Looking after your company’s online reputation in 2020 – 10 trends and tips

By Fiona Broomfield, head of content at Igniyte

Online reputation management in 2020 is going to be vital for every company’s relevance and success. Here are 10 trends and tactics to shape how you should look after your online reputation in 2020.

1 Use online reputation monitoring tools:

Using online reputation monitoring tools makes it easy to track your online reputation. Instant alerts for your search terms, and customizable features make them a no-brainer for marketing teams. Use monitoring tools to track all mentions and crucial customer sentiment. Then, use the insights to identify opportunities and mitigate reputation risks. But sentiment can be misleading. It’s worth knowing what will have the most impact. This is where hiring a reputable online reputation agency will work in your favour. They’ll monitor your reputation, put it into context, and provide valuable counsel and actions to maximise your visibility and credibility.

2 Be human and authentic:

When it comes to responding to customer complaints – and compliments – the golden rule is to be authentic. No one likes an automated/defensive response to something negative. Or a generic ‘thanks’ to positive feedback. Being human and personable helps build a positive reputation. In 2020, build an authentic tone of voice based on your company purpose and embody it. It’s all well and good saying that you stand for something on your website. If that doesn’t ring true in your products, services or customer interactions, it comes off as fake.

3 Don’t feed the trolls:

Most companies, at one time or another, encounter a troll. Trolls are people who can make your life hell as they intentionally set out to damage your reputation. Engaging with a troll feeds their goal. So, in 2020, think carefully about how you respond to complaints. Aim to get the conversation offline quickly. If the person persists, saturating your social media with negative comments – don’t get into it with them.

4 Make video content a priority:

If you aren’t already doing so, make sure that video content is a core part of your marketing strategy. People find videos more engaging and memorable than other content. 81% of businesses are currently using video and by 2022 online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer Internet traffic.

5 Manage your company reviews:

93% of people say online reviews impact their buying decisions, and 91% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Get an online review management strategy for your business. Actively managing your reviews gives you more control. You can share positive sentiment, resolve complaints and drive change.

6 Leverage the power of advocates and employees:

Culture and leadership play a big role in brand perception and reputation. Foster a culture that celebrates your achievements and what your people do well. A good strategy is to ask advocates and repeat customers to provide testimonials, quotes and case studies. Ask employees for reviews on visible sites, including Glassdoor and Indeed.

7 Stay socially relevant – and be actively engaging:

Make sure that you claim your space in the social media world and provide audiences with relevant and engaging content. Start conversations and respond to them. You don’t need to be on all platforms, just those your audiences engage with.

8 Get data savvy and keep your eye on AI:

Big data is a hot topic. Think market research, social trends, consumer insights and financial data). You’ll need to be prepared for questions about data around your organisation, sector and audiences. Use data insights to fuel your online reputation.

AI is a double-edged sword when it comes to reputation. It’s useful for understanding sentiment and connecting sentiment and topics to companies, enabling you to make data-driven decisions to improve satisfaction and engagement. But it’s also a threat. New AI technologies can create high-quality fake articles, images and videos online. Think deep fake videos and thousands of critical reviews on Amazon.

9 Be aware that GDPR non-compliance is a huge reputation risk:

The ramifications of GDPR non-compliance go way beyond fines – they’re reputation damaging. Look at TalkTalk’s data hack! Core components of GDPR are around managing personal data and consent. If they’re compromised, trust is gone, and your long-term future at stake.

10 Watch your exec’s reputations:

The professional and personal reputations of your company executives will more closely affect your company’s reputation. An executive reputation crisis can hit hard. It pays to do your due diligence and take executive reputation management seriously.

Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash

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