The basics of online reputation management:
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”- Warren Buffett.
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”- Benjamin Franklin
The meaning of these quotes would be well understood by the brands which are hit on their reputation, especially when the world is going digital and the reputation of your brand is at stake at the click of a button. This article deals with the basics of online reputation management.
“Eighty-three percent of consumers say online reviews influence their perceptions about companies and 80% report that negative online comments changed their purchasing decision (source: http://www.eMarketer.com).”
With such a great impact of online reviews on any brand or a company, it becomes imperative that Online Reputation is managed effectively and quickly.
But before we move ahead let us understand the obvious fact – There is no way to delete negative reviews unless you get the person who posted it to remove it.
And the second fact – Assuming that person won’t delete it, the only way to get rid of bad reviews is to bury them.
Knowing this let us analyze three brands whose online reputation was at stake at some or the other point of time.
Let us start with our first brand
1. Online reputation management of Maggi Noodles
The issue: We all are aware of the fiasco regarding the presence of lead and MSG beyond the permissible levels in Maggi noodles.
People were in dismay on hearing this issue which they expressed through a bombardment of posts on social media like Twitter, Facebook etc. The company initially disowned the issue and tried to sweep it under the carpet. Another issue was that they replied very late, they were getting defensive and then they finally apologized.
Now in this case how do you think Maggi could have responded.
- Post an exhaustive and convincingly true explanation as soon as the controversy arises on social media.
- Get real-time notifications about new reviews, respond to reviews in-line and track consumer engagement.
- Create and promote hashtags on social media about the good old childhood experiences with the product and the trust of people on the brand.
Let us look at the second brand:
2. Online reputation management of McDonalds
The issue: McDonalds reputation is getting weaker over the years. Their ranking was going down year on year basis. So that’s why McDonalds were trying new ways to improve customer satisfaction and attract new customers in an attempt to revive its brand.
- Gather positive and constructive feedback from your clients.
- Market positive reviews on multiple platforms and prompt happy customers to share their reviews.
- Offer some freebies/ offers and promote it on social media.
- Make people talk about your brand by posting polls on the social media for the customers regarding the products they like the most between your own two competitive products like this.
Here is the third brand:
3. Online reputation management of Volkswagen:
The issue: Volkswagen was accused of installing a secret device in millions of cars that allows them to cheat on emissions tests. The evidence appeared to be so strong that the company did not really deny anything.
- Be proactive in acknowledging the issue and being as transparent as possible. This will help in safeguarding consumer trust. Taking ownership and ensuring a corrective action can even turn the upset consumers into brand loyalists.
- Recall the cars as soon as possible, correct the error and be efficient in returning them back to the owners. And in the meantime give assurance to the customers about good quality products from now on using regular social media posts.
- Request reviews by the consumers on major and industry-specific sites, in this case automobile industry.
- Monitor and identify the trending keywords and take a cue from them to formulate your online reputation management strategy.