How do your customers feel about your brand?

Although we obviously want the answer to be "great," the reality is that many business owners are in the dark about their brand sentiment.
  • Similarly, those same businesses have yet to learn where they stand regarding their industry.
  • Between metrics such as social mentions, ratings, and reviews, we have a treasure trove of information to determine how people feel about us.
  • That said, how do you improve that standing? How do you ensure that positive feelings from customers and your industry are associated with your brands?
  • If you're worried about this, you're asking the right questions. To help repair your reputation online, here are six steps to consider.

Create a Sense of Passive Awareness

First, the more you put your business out in the open, the better.
  • This means consistently publishing content and sharing it on social media. It likewise means engaging with other industry blogs and sharing the content of people you want to eventually reach out to.
  • "The goal is to get your content in front of them over and over to generate brand awareness," notes Ajay Goel of GMass." So when you do go to perform cold outreach, they have a higher chance of recalling your brand's content, producing higher open rates."
  • Small touch-points via social media can help cement your business' name, logo, and overall identity in the minds of your target audience. Doing so means being present and consistent in terms of engagement.

Maintain a Positive Tone

This might sound like fluff, but don't ignore the power of positivity in marketing.
  • Companies that embrace problem-solving and philanthropy are the ones that stick out in people's minds. Conversely, those harp on pain points and industry call-outs are more likely to ignore them.
  • Ask yourself: how are you making a positive impact on your industry at large? Is it through helpful content? Does your product solve a specific pain point? Being proactive and cheerful is a plus, regardless of your message.

Tell a Compelling Brand Story

Your brand story is what sets you apart from your competition. Even if you're selling nearly identical products or services as someone else, the narrative backing up your business is genuinely one-of-a-kind.

  • Any given business can learn from plenty of examples of compelling brand storytelling. For example, what's your mission statement? What struggles have you faced? If your business is behind a particular cause or goal (think ethical consumption, luxury quality), let that mission shine through your copy, content, and marketing.

Score Shout-Outs from Customers and Industry Players

Having others talk about your business signals that you have satisfied customers and influence.
  • For example, positive reviews, social mentions, and customer photos are precious currency for businesses today. Feel free to ask for any combination of the above from your base; they'll likely be happy to shout you out.
  • Meanwhile, mentions from industry players and publications are crucial for growing your business' public profile. The significance of earned media mustn't be considered. Posting to company blogs, attending industry events, and networking online can help scoring those valuable mentions much easier.

Provide Better Customer Service

This tip is low-hanging fruit for businesses looking to boost their reputation.
  • Customers have specific expectations today regarding customer service. In fact, recent social customer service statistics show that people expect speedy responses and personalized care rather than slow, one-size-fits-all service.
  • Talking to your customers and actually listening to their concerns is crucial. Tracking your social mentions and prioritizing customer emails and calls immediately puts you in a positive light among your base. Make a point of showing empathy and learning from your customers' wants to provide even better service in the future.

Dig Into Your Negative Feedback

  • Ignoring naysayers and people you might perceive as trolls is tempting. Negative feedback can be valuable for understanding what you might be doing wrong. Rather than tune people out, look at any negative reviews or comments on a case-by-case basis to examine your legitimacy. Doing so can clue you in on what you can do to improve your public perception.
  • Although it's wise to march to the beat of your drum, you mustn't pay attention to the precious feedback from your customers and the industry. These tactics allow you to build a positive online reputation that helps you win customers and signal yourself as an active player in your industry.