In both cases, whether there is already some chatter or not, it is best to pursue other brands that can help yours grow and expand. 

Connecting with reviewers, influencers, and journalists is also a must as they can improve the visibility of your brand.

In today’s scenario, all it takes is a big strobe light on your brand’s name and it will glow!

Online Reputation Monitoring & Guidance

This is the most crucial part of creating or sustaining a brand persona online. Many professionals are of the view that brand reputation management is all about monitoring. No doubt, it is true to some extent, yet it is still missing a big point.

There is no point in getting all the chatter if a brand does not have a solid mechanism in place to analyze and guide that chatter in a certain direction. For instance, a brand is receiving prompt notifications on negative feedback. Still, it is unable to reply due to the lack of in-depth information, or a coherent policy.

Conclusion

There is no overstatement in saying that an online brand reputation is necessary for a company or an individual to survive and thrive in this cut-throat competitive environment. The best way to go about it is to hire a dedicated digital marketing agency, instead of building a new department in-house. It will be cost-effective and the results will start to roll instantly.

This checklist will help both professionals and brands in understanding their needs and determine a path for both long and short-term goals. For most brands, it is about creating a distinct voice and designing positive chatter online around them.

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