Digital communication has a growing impact on the development of a company. But it is still necessary to know how to orient it! It is not enough to cover all existing social networks, to be among the first search results on Google and to have a well-animated website to consider that its communication on the Internet is already successful. The popularity of the company on the web and the image that Internet users have of it are complementary: we are talking about e-reputation.
What is e-reputation?
In marketing, e-reputation, or digital reputation, can be defined from a double angle. It assesses how visible a company is on the Internet and refers to the opinion that Internet users have of the company. The Internet being a very open universe, note that this opinion is built as soon as the company exists on the web or is talked about. A good management of the e-reputation of a brand will then involve taking actions so that it is strongly present and is perceived positively (quality of products / services, position on certain subjects, etc.).
While the boundary between brand image and e-reputation is indeed fine, these two notions of marketing are still distinct. To avoid any confusion, we can say that brand image contributes to the strengthening of e-reputation. It is based on the visual identity, sales policies, professionalism, etc. When these elements of company identification are mastered, they help to make the company better known (part of the e-reputation). To manage the e-reputation in a more complete way, it will then be necessary to work on customer opinions on products/services, the point of view given online by employees on the quality of life at work (QWL), etc. Improving a company’s web reputation is then as much part of the interests of the selling brand as it is of the interests of the employer brand.
Manage your e-reputation by having a quality website: take care of the technical characteristics
Part of a company’s online reputation management relies on its website, which is the main interface connecting it to its customers.
The official website of your company must be a quality site, so that the Internet users who visit it have a positive image of your company. Depending on your activity and depending on the expertise you have, rely on a relevant exploitation of frameworks (Drupal, Symfony, etc.) or languages (Python, PHP, etc.), to ensure that the site is efficient on all media (mobile, PC, tablet).
- The loading time should be as low as possible (less than 3 seconds).
- All buttons must be functional.
- Multi-page content must be managed.
- If the user can register and have a personal space, it must be fluid.
- For the protection of personal data according to the GDPR, the message displayed by the cookie configuration plugin must be succinct and explicit.
There are paid or free tools, such as Pingdom, WebPageTest or ThinkWithGoogle, that help you measure the performance of your website.
Have a good e-reputation: publish content that reflects your professionalism
As part of your digital marketing campaigns, the website is certainly the element over which you have maximum control to build a solid e-reputation. It must therefore reflect your expertise. In addition to the technical aspect described above, the content on your company’s site must have the effect that visitors associate a reliable “personality” with your brand. Images should be in high definition and text accurate, whether it’s highlighting a product or service, describing the brand, or introducing your staff. Every written content that is published must contain accurate and up-to-date information.
Overall, in addition to symbolizing your professionalism, the content on your site must embody your business philosophy. The challenges of employer branding include improving your reputation with both potential future employees and future customers. Rely on the content of your site to convey the positive image of a company that respects and values its employees. And since employees are the best ambassadors for your company, take care of them and they will undoubtedly help boost your reputation on the web.
Focus on employee review platforms
In order to have a comprehensive strategy for leveraging your employer brand to improve your online reputation, you can also use an employee business review platform. Employees make a case of their experience, the philosophy to which they have adhered within your company, the atmosphere that prevails there, etc. If these reviews are mainly positive, Internet users, customers and candidates for recruitment, will certainly be more inclined to have a positive perception of the company.
Bet on SEO (SEO or SEA)
SEO (search engine optimization) or natural referencing is one of the foundations of any e-reputation management plan. This concept refers to a set of practices deployed so that the pages of a website are ranked “naturally” among the first results on a search engine such as Google, Bing, etc. The purpose of SEA is the same. However, in its role as a result accelerator, search engine advertising refers to advertising on search engines.
Since reputation on the web is partly linked to popularity, the implementation of SEO techniques is certainly worth its weight in gold. By appearing among the first results thanks to SEO or SEA, your website receives a lot of visits, and your company is more and more known.
Social Media Wiseness: A Key Aspect of Digital Reputation
Social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) have more than 50 million active users in France. They are undoubtedly useful for any company that wants to make itself known on the Internet, and make sure to have a good image with its customers and prospects, or even with its employees.
Establish standards for official accounts
With social networks, the world has entered an era of ultra-fast information flow. If you want to make yourself known on the web through digital word-of-mouth, there is no doubt. You need to take advantage of social media.
Choose a style of intervention based on your brand image (colors of published images, tone of texts, nature of information, etc.), and stay true to it. For the structuring of your digital marketing, social media completes the dynamic initiated on your website and adds a more lively character, interactions being easier. When they are qualitative, your publications generate many comments, receive a lot of likes and are massively shared.
Keep an eye on employees’ online presence
Always in order to have a better e-reputation, when a company decides to go through communication to develop its employer brand, the role of employees is not to be neglected. When an employee explicitly mentions their brand affiliation in their bio, their posts influence the brand’s digital reputation. By going through the examples of employer brand campaigns, you will discover how employee input is sometimes decisive. Alas, it can also be detrimental!
Know how to anticipate so as not to be taken aback. Check your employees’ posts regularly to confirm that their opinions on certain topics and the lifestyle they highlight coincide with your values. You have two options for protecting your brand in the eyes of customers and potential future employees. You can ask each employee to clearly indicate in their profile description that they are speaking on their own behalf and that their comments are their own. Otherwise, refuse to have the link between the company and your employees mentioned on social networks (except on LinkedIn possibly). In the latter case, you focus all your efforts on your website and employee review platforms.
