A business is made or broken on their reputation, and this is true at every level. From the small entrepreneur working from home to the large, international corporation, reputation and public perception are key factors in their success or failure. With a good reputation, you will gain trust from your customers and clients. The opposite holds true with those companies that have negative reputations.
Look at BP, British Petroleum, as a prime example. When someone utters those two letters, the first thing that most people remember is the accident and the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While they’ve tried to regain the trust of people in the interceding years, it is going to prove difficult for them.
Corporations need to be very proactive when it comes to their reputation online. With a positive reputation, customers may prefer that company to others offering the same services or product simply because of the trust they have. As soon as that goes away, then people will move on to a company that they feel they can trust.
How much control does a corporation have over its reputation? More than many might think, actually. One of the most important aspects of keeping a good reputation is building trust, as mentioned. You can do this a number of different ways. Being transparent with the world when things go wrong rather than trying to cover things up is a huge step in the right direction. Taking responsibility and being ethical are extremely important as well.
Corporations should also maintain active social media accounts, as well as blogs, as this helps them in a number of different ways. It can improve the positive results in their search engine results pages, for example. It also provides them with a way to be closer to and to engage with the customers, which was simply not possible in the past. This allows them to take care of questions, concerns, and even customer service issues much more quickly, which can deescalate potential issues with customers before they go viral and cause the corporation more headaches.
It can be very difficult to handle the online reputation management necessary for a large corporation. Many companies are outsourcing and using third parties to help them get a handle on things.