Now more than ever, brand reputation is critical to business success. Why? Because a positive brand reputation builds a solid foundation for customer trust and loyalty, which are qualities beneficial to driving revenue and remaining competitive.
Company reputation is the public perception of your organization. It’s how the company is viewed by shareholders, employees, and customers. That’s why paying attention to company reputation – and especially online reputation management – needs to be an everyday priority.
In this article, we’ll explore company reputation management and offer helpful tips for giving your company reputation meaning.
Passive vs. active brand reputation management
There are two different approaches to brand reputation management: passive and active.
Passive brand reputation management is subtle and practical. It involves:
- Placing your brand where customers are looking.
- Creating an online presence.
- Relying on word of mouth.
Active brand reputation management is deliberate and persistent. It focuses on:
- Intentionally engaging with your demographic.
- Targeted promotions and paid-search advertising.
- Proactively promoting company ideals and values.
Both approaches have their merits, and the best option for your organization will depend on its specific needs. However, the active approach to brand reputation management is becoming more popular as the need to drive public perception.
Online company brand reputation management
Before the internet, it wasn’t so easy for the public to voice their opinions about your company. Now, in an increasingly virtual world, customer and employee reviews carry a tremendous amount of weight. That’s why promoting a positive online reputation needs to be an everyday priority. Quick ways to do that include:
- Maintaining consistency across all channels.
- Ensuring that all information on listing sites is correct.
- Encouraging positive customer feedback online.
- Carefully addressing negative reviews when necessary.
An active approach to online brand management can help you take control of the conversation surrounding your company and prevent negative perceptions that hurt business. In addition, a company reputation brand guide can be a helpful tool for your employees.
Why brand reputation is important
A solid company reputation has several benefits for your company, including:
Building trust: A good reputation means the public trusts you, which means they’re more likely to become customers.
Customer loyalty: A positive reputation is likely to instill a sense of commitment in the customers you already have, meaning they’ll consistently choose you over your competitors.
Employee engagement: People are proud to work for a company with an excellent reputation, which also helps to improve employee retention.
Increased sales: A strong brand reputation helps companies drive revenue because customers trust its products and services.
Reduced marketing expense: Companies with a positive brand reputation have customers who act as brand ambassadors.
Effective recruitment: A good company reputation is helpful to attracting top talent.
Factors that affect brand reputation
Many channels can affect your company’s brand reputation. Some can be controlled, while others cannot. Here are three essential areas to consider:
Social media presence: The whole world is online today, including your company’s brand reputation. It’s essential to monitor, manage, and be intentional about your social media presence.
Online reviews: Whether positive or negative, online reviews have a substantial impact on the public’s perception of your company. Respond to positive reviews and use them to develop your brand. Address negative reviews in a similar manner and use them as an opportunity to improve.
Market research: Understanding the ever-changing market is critical to maintaining a solid reputation. Stay on top of trends and know when the time is right for a rebrand.
How to measure your brand reputation with a brand reputation analysis
You may be wondering if it’s possible to measure company reputation. While there might not be a single indicator, you can look at a few factors to get a decent understanding of how your brand is – or isn’t – supporting your organization.
Standard metrics used to assess brand reputation include:
- Share of voice
- Social media reach
- Sentiment analysis
Let’s take a closer look at the tools you can use to perform a brand reputation analysis:
Share of voice
Share of voice measures the popularity of your brand by looking at online conversations regarding your industry, the services you offer, and the products you sell. It assesses the percentage of discussions involving your company.
This metric is popular because it offers a relatively clear picture of your brand’s online awareness, indicating how successful your marketing and online brand development have been.
Social media reach
Social media reach calculates the number of people that have interacted with the content you post on your company’s accounts. It’s a helpful brand reputation analytic because it separates your engaged followers from those who aren’t interacting with your social media content.
The metric can also gauge the success of a social media campaign and show which platforms are the most and least effective at reaching your demographic.
While considered somewhat flawed, sentiment analysis is a helpful metric for assessing brand reputation. It categorizes public sentiment about your brand so you can identify your strengths and weaknesses. Analysts can examine sentiment using AI programs such as “natural language processing,” which makes it easier to sift through volumes of individual reactions.
Issues with sentiment analysis are the same issues that plague online communication. It’s difficult for both humans and AI to detect sarcasm and irony in plain text, leading to misinterpretation. Also, AI has difficulty analyzing some grammatical concepts, such as anaphora resolution and contrastive conjunctions.
Monitoring your brand reputation
Monitoring your company’s online reputation should extend beyond looking at your social media accounts and other company mentions. The following tools can help your monitoring efforts and provide valuable insights:
Google Alerts: A free tool that allows you to enter your company name or any other text string and receive alerts via email whenever it is mentioned on sites Google indexes.
SEMrush: This tool allows you to monitor your online mentions, find industry influencers, analyze sentiment, measure your reach, and more.
Reputology: A program that can help you manage and monitor online reviews on social media and across different review sites within your industry.
Tips to improve your company reputation
What happens when your brand reputation suffers a hit and public perception becomes negative? Don’t panic. In today’s climate, negative conversation and less-than-glowing reviews are almost inevitable. Reputation management is not a matter of avoiding negativity entirely. Rather, it’s knowing how to react to it. Some tips for improving your company’s reputation include:
- Addressing negative reviews and using them to improve
- Displaying and living company values whenever possible
- Owning past mistakes with honesty
- Maintaining a level of consistency
In some cases, it may be best to consult with a branding expert. They can help you identify where your weak points are and help you to strengthen them.
Build your brand reputation with Top Workplaces
Now that you know the importance of building a company brand, the next step is to create an effective strategy. A great place to start is with Top Workplaces, the leading employer recognition program that can help your company branding efforts. Driven entirely by employee feedback, earning Top Workplaces awards is a third-party, credible symbol that your organization puts its people first.
See how the combination of employer recognition and employer branding tools drives a positive company reputation. Schedule a no-cost demo today.