Building a solid reputation is hard. There is no quick way or easy recipe to do it and every business is different. Building up a good reputation takes time and hard work, yet losing or destroying one can basically happen over night (just think of the recent United fiasco). In fact, the whole concept of a reputation is pretty amorphous. Ultimately it is not something you as a business can fully shape or control, and often the process of influencing is referred to as “reputation management” since at the end of the day it is about altering or managing other people’s perceptions.
The other issue with reputation is that it is intangible and therefore extremely difficult to measure. In fact, a US survey found that 95% of CEOs think reputation is incredibly important but only 19% have a system in place to measure it. Ultimately today’s market and market value are made up of a range of intangible things like reputation and other qualities (just think of brand equity or intellectual capital). So what can you do to nurture and maintain vulnerable assets like reputation and make sure they leave your business stronger?
Tap into top influencers
However good you are and however good you say you are, there is a limit to how far your product and marketing can go alone. At some point you need the help of other people, and who better than influencers in your target market who can not only help you reach a wider customer base but also build up your reputation. One way influencers can do this is through the halo effect. The halo effect is essentially when the positive attributes or qualities of one thing rub off onto another thing. On the business level this means that if an edgy and outspoken celebrity influencer starts saying great things about your brand, your brand may gain a reputation of being edgy and outspoken. This is why it is so important to pick the right influencers. The best are those that strongly display the core brand values of your business.
User-generated content builds reputation
A great way of building a reputation without spending time and money on expensive advertising campaigns is user-generated content. This form of marketing is great because it’s totally authentic. Other users are much more likely to believe their peers than you and your business saying great things about yourself. In fact, 88% of people trust other people’s reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation. This means getting a 5-star rating after being reviewed by 100 customers is a powerful statement that declares a strong and positive reputation.
Leverage your reviews
So how can you make the most of your reviews? For starters – engage! It’s all well and good collecting reviews of your organization and displaying them on your webpage or online store. Yes, they are a tool that can help your business build a reputation. However, reviews are even more effective when they become dynamic. If someone says something great about your business, answer them – thank them, comment on the item they purchased. A great way to improve engagement even further and encourage reviews is to try different forms of media. Tools like video and voice offer an even more compelling story than a text-based 5-star review. Hearing the voice of a satisfied customer singing your praises is a great way to grow a strong reputation and expand your customer base.
Heyoya is a game-changing comments and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya’s new Receiver plan allows for quick and easy below-the-fold monetization through native advertising. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
For more information about Heyoya, click here.