Protecting your online reputation should be a huge part of defending your company against haters. You need to think about online reputation when hiring remote workers and when your customer service agents interact with others. In short, it pervades practically every aspect of your business.
You can also learn from others. Look away from managing your online reputation with off-page SEO for one moment and consider the recent Brexit vote.
Recently, 51.9% of British voters chose to leave the European Union (EU). This shook the status quo to its core, and markets all over the world felt the ripple effects. There’s a lot of fear and a lot of optimism, as people believe this conflict can lead to better results.
But what can you learn from the referendum about protecting your online reputation?
Confusing Your Customers Can Lead to a Backlash
One facet that characterized the overall campaign was confusion. People didn’t know what the facts were and they fell to the mercy of the hearsay coming from the media. It eventually led to angry backlashes, where both sides accused each other of lying. In short, the whole process was dragged into the gutter.
When people don’t understand something they get frustrated. Make sure they don’t get frustrated by keeping the customer-facing part of your firm simple. Be open and honest about everything you do.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
The EU referendum was entirely binary. You could either stay or you could leave. There was no middle ground. Customers are increasingly expecting tailor-made solutions. Companies have to acknowledge the same solution isn’t going to fit everyone.
To protect your online reputation, an entrepreneur with the right skills will diversify their options. They’ll provide custom solutions for their customers. Through providing more than a small number of solutions, you’re giving customers what they want. You’re respecting them enough to not try to cram them into one box.
Customers Will Judge Emotionally
Companies often only look at the facts when determining whether they need to make changes to their customer experience. What they need to take into account is how people are judging your firm. They are doing it on an emotional basis, rather than through any other means.
In other words, they are not necessarily thinking straight. And that’s what we saw from the EU referendum. Despite economic experts across the world saying leaving the EU was a bad idea, people voted emotionally. They followed what the tabloid newspapers said, even against all sound advice.
When trying to make sense of why your online reputation has taken a hit, you cannot necessarily look at it from an exclusively logical point of view. You have to learn to control the emotions of your target audience.
Don’t Create a Big Divide
Even after Brexit turmoil, the sharp divide between the two camps is still in place. Some companies turn their online reputation into a duality. Those two groups are the people that like them and the people that don’t. As a result, they give up trying to please the people that don’t like them. They become tribal and they acknowledge they’re not going to pull in this other group.
Intelligent entrepreneurs decide to take a risk through attempting to pull this group in. They are looking to unify not to divide. It’s easy to just say those other people will never like you, but the reality is you can be all things to all people; or at least you can get close to it.
Creating Fear Doesn’t Work
The EU referendum could be summed up by the concept of fear. Both sides tried to scare the electorate into listening to them. And people didn’t like that. Politicians were roundly criticized by the general public for those tactics. There was no evidence that it actually worked.
Your online reputation campaign shouldn’t be characterized by fear. Don’t try to boost your own reputation at the expense of others. Running a campaign where you criticize competitors and say they will make your life worse is not a great way to make yourself an attractive proposition.
Ignore your competitors publicly and focus entirely on yourself. This is the time to be self-centered!
Creating and reinforcing your online reputation is a matter of staying calm and trying to widen your appeal. Make sure you are regularly listening to your customers, or you could end up leaving money on the table.
How will you improve your online reputation campaign today?