How Has Reputation Management Changed in the Last 10 Years?
Understanding reputation management is key to growing a successful business. Online reputations can be undone and compromised more easily today than ever before, and the rules seemingly change every year and from one day to the next. Even if you think you’re prepared for the reputational challenges of today, there’s every chance you’re still stuck on yesterday’s textbook.
The Reputation Management Company prides itself not just on keeping up-to-date with online reputation management strategies but on staying several steps ahead of the curve. Here’s how the field has developed over the last decade and why now, more than ever, you need The Reputation Management Company to protect your online presence.
A Brief History of Reputation Management
Businesses have always lived and died by their reputation. Let’s take a quick trip through time.
Reputation Management in Antiquity
A bartering trader who couldn’t match the price a customer demanded in Ancient Greece might see their business suffer because word would spread that they were ripping people off. How could the trader remedy this?
One might denounce the customer. They could ask other buyers to spread the word that they charged fair prices. Finally, they might pay someone to advertise their business elsewhere and attract new clients who hadn’t heard the scandalous stories from a dissatisfied customer.
In some ways, little has changed. The fundamentals of reputation management still depend on proving negative information to be incorrect and putting out positive information. The only difference is the tools available to the brand whose reputation is called into question – and the tools available to the customer.
Reputation Management Pre-Internet
You find yourself closer to our time, but still before the digital marketing tactics. The nature of business has fundamentally changed. The opinion of a few key stakeholders matters more than public consensus. An endorsement from the right person could be all a company needs to jump onto the scene.
At this time, it’s all about PR. It was about being featured in mass media like newspapers and television outlets. Word of mouth was crucial but was focused on smaller communities as networks were limited.
Reputation Management in the 21st Century
Moving forward into the 21st Century, we find a curious blend of these models. Large stakeholders are still critical for most businesses – but consumers also have far more power than before. Not only do professional or civilian journalists expose immoral practices that stakeholders might have once covered up, but anyone with access to the internet can make their voice heard. Marketplace talk will never cease to affect brands’ reputations, and now the marketplace is larger and more connected than ever.
While many trends have evolved slowly over time, the last 10 years have seen rapid changes. With the global advent of easy internet access, reputation management has changed more in the previous 10 years than in the half-century. We’re living in dramatic times where lies spread faster than the truth. If you want to avoid drama, you need an expert team like The Reputation Management Company by your side to help your business navigate these choppy waters.
Reputation Management in the Digital Age
The internet changed everything for brands. It represented an unparalleled conduit between them and their customers and a unique and potent series of hazards. Below are the major changes the internet made to reputation management.
Word of mouth is still an important factor for brands. People will recommend businesses that offer great service and decry those that failed them in their immediate social circles. However, online review sites like Yelp and Trustpilot have empowered customers to create a lasting impression of a brand for all subsequent clients.
This is an extremely difficult arena for brands to negotiate. Getting negative reviews taken down isn’t easy, and if you can’t provide adequate reasoning for the request, review sites will outright ignore you. It’s a fact of life that not every customer you serve will be 100% satisfied – online reviews mean that rather than someone making a complaint that they believe the chef should hear, a restaurant can now expect a significant loss in footfall just because one customer posted a witty review of how bad their sirloin steak was.
Amateur Journalism & the Blog
Journalism has always been a pain point for reputation management. Journalism thrives on finding stories worth telling, and this especially includes successful brands that the journalist believes need to be taken down a peg. The internet made this situation much worse for brands by empowering amateur journalism and Authorative bloggers.
There are no industry specifications, training requirements, professional accreditations, or other qualifications to run a high-traffic blog. All you need is a substantial bit of luck and an engaging tone. Besides articles that violate the blog host’s Terms of Service (where appropriate), blog hosts can publish information with total impunity.
That means that if you have information removed, you won’t be dealing with a newspaper that can afford to retract a bad story – you’re dealing with an individual who lives and dies by each article they post. It’s difficult to persuade amateur bloggers to retract negative statements about your brand, which is why you need the services of The Reputation Management Company.
Search engines made it easier for customers to find out about your brand. Got your name attached to your brand? Your customers can search for your name and find your social media profiles or any articles connected with you. Search engines pose a significant headache for reputation management.
There’s no final verdict on this subject because there are no final limits on the power of search giants (notably Google). However, The Reputation Management Company understands how to work with Google to remove negative search results for your brand. It can seek out the websites publishing this information and compel them to remove it.
How Social Media Changed Reputation Management
Social media is an inescapable factor in the changes we’ve seen in reputation management over the past decade. Here’s how it’s changed the game.
The Need for Constant PR & the “Own Goal”
These are the rules:
- You need a social media presence.
- Your social media presence needs to be active.
- You should engage with current trends to boost your visibility.
Putting out positive messaging is easy when you’re not under pressure. Responding when backed into a corner or rushing to capitalize on a trend is entirely different.
Every step is hazardous. Brands feel obliged to put out PR constantly on social media. More messaging means a greater risk of mistakes. Being proactive isn’t the same as throwing caution to the winds, as the normally media-savvy team at Burger King learned with their large blunder.
The Reputation Management Company can help vet your social media presence. Together, we’ll devise a foolproof strategy that ensures you’ll never make this mistake.
You can do incredible damage with the wrong word in the wrong place. Widespread internet access enhanced the spread of information. Social media blew this up exponentially, which is what we call “viral” media today.
People have been going viral online for the last decade, both on purpose and by sheer accident. It’s not always easy to tell what will pick up a lot of traction or not, so you need to be alert to it all.
Now in recent years, with platforms like TikTok taking over where algorithms push out content seemingly randomly, it seems more people are getting their few seconds in the spotlight, but if the wrong post goes viral, this could be a huge mistake. And while you may not be “viral” forever, the content will have spread and always be available.
Having The Reputation Management Company is crucial to prevent damage from going viral or cleaning up after; having The Reputation Management Company is crucial.
Misinformation on Social Media
Social media has made it much easier for competitors or detractors to spread lies about your brand. A post can be easily picked up but difficult to fact-check. And in recent years, algorithms have pushed what performs well over what’s factually accurate.
Serious misinformation is relatively rare, but if it happens to you, you’ll need the support of The Reputation Management Company to help you weather the storm and address misinformation about your brand at the source.
How The Reputation Management Company Protects Brands’ Online Reputations Today
The Reputation Management Company specializes in identifying the areas where a client’s online reputation is most at risk. Their team will create an action plan for preventing reputational damage before it starts and taking action to remove negative information online wherever necessary.
The internet moves at light speed, but you don’t have to. Working with a trusted service like The Reputation Management Company is the best way to protect your brand against damaging misinformation, trace negative information back to its source, and create a consistently positive image on social media.