Have you ever wondered about the difference between reputation marketing and reputation management? If so, you’re not alone. The two terms refer to very similar practices, but they have some key differences to keep in mind. Continue reading to learn more about both, and decide which type of reputation services your brand could benefit from.
Reputation marketing and management both involve monitoring and responding to how people speak about your brand online. It’s the concept of word-of-mouth advertising, but updated to a modern form. The difference between them is really more about attitude than anything else. When you think about reputation marketing, you’re looking at your online reputation as a marketing channel that can beneficial to your business. When you think about reputation management, you’re looking at your online reputation as an entity that needs to be managed. One implies that it can be used to your advantage, and the other implies preventing something from becoming a disadvantage.
Connotation might seem like a silly thing to focus on, but – as they say – attitude is everything! Your online reputation and all of its various elements serve as a wealth of opportunity for increasing positive metrics across the board. You can, for example, request that your customers or clients leave you an honest review on Yelp or Google+. Once they’ve posted that review, you can share it on your own website or social media accounts. Those reviews may encourage new business – or they may make others more comfortable leaving their own review. People don’t always want to be the first to make a statement about a company, but they’re happy to chime in when they agree or disagree with what was previously said.
The best marketing advantage that online reviews and reputation have to offer is insight. Every single review and comment, good or bad, reveals something about your business or your customers. The more reviews you have, the more information you have. This is valuable information that is drilled down to a specific demographic – your existing contacts. It is much easier to retain a current client than it is to get a new one. So by paying attention to their feedback, you can keep them happy, ensuring their continued patronage.
Reputation management can make it seem like a negative review is the end of your business – a crisis that needs to be immediately handled. But in reality, negative reviews offer you just as many opportunities as positive ones – if not more so. When someone posts a bad review of your company, you should first determine the source of the problem. Sometimes it’s straightforward, and the customer received a cold dinner, or was treated rudely by a salesperson. Sometimes the customer expects a product or service that you don’t even offer, but they still feel frustrated that it’s not available. Sometimes, of course, the reviewer is just plain mean or angry and looking to do damage.
So how can any of that be good? It certainly sounds like something that should be managed, and not marketed. But if you look at it from another perspective, you know now that you need faster wait staff, or better customer service training in your store. You know that for some reason people think you offer a certain service – now you can look into your ads and website to see where they got that idea. Even better, you now know something that your current customers will come to you and pay money to receive. In the last scenario, you have learned that this specific customer is not the type that you want to serve moving forward.
Ultimately, the difference between reputation marketing and management is just a word. You can call it what you like, but the important factor is how you perceive it. So it doesn’t matter if you hire a reputation marketing company or a reputation management consultant. Focus instead on the opportunities that both can offer your business!
Not sure where to start? Click here to access the free Ultimate Guide to Reputation Marketing!