Have You Suffered Reputational Damage?
Reputational damage can be debilitating. If you have suffered any type of damage to your online reputation, you know this to be true! In today’s digitally centered world, almost everything you do as a business leaves some sort of online footprint. So what might be a mistake could end up being a tragedy if you don’t quickly react appropriately.
But don’t worry. Although there’s so much that can literally go wrong, there are also many ways to correct any reputational wreckage. So, no matter what the situation, rebranding yourself in some form or another (and salvaging your online image) is possible.
YOU NEED TO KNOW THE LEVEL OF DAMAGE TO CORRECT YOUR REPUTATION!
Of course, most cases of damage to a company’s reputation can be fixed. But before anything can be done, you must be aware of what’s hurting your brand in the first place.
In order to fix your online reputation, you must first assess the damage that you already have. You may do this is several ways:
- compare your profiles one by one with competitors
- do a quick google search of your business name
- enlist the help of an expert (have them do a FREE business analysis)
Your Reputation Is The Key To Success
A good corporate reputation helps determine how successful a business might be. According to reports released in 2016 by Reputation Institute, about 40% of all publicly quoted companies attributed their company’s market performance to non-financial factors associated with its corporate reputation. These factors ranges from social performance, which is expert rating of CSR and sustainability, financial analyst recommendations, media exposure, and public perceptions. A Company’s market value will rise if these factors are strong.
WHAT IS CORPORATE IMAGE?
According to Charles Fombrun, former Professor of management at the Stern School of Business, New York University, corporate reputation is the overall estimation of a company held by internal and external stakeholders based on its past actions and the probability of its future behavior.
From another angle, it is the collective assessment of a company’s past actions and its ability to deliver improving business results to all stakeholders in the future.
But your corporate image is MORE than just this-
A company’s corporate image is also made up of its brand identity. So whatever you project out into the world, whether it be advertisements, social media posts, customer reviews, or your corporate logo and website, this is ALL part of your corporate image and brand identity.
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF YOUR CORPORATE REPUTATION?
The value of corporate reputation can be well appreciated when a public company with good corporate reputation degenerates and turns bad, the impact will be calamitous as the share will plunge and consequently, its market value. Below are examples to buttress this;
BP’s share price plunged by 53% after its Deepwater Horizon Oil Production Platform in the Gulf of Mexico caught fire in 2010, killing 11 people and causing the largest accidental oil spill in history.
Carnival shipping line share price crashed by 18% after one of its cruise ships capsized when it hit an underwater rock off Tuscany in 2012, causing the death of 33 people.
Well Fargo share price fell by 20% from 2014 to 2016 when the bank admitted to creating several millions of fake customer accounts that resulted to her employees receiving commissions and about 5,300 casual employees losing their jobs.
Companies may have different reputation with each of their stakeholders depending on their experiences when dealing with the company or from what they have heard about the company from others. For this reason, many companies consider their reputation very vital to their success and would do everything to maintain its good reputation or enhance it further. They work very hard to build their good reputation and the goodwill they enjoy from the public.
Corporate reputation is much more vital to a company success now because of the massive change in technology we have experienced in recent times. People may form their view about a company from either their experience or from the experiences of other that have dealt with the company and these experiences may be shared via the social media. Imagine what the outcome might be if these experiences are bad ones.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF MAINTAINING A POSITIVE ONLINE IMAGE?
The following are some of the benefits of a company having a good corporate reputation:
Customer would prefer doing business with your company even when other companies have similar products or services available at similar cost and quality.
Your company would be able to charge a premium for products and services
Your company’s market value will increase in the financial marketplace.
Stakeholders will support your company in times of controversy.
ONE THING IS CERTAIN: It is highly costly and detrimental for a company to lose its good reputation and her good standing with stakeholders. Experiences have shown that a badly managed crisis can plunge a company’s share price and its overall financial value. However, reputation management services can always correct a situation, no matter how bad it is!
3 Easy Steps To Change Your Reputation Now!
1. DEFINE AND SET GOALS
It’s important to have clear goals when it comes to addressing any reputational damage. In order to move forward positively, all aspects of your strategy must be properly addressed. As with your online reputation and any past infractions, it is equally important to look at all sides of your current situation.
Begin by taking an online reputation quiz and completing a crisis management quote to see where you stand. Set realistic goals following a full business anlaysis. Inventory each past infraction that has done damage to understand if anything can be done. It’s important to note that your reputation won’t be restored overnight. However, with a little planning and effort, the results will be gratifying.
You can create campaigns and monitor your companies’ successes to track your progress with any reputational damage incidents. Get all of this down in writing and commit to it. Remember, your company’s online image is on the line. Do whatever you can to salvage it!
2. AUTOMATED MONITORING
To protect from further damage to your online reputation, set up automated monitoring on your social media platforms. There are many different tools on the market that allow you to do this. Here’s a great article about some of the best tools to manage your online reputation. Find out more about integrating such tools for your daily use.
Sites such as Consumer Affairs offer an opportunity for business owners to take control of their reputation right through their database. There are many sites that can enhance (and damage) a business’s professional image. One of those sites is Yelp.
Additionally, you can hire someone to monitor and respond to reviews. This provides on the spot crisis management and can salvage your reputation greatly. Often times, services such as this will be included if you hire someone to manage your image.
3. REPUTATION PROTECTION
A thorough reputation protection strategy can be beneficial for any business owner and person with reputational damage. Such a strategy encourages useful content across social networks to represent your brand in a positive way. Reputation protection can also address creating a brand identity that resonates with consumers and doesn’t contain harmful information.
When content is published on social media, it can keep your business an active and positive contributor. This can deflect from any negative attention you might also be receiving.
Websites and forums also provide protection if you regularly post quality content. This strategy (an SEO strategy) ensures your reputation, in that the strength of these websites on Google protects your business’s search engine results. (For more on NJ SEO read What Is SEO.) Any links, mentions and shares of valuable content will further solidify your company’s positive brand image and enhance your SEO. This will give you visibility and ultimately, it will take a lot more to damage your reputation.
Don’t let your online reputation manage your life and your business. Get control of your online image today. Of course there are always worst case scenarios. For these you may want to consider how to delete Yelp account as well as other options. But you can start by learning more about reputational damage then take action from there!