Corporations in 2021 cannot afford to shirk the exposure and customer relations benefits of the internet and social media. A social media presence allows a corporation to cultivate a personality with their customer base through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now TikTok. While Facebook itself has options for buying adspace to users, most platforms have the inherent value of free advertising, provided the corporation is able to build a following and maintain a visible presence. Social media itself opened up new opportunities for jobs in IT and social media management. However, the same level of access that allows companies to maintain daily contact with their customers can also ruin a company in a matter of weeks, and yet, the urgency to monitor these online metrics is lukewarm. 96% of businesses believe brand and reputation can affect revenue, yet only 44% monitor that impact. (CareerArc)
Prior to the new millennium, reputation management services for corporations used to be restricted to press coverage in analog newspapers and exposure through television and radio. Now in the age of the internet, the annals through which a company can be maligned have expanded exponentially. 69% of jobseekers would turn down an offer from a company with reputation problems (StatusLabs)
Through the years, Americans have seen bad actions on a company’s website or social media pages completely tank a company’s reputation, impact stock prices, and lead to sharp declines in profits within a single quarter. With billions of users on Facebook, international companies in particular are at risk of having their entire brand tainted by a mere tweet containing less than 140 characters.
- Building a glowing reputation online may seem like a shallow solution to a large issue, but the ubiquity of the internet and social media has completely changed how corporations relate to their customer base. Here’s why online reputation management matters:
- Online reputations can build consumer bases through integrity, transparency, and direct communication among customers, employees, investors, and the new industry of brand influencers that have developed over the last 10 years. Consumers are willing to pay more for a product if the company selling it has a good reputation. (University of Technology Sydney)
- An online reputation allows a company to meticulously cultivate and maintain an image by engaging on social media. Consumer bases can be updated regularly on products and services, as well as deals on products and sale opportunities.
- Draws in top-tier talent and interest from individuals who wish to work for the company, which can keep hiring costs down, and avoid a cyclical pattern of turnover that drags down the corporation’s bottom line.
- Online reputations can drive sales and improve quarterly reports. By the same token, a negative online reputation can lay waste to a corporation that has previously maintained excellent consumer relations.
No online presence is a missed opportunity—but a negative online presence is a malignancy within a corporation that has the potential to rot it from within. Therefore, executives, managers, and employees alike must always be looking for opportunities to build a positive online presence. Before leadership sets out to hire a reputation management firm, there are internal measures they can take first:
- Improve content marketing
- Invest in customer experience
- Invest in employee satisfaction
- Swiftly and comprehensively address internal issues
- Maintain a strict level of integrity
- Online presence
- Social media: A company’s social media presence must be carefully cultivated and maintained in alignment with the corporation’s mission and values.
- Social media in the workplace: The social media of all persons who officially represent the company must be devoid of any disparaging posts regarding their employer.
- Review sites: When exaggerated or fraudulent reviews of a company appear on one of the many review sites associated with a company’s culture and products, it can drag down the overall rating of a business, and create false impressions regarding the quality of their services. One bad review can cost you up to 22% of potential customers. The risk increases to 59.2% for three bad reviews. Four or more negative posts drive this number to 70%. (Moz)
When internal measures do not pull a corporation out of the hole created by a negative online reputation, it might be time to consider hiring a reputation management services firm. These firms can evaluate the level of damage inflicted by the negative reputation, and develop multi-pronged approaches to remedying those factors. This includes brand revitalization, social media cleanups, and white hat tactics to get negative reviews removed from a corporation’s social media and review pages. If you have need of reputation management services, please consider Lauth Investigation’s International. We have more than 20 years’ experience in managing corporate crises, and can work with clients to develop comprehensive solutions to rebuild their reputation. We are staffed by former military and law enforcement and carry a glowing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 317-951-1100 today or find us online at www.lauthinvestigations.com.