Protect your brand image online
From the humblest eBay seller to the biggest business, brand image is vital online. Cultivating your public image and voice can be a lengthy project and a tenuous one. A few unfair reviews or vitriolic tweets can undermine all of your hard work, and have a lasting negative impact.
Open a European Company can help to shield your UK business from all manner of online risks. With a dedicated legal team, social media experts, PR and the latest monitoring software, our service can track down threats to your reputation as they arise, and neutralise them at the source.
Regardless of your size or how much business you conduct online, a few loud voices can tarnish your reputation without you even realising it. Our service provides all UK businesses with peace of mind, and a reactive barrier to real threats.
What is reputation management?
Brand and reputation management means representing the true version of your business. It’s not about censorship or obfuscation, but dealing with legitimate instances of defamation. When people have the power to say whatever they like anonymously, there’s always a risk they will go over the top. But that one instance of exaggeration can have a disproportionate effect on your business.
Consider the case of a book published on Amazon. A user gives the book a one star review, citing that the Kindle version doesn’t work on their device. This may be no fault of the writer or publisher, and has nothing to do with the quality of the product, but suddenly your star rating is only 3. This may stop people even clicking on the item when they see it in the search results.
The person who left that review may barely have thought about it. But that one piece of negative feedback could have a significant impact on sales. The same principle applies to all sorts of feedback. Good reviews and customer interactions are the lifeblood of many online businesses. They project trust and satisfaction. But just as bad memories linger longer than good ones, so criticism can last longer than positive feedback.
Why is brand management so important?
We’ve already listed a few examples of how small problems can snowball online. But there are all sorts of ways in which situations can arise and escalate to threaten your reputation. Look for example at the many instances of CEOs making comments which brought down their businesses. Being on Twitter has massive benefits, but it also opens you up to accidental and potentially dangerous faux pas.
Of course, company social media isn’t often handled by C-level executives, but it’s not unheard of for people with social media access to ‘go rogue’, posting criticism or obscene content on the company’s profiles. While outside criticism can sometimes be deflected, discontent within the company published to a large audience could be catastrophic.
As well as rogue employees, larger brands will often have to contend with rogue social media feeds. From close to the bone parody accounts to simple clones, these accounts often use the same name and imagery as the one they are imitating. This can be extremely confusing for customers, and the content they publish can reflect badly on you if people see it out of context.
Tone of voice is also something that is not always considered. It’s not much good for a toy company’s social media presence to be sarcastic, and a DIY brand probably won’t benefit from overzealous use of emojis. This is particularly vital when addressing customers on social media, given that many social media employees will be younger and coming from a PR or journalism background, rather than a customer service one.
How we can help
Monitoring and detection
The internet’s a big place, and keeping track of everything is tough. That’s why our team of experts use a combination of state-of-the-art technology and a group of in-house experts. The software sweeps the net, while our team goes through it with a fine-toothed comb.
Our service can monitor your social media feeds 24/7, as well as chasing down more elusive mentions. The gaps in computer capabilities – following links or looking for ‘subtweets’ for example – are chased up by real people, informing you straight away when there’s a threat.
Defamation has always been a tricky area in the UK, and the internet age has compounded that. Websites can be slow to respond, and decisions on removing content are often taken by customer service employees who lack an understanding of the law.
Our legal team will assess whether a given risk has broken the law or website T&Cs, and respond appropriately. The costs of correspondence will be covered by your insurance, and in the event that content cannot be removed, their PR team will work to mitigate any damage.
Sometimes it’s not possible or necessary to remove content, or take any action at all. But whenever a threat is identified, PR would often be the next step. We will work with you to formulate a planned PR response that could be as simple as drafting a reply to criticism, or asking for amendments. Other instances might need a more official response such as a press release, or training and support for company staff.
Social media strategy
Prevention is the best cure, and that’s where our social media strategists come in. Our in-house experts will help you adapt your approach, establishing a consistent social presence that suits your business. From tone to tailored responses, we’ll set the groundwork for a hassle-free online future.
Our answers to common questions can serve as stock responses or training tools. Using our expertise, we can also help to analyse your competitors. You can then react to their social media strategies with your own solutions, and see how they are dealing with similar threats.
If you are interested in protecting your online reputation and reacting to risks online, feel free to get in touch.