The author details out online reputation management trends that businesses need to adapt to stay “at the top of their game”
It is human nature to criticise, complain and appreciate things. With the growth of digital adoption in the country, consumers now have found a new and effective way to express themselves. Although this has made it much easier for brands to connect with their audiences, it is a double-edged sword. The open nature of digital has made brands open to scrutiny and criticism from public at large. From what went as an email to the customer care team, now goes out to as a 280-character tweet to millions of people. What do brands do in such a situation?
Enter Online Reputation Management (ORM)
With blurring lines between the digital and physical world, we need online reputation management more than ever today. So, let’s look at the top ORM trends that we need to adapt to stay at the top of our game:
Smarter Crises Management
The consumer today is more demanding and unsparing than ever. With multiple options being available, consumers have higher expectations from brands, not just when it comes to the product and service quality but the entire brand experience. Consumers care about what the brand has to say, what causes the brand cares about and how it engages with its audience. This makes brands prone to more complains and criticism. And if multiple people share the same negative sentiment about a brand, it does not take more than a few hours for it to spread like wildfire.
In such an ecosystem, it is essential that brands respond smartly and take charge of the situation. Even though the crises might last only for a few days, the way we choose to respond can leave a much more long-lasting impression in the minds of your consumer. In many situations, choosing to speak may only be like adding fuel to fire while in other situations brands need to respond to pacify consumers. Brands can also choose to rely on key influencers to seed in positive content and change the current sentiment in their favour. What and how brands respond, becomes extremely important.
As consumer attentions get shorter, brands are finding newer and better ways to communicate with them. One such trend that we will see in the coming future is brand ditching the old templatised form of ORM and talking to consumers with a more personal touch. We are already looking at brands such as Swiggy and Netflix that are using personalisation to create brand love. Although this is limited to brands catering to younger audiences right now, we will soon see a trend of more and more brands, across domains, adapting personalisation as a means to reach out and talk to audiences. Personalization is the way to break the clutter.
Better Use of AI & Chatbots
A recent study by the academic journal science states that it takes true information six times longer as compared with misinformation to reach 1,500 people on Twitter? This means, false information spreads faster compared to true information. Artificial intelligence has the capability of reading through every mention, every tweet, comment and information posted about you and change your reputation for the better. We will also see more use of chatbots to hold conversations with consumers and reduce inefficiency in reducing the waiting to address a query.
With consumer journeys becoming non-linear, it is important for brands to make sure that they provide the same experience to consumers across platforms. Whether it is your social media strategy, an in-store experience, or a customer care on the phone, the brand needs to speak the same language and make sure it connects with audience at each of these relevant touchpoints more than ever.
ORM to Drive Content
Brands often forget that while ORM provides with a mechanism to respond to the consumers, another important tool that it provides is the power to listen. Today, a brand is only successful if it keeps the consumer at the centre of all its efforts. The power to listen to what the consumer is talking not just about the brand, but about the competition and the category gives brands the opportunity to create content that the consumer wants to hear. For example, as a practice, in GST, we are always listening to what the consumer is talking which helps us in identifying the right content triggers for our social media strategy for the next month.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.
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