A small amount of businesses have reputations that are practically bullet-proof. However, the reality is that most companies don’t enjoy such an advantage. While the internet is an amazing marketing tool that allows companies to reach their target audiences with pinpoint accuracy, it also hosts huge amounts of erroneous or incorrect content. What’s worse is that this content can and does influence consumer perceptions of brands and businesses. Thankfully, companies can combat misinformation online and preserve their good name. Here’s how:
People form new opinions all the time. In reality, it doesn’t take much for a consumer to change their mind about your business, brand, or industry. The only way to know for sure how your consumer base feels about your company is to speak with them regularly. Conducting surveys several times a year will help companies identify what people are saying –– and hearing –– about your company. During this process, business leaders should look to determine any false, preconceived notions people may have about their organization.
The more open and honest your company is, the less damage misinformation can cause. If, for instance, your brand is being wrongly accused of using shoddy workmanship, then consider making a video showing your team in action. You don’t need to address an accusation like this directly, but by being upfront with how your company operates, you can win the trust of consumers who really matter.
Hold an AMA
Holding an AMA –– an “ask me anything” session –– on an online forum can be a great way to connect directly with consumers online and clear the air surrounding a controversial issue. Of course, it’s important to note that AMAs are typically unscripted, so your team should be ready to answer a few tough questions. If you handle this process well, though, it’s possible to diffuse a potentially complicated situation.
It’s worth remembering that rebranding won’t solve all of a business’s problems. However, in certain scenarios, it will allow professionals to start over and hit the reset button. Keep in mind that rebranding is a massive undertaking though, and it can ultimately prove ineffective in the long run.
Produce Quality Content
Want consumers to trust what you say? Then give them lots of quality content. Well-researched blogs, podcasts, and videos are excellent resources that consumers value highly. In addition, consider bringing on industry experts to discuss hot topics in blogs or podcast interviews. The more people understand about your company/product/service, the more willing they’ll be to engage with you. This is true no matter if you run a same day STD testing facility or a used-car dealership. Consumer-business relationships are two-way streets after all. So start communicating today!