Money is probably the only thing on the planet people tend to take seriously. They don’t read any user manual as carefully as they scrutinize the payments, bank contracts, and documents.
That is why all media scandals connected with banks always tarnish their reputation. Often financial services are forced to sort things out during months or even years after the very day. For instance, Wells Fargo’s fraudulent sales were revealed back in 2019, but criminal and civil investigations are still going on.
In this article, we walk through the online reputation management process and give you helpful tips on preventing PR scandals with the best social media monitoring tools.
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The Four Pillars of Online Reputation Management
What do you imagine first when anybody speaks about a company with a “good reputation”? An excellent service? Friendly staff? Maybe the perfect quality of the products? Actually, all these components help companies earn their reputation.
However, there are four core activities in online reputation management you need to be involved in:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social media management
- Review sites monitoring
- Public relations.
SEO helps your web page to reach top Google search results. You can quickly test it right now. Just type in your company name in the search field. If you find your website on the first page, your brand awareness is OK. Customers know your company and search for it on the web.
Your next step is optimizing all landing pages of your website to make this SEO magic work with your industry-specific keywords, too.
One of the central tasks of SMM is monitoring brand mentions on social networks. The majority of your prospects and clients have social pages where they post about all special moments of their lives, including their customer experience. You need to respond to their comments and posts about your products or services, especially when you face negative mentions.
Review sites are another field of reputation battle. By monitoring these platforms, you can find not only the customer but also employee reviews. Keep in mind that commentaries of dissatisfied clients and personnel can spark a big scandal. Do not ignore negative ones. Use them as clues to the improvement of your customer service and business processes.
The final point is PR. Your company needs to keep in touch with journalists and major media in your niche. Press releases, expert comments, and articles around your industry can help you earn a good reputation as well. It’s easy to resolve the controversial public disputes around your company when you have a pool of loyal journalists.
How to use social listening for online reputation management
You can assign the boring part of the job — searching for your brand mentions all over the web — to social listening tools. They automatically scan reviews and news sites, check social channels, blogs, and forums to find any mention of your company. To start monitoring, you need to type in keywords associated with your brand in the search field, set up the date range, sources for analysis, language, location, and so on.
Here are leading indicators of your reputation level you should check:
The number of mentions
The more mentions you have, the better your brand awareness rate is. Check where people mention you. Are these LinkedIn or Instagram, a website of a financial magazine, or a news site? This data helps you detect where your target audience is to launch promotional campaigns there in the future.
The sentiment of mentions
Then, check how many positive, negative, and neutral mentions you have. The surges of negativity around your company on the web are worrying signs for you. Responding to these comments enables you to put out the catching fire.
Usually, the surges of mentions can be connected with a particular company’s activity, for example, a new product launching or changes in service policy. By tracking public reactions to these events, you can manage these processes well.
Share of voice
This metric shows the share of your brand mentions on the web in comparison to your competitors. You can analyze how many mentions competitive brands have, what their sentiment is, who mentions them and where.
When your reputation indicators are worse than your direct competitors’ results, it’s about time to take action!
The secrets of competent online reputation management
Some financial companies are building the reputation of being severe and closed to the public. As a result, they face many additional problems during PR crises when the media become the one reliable source of information for people.
Customers don’t trust brands that rarely share any updates or news about their corporate life with them. So, you need to create and support some official channels to be in touch with your clients. It might be your website, social pages, blog, or even YouTube channel. You can use all these platforms to post your official messages and event commentaries.
Social media activity
To win client trust, your company needs to be social. All big U.S. banks have accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, YouTube, and even Pinterest. They share helpful financial information, post infographics, run contests, and chat with their customers online.
Social pages can be your free advertising platforms, too. In addition to educational, informational, and entertaining content, you can post and tweet about your special offers or sales and showcase new services there.
Planning is a cornerstone of your online reputation management. You need to understand how your commentary or action can affect your brand in the future. You need to develop several “plans B.” You should be ready for any reaction from your clients and media. Sometimes a negative review of a fired employee can cause just as much trouble as client data leakage. Being prepared for any situation, you can manage reputation crises like a pro.