Be responsive: seek the services of a community manager if necessary
Responsiveness is one of the criteria on which customers judge a company, to consider whether or not it is close to its community. Organize yourself to respond as quickly as possible to questions asked in comments, messages left privately by prospects or customers, etc. For your social media accounts to be well managed and project the image of a brand that listens, consider hiring a community manager. This social media professional takes care of moderating comments and reviews posted by employees on trusted business review platforms. They also take care of publications, the optimal configuration of your company account on each platform, the management of your Google Business account, etc.
Control your company’s presence everywhere on the web: make the trade-off between proactivity and responsiveness
Your e-reputation management actions are not the only ones that make your business visible on the web. With a well-built digital reputation, be sure that there will be regular forums that mention your brand name, threads around one of your products, etc. Scrutinize as much as possible specialized forums, social accounts of experts working in the same field as you or blogs whose central theme is close to your core business.
You will then be able to rectify erroneous information issued about you, detach yourself from an entity whose philosophy you do not share and which tries to increase its sympathy capital with Internet users by evoking a false proximity with your brand, etc. It will of course not be necessary to react to all the mentions. Find the right balance between omnipresence and calculated presence, so that nothing tarnishes your image while your e-reputation continues to be refined. Free or paid tools such as Brandwatch, Hootsuite or Google Alerts are useful for setting up monitoring of brand mentions.
User-generated content: take advantage of positive reviews, while assuming negative reviews
To manage your company’s online reputation and get results that match your investments, include user-generated content in your communication plans. 84% of your future buyers will trust the opinions of former customers in their decision-making process. During your recruitment campaigns, candidates will also not hesitate to browse the opinions of your employees, former or current. However, it is customary to consider that, without the intervention of the brand concerned, 7 positive opinions are necessary to cancel out the effect of 1 negative opinion. It is therefore essential to respond to reviews about your company, to prove to Internet users that you care about your image and that you are listening to customer or employee feedback.
Ideally, don’t let any negative reviews go unanswered, whether on social media or on your site. Among other things, one of the ways turnover impacts the employer brand is that many former employees can express uncomplimentary opinions about the company. Knowing the importance of QWL for the development of the employer brand, a negative opinion on the subject could, for example, considerably weaken your image. Counterbalance them by responding on the basis of positive reviews from others: recognize the elements of criticism that are truthful, but that you are already correcting, and refute those that are irrelevant. Keep the same principle on the side of customer reviews. On the side of positive reviews, when their content lends itself to it, thank the user and take the opportunity to recall one of the axes of the philosophy of your brand.
When a leader manages their e-reputation by cleverly exploiting the content generated by Internet users, they take a big step to improve their company’s employer brand, as well as its seller brand.
Give a boost to your e-reputation: all means are good… or almost
When managing your online reputation, keep your business and economic goals in mind. In cases where these are slow to be reached, some companies use various methods to accelerate the growth of their popularity rate.
The purchase of sponsored content or paid netlinking
This method consists of paying a blog to insert links (backlinks) to your company’s site in certain articles. On the one hand, your site benefits from the blog’s audience. On the other hand, when the blog has a large audience and regularly publishes quality content, appreciated by Internet users, Google sees a positive signal when evaluating your site. Your e-reputation therefore gains doubly.
Here, when you pay for the blog or any other specialized site, you publish written, audio or video content on behalf of your company. Ensure the quality of this content, to demonstrate your expertise and convince users that they can trust you for a particular product or service.
Buying views and likes, a controversial method
Buying views and likes works on the basis of social proof (“if many like, it’s probably good”). Some professionals decry this technique, because it implies that we force the e-reputation. In addition, some purchased reactions come from accounts automatically created by bots (platforms then delete them after a few days or weeks).
To display the image of a popular brand, which many like and follow, the company uses certain agencies that offer to buy views, likes, retweets, shares, etc., on Instagram, TikTok or Facebook. When its posts on social networks are characterized by excellent statistics and a high engagement rate, it attracts even more Internet users. The company’s digital reputation is positively impacted, provided of course that it turns to an agency that provides feedback from real users.
Collaboration with influencers, a sometimes risky strategy
Influencers have a strong community. By collaborating with them, you can reach the thousands of people who rely on them to boost your online popularity. There is still a downside to consider before adopting this technique: if the influencer is involved in a bad buzz or takes a position contrary to the ideology of your brand, your e-reputation could be negatively impacted. You now have the keys to manage your e-reputation according to the image you want to project. Know how to optimize your online presence and demonstrate the right responsiveness required.
What is e-reputation and how can it be improved?
E-reputation is the digital reputation of a company on the Internet, resulting from its online visibility and the opinion that Internet users have about it. To improve e-reputation, it is necessary to manage the contents of the website in a professional manner, ensure that they reflect the professionalism of the company and respond to the opinions of customers and employees. SEO is essential to increase the popularity of the website, as is the judicious use of social networks to interact with the community. User-generated content can also be leveraged to boost the company’s reputation.
What are the methods to quickly improve your e-reputation?
To quickly improve their e-reputation, some companies resort to controversial methods. Buying sponsored content or backlinks on popular blogs can increase the visibility of the website. The purchase of pages on specialized sites makes it possible to publish content to demonstrate the company’s expertise. However, buying views and likes on social networks is risky, as it can give a false impression of popularity and be seen as forcing e-reputation. Collaboration with influencers can be effective, but it carries risks if the influencer is involved in a bad buzz or takes a position contrary to the company’s values. These methods should be used with caution so as not to damage the brand image in the long run.