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Online reputation: What is it and how does it affect your brand?

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Socrates, one of the most important philosophers in our history once said,"You will achieve a good reputation by striving to be what you want to appear to be". There will be people who think he is right, and others who think he is wrong. But there is certainly one thing we can all agree on, and that is that to achieve a good reputation we must reflect who we are: as people or, in this case, as a brand.

Brands are born but only grow when they have a good reputation, especially on the Internet, where everything is the order of the day and also the users who want to know information about us.

what is online reputation?

Online reputation is nothing more than the prestige or "stigma" that a brand has on the Internet. However, it does not depend entirely on the brand to have a good or bad reputation, but depends on a series of elements that will help to build it. Within these elements, we can highlight two different types:

  • Internal elements: This includes the factors that the brand itself and its employees can control: how they have been moving through the internet, social networks, etc. over time and how they have been acting and responding to negative experiences.
  • External elements: This factor is made up of all those reviews, comments and information in general provided by users outside the company: consumers, visitors to our website, etc.

At this point it is also important to differentiate between online reputation and brand image, two concepts that many users tend to mix up and think that they are the same. However, this is not the case. Online reputation is the perception and stigma that a company has exclusively on the Internet, while brand image encompasses all the relationships that have taken place between customer and brand.

Brand image, therefore, depends on how the company has interacted with the user and the messages it has sent to the public, while online reputation depends on external elements that are often beyond our control.

However, it will also depend to a large extent on us, on the message we send and how we project our brand to the outside world. We must know how to take care of our brand image and keep it in a good position because, after all, if we have a bad online reputation, users will not choose us. That is why we must know how our reputation is on the web and if we can do something to improve it in the case of bad opinions.

how do I find out what the online reputation of my brand is?

As we have mentioned before, everything the user wants to know about us is going to look for it on the internet. Therefore, we must know what the reputation of our brand is online to know where we can start from. Knowing how our brand is seen on the internet will be useful in case we have to try to improve it.

Knowing how others perceive our brand on the internet will be the first step to know which things we should improve and which we should maintain.

To do this, we can make a series of simple queries on search engines, especially Google as it is the most used by the majority of the population, and look at the results that appear when we enter searches such as:

  • Name of our brand + opinions.
  • Name of ourproducts or services + opinions.

After the search, you should write down all the aspects that you have found on the internet with negative points for your brand, indicating which factors are most "attacked", i.e. the aspects that have the most negative evaluations or that users have most criticised about you.

It is also important to know what is being said about our company on social networks. Social networks are one of the main tools that users have today to obtain information about brands and their products or services and that significantly influence our online reputation.

When positioning our brand on social networks, we must take into account multiple factors such as:

  • Interaction with users: The role of the community manager is very important when it comes to building our online reputation because how he/she responds to users' doubts or complaints, the aspects he/she uses to justify him/herself, how quickly he/she answers users or if, on the contrary, he/she takes a long time to respond... They will make the user have an image of us and our brand.
  • Negative reviews or comments: When a user leaves a negative review on Google or comments something negative on our website, it is important to know how to respond to them, offer help to improve their feeling of our brand... If we have not been able to prevent them from giving us a bad review, at least try to change their perception so as not to lose them as a customer.

This primary search and the data we obtain from it will be the result of our online reputation, so we will know what the situation of our brand image is, how users see us and whether the message we want to send out as a company is being received correctly .

how does online reputation affect our brand?

You will have been able to find out throughout the post that online reputation is very important for our brand, as it will be the first thing that our users will come across about us .

Also, online reputation is closely linked to SEO positioning: Google takes into account both the internal organisation of a company and its reputation to position it higher or lower in the search engine, so if we want to have a good organic position on the Internet, we must take care of our reputation.

Finally, we can highlight that, as we mentioned at the beginning, brand image and online reputation are two concepts that are closely related. Therefore, if we have a bad online reputation, this will affect our brand image and will influence how other types of public (not only the online public) see us.

For all these reasons, we must take care of the reputation of our brand on the net, as having good opinions will make it much easier for us to be a prestigious brand that is recognised by all users, as well as being a company that our customers are proud of.

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