Reputation management refers to your online reputation and the image you’re creating. In this age, your online reputation has a lot to do with who you are when you aren’t online, so it’s important to manage your online reputation well. If you are representing your own name as a brand, or have a brand or label you’re trying to market, you want your reputation consistent across the board. This means identifying your key consumer and audience and becoming a fixture in that niche area of the online community. Many people who are into a niche subject or lifestyle frequent the same message boards and websites. They also tend to communicate within the same circles on Facebook and Twitter. Reputation management allows your brand to become relevant within these circles, giving your brand marketing leverage. You want to become a relevant part of these online communities that frequently chat about your industry. Reputation management allows you to become a trusted, reliable source within your industry.
Reputation management can be controlled by hiring a social media manager to get your brand’s name out there within the right group of people. Reputation management also deals with damage control for a brand’s online reputation, since one bad incident can result in losing customers. Ideally, a social media manager should also be an expert in your field, be it fashion, music or sports. This person knows the right people to generate buzz on your brand or product. It is essentially a grassroots version of public relations. Reputation management deals directly with the public and often in a more informal way than a press release. While a press release is given to the media, reputation management shows up where your consumers are checking for information on your company. These outlets might be Yelp, Citysearch or reviews sites specific to your brand or product.
For example, let’s say you own a boutique hotel. The travel industry is hurting as a whole in this down economy. One bad experience a client tweets, or posts on a go-to travel site like TripAdvisor, can be the kiss of death. This client may go into detail about what he or she disliked about their stay or they may be brief. Reputation management immediately reaches out to the client and gives you an opportunity to correct the problem. This creates a satisfied customer, who may tweet or post about how quickly and efficiently you took care of the problem. This also puts you in a good light in a public forum, showing clients you care about their needs and are willing to go the distance to correct any mistakes and turn people into repeat customers based on great business.