Just like people, companies have a reputation whether they know about it or not. Reputation management refers to the way that you can influence how people perceive your company. What you share and promote can have a big impact on the way your customers and potential job seekers think of you.
Just a few decades ago, a company’s reputation was primarily based on word of mouth referrals. People had access to yellow pages and newspaper ads, but most would ask a friend or neighbor for a recommendation before hiring a new company. Fast forward to today, and it only takes a few clicks on a smartphone to access hundreds of companies on review websites.
In addition to the popularity of review websites like Yelp and Angie’s List, the growth of social media is influencing people’s opinions of companies. A potential customer or job seeker can easily see what their friends think of a company based on reviews they share on social platforms. A positive review could send dozens of followers to your company. Alternatively, one vicious rant could dissuade countless people from doing business with you forever. So, how do you control your reputation?
Are you earning the right awards?
Before you can determine if you’re earning the right awards, you have to think about what’s important to you as a company. Begin by looking at your core values and culture. For example, if your company believes in “creating great experiences” and you won a “Best Place to Work” award, brag about it!
Earning awards that align with your company’s values show people you are committed to your vision.
If you’re trying to attract new talent to join your team, this can be the difference between hiring someone looking for a long-term position compared to someone who’s just there to earn a paycheck.
But, where do you earn recognition? If you aren’t sure where to start, consider the following:
- Better Business Bureau
- Chamber of Commerce
- Industry Associations
- Professional Affiliations
- Review Websites
The more widely known an affiliation or award is, the higher the value it will hold with customers or job seekers. For this reason, go big! If there’s a national industry affiliation or association, join it. Consumers know that larger organizations have more requirements to join; this shows them you’re committed to being associated with the best in your industry.
While going big to obtain national awards and affiliations is important, don’t forget about popular local options as well. The “Best of Phoenix” awards are highly regarded by many people living in the Valley. Similarly, having a “Rosie on the House” membership can open up your business to a wide referral network in Arizona.
You can’t manage your reputation if you don’t know what people are saying. Make sure your company has a profile on all of the major review sites such as Facebook, Glassdoor, and Yelp. Don’t forget about industry-specific sites, such as Angie’s List.
Promote the right awards
Once you start collecting the right awards and recognition, it’s time to promote them. People know awards don’t just fall out of the sky. It takes time, energy, and reputation to earn them. When you make the effort, it shows you care.
A lot goes into your company’s reputation management. It takes commitment to promote your company. Any time you publish something, be sure to include information about your most recent or relevant recognition. Include reputation management when writing for:
- Customer Service
- Employee Correspondence
- Public Relations
- Social Media
For example, if you have a 4.5-star rating on Glassdoor and 20 employee reviews, share that! A simple Facebook post boasting about your score could attract a passive job seeker who didn’t even realize they were looking to work somewhere better.
Don’t worry if the awards you’re winning are industry-specific. When you’re trying to attract job seekers, you’re probably recruiting someone who’s already in the field and familiar with the award or organization. Reputation management allows you to attract people who are looking to work somewhere that has their act together.
The more you take part in what’s being shared, the more control you have over your reputation.
Showing people you’re involved in the community and staying current with national affiliations and memberships is essential for your business to thrive. As you begin to share and take part in the conversation, you gain control over what people see. This can greatly impact their impression of your company.
Control your reputation
People assume that if you’re visible in the community, winning reputable awards, and affiliated with prestigious organizations, you’re probably also treating your team well. Active reputation management shows that you care about how people perceive you in the community, as well as within your company.
Unfortunately, not all reputations are good. If you don’t like people’s current perception, it’s time to do something about it. Start sharing the great things you’re doing in the community. Ask your customers and employees to write a referral when they give you positive verbal feedback. Reputation management isn’t an overnight fix; but with patience and effort, you can turn your company’s reputation around.
Whether you’re the most popular contractor in the area or a lesser known company, your reputation matters. Controlling your image is all about reputation management. By earning the right awards and effectively promoting them, you’ll be able to attract quality job seekers and impact the way your customers view your company. Reputation impacts success. Start managing it today!