Reputation management has become big business due to the rise of social media and a more interconnected world. The practice enables brands to work on creating a positive image within their industry and building trust with their target audience.
Take a look at some ways that successful businesses are building rapport and earning trust this year.
Not that long ago, there was only minimal buzz around Google’s social network Google+, and not very many businesses were using it. More recently things have changed, however, and this network has gained quite a following in 2013.
Simply having an account is beneficial, but businesses that take advantage of the authorship program can go one step further. By syncing your blog or website with your Google+ account, your company has a method of boosting its credibility and ensuring that you’re given credit for your content.
Once everything is set up, your name and profile picture will appear next to links in search results. This is useful because it puts a face on your content, and that makes it come across the web as being more personable.
Rather than wondering who the writer is (or simply not caring), readers respond to that human element and may take the trouble to learn more about you. By clicking on your name, readers can find your background info and have a quick link to your Google+ profile.
Assuming you produce high-quality content, this can quickly give you a positive reputation and discourage others from taking credit for your hard work.
Social media engagement
Nearly every legitimate brand is using at least one social media site to reach its audience. With a billion users on Facebook alone, this is one of the most direct and efficient ways to connect with a demographic and keep them in the loop.
While consistently posting content is important, that’s only part of the equation. To be really successful, companies must engage their audience on a continual basis and be relatively prompt about doing so.
Whether it’s responding to a comment within 24 hours or retweeting excellent content, this helps build relationships. Many of the top brands go even further by holding contests, posting questions, taking polls, and so on.
Most humans respond well to visual stimuli, so it makes sense that videos and images are effective for making online connections. Proof of this phenomenon can be seen in the popularity of image-centric sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr, and video-based sites like YouTube.
Rather than relying solely on written content, visual media is an effective way to give consumers deeper insights into a brand or company culture.
A firm might create an “about us” section on their website that includes a few pictures of employees in the office or engaged in activities outside of work. This also works when showcasing a product or service in action.
A foreclosure listings service might make a short video or post a series of pictures of properties to give potential customers a clear idea of what’s being offered.
Although this has been a key part of reputation building for years, testimonials are as popular as ever in 2013. Many brands will strategically place them on the sidebar of their website, scattered throughout a landing page, or even dedicate an entire separate web page to testimonials.
If a customer was seriously considering making a purchase, but was a little skeptical, this will help get them over the buying hump. It’s also ideal for highlighting the strong points of your business while allowing satisfied customers to give potential customers the green light.