10 easy ways to protect your brand’s reputation – online

Over the past months the news has been filled with public figures who have lost their jobs due to posts or comments they’ve made on the internet.  Whilst some were recent posts others were in the distant past, but it still came back to haunt them.   An organisation is just like a person, over the years comments, news stories and customer reviews leave a story on the internet.  So what can an organisation do to protect or improve their organisation’s reputation?  

Your website

As an owned asset, i.e. you control all the content on there, this is the easiest place to start. If you don’t like the way something is written you can simply change it.    

1. Check your website aligns with your mission and is up to date

Your website acts as the first point of contact with your organisation for most people, so make sure it reflects your organisation’s mission and all information is up to date. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than to enquire about a service but then be told “we no longer do that”, or for your upcoming events page to be retrospective.  If you’re unsure if your website needs updating you can take a free website health check.

2. Check for mistakes

Now you’ve dealt with the big issues, go through your website and check for spelling mistakes and inaccuracies.  Then going forward make sure everything you publish is double checked to make sure it is a true reflection of your brand and that it’s accurate.  The best way is by introducing quality and compliance system. You don’t want an error like the $50 note.

Customer reviews

If customers aren’t happy with you, they used to let you know directly, and maybe tell their friends.  It’s now much easier for people to vent their frustration, reaching a larger audience by writing negative comments online.  This means it is essential to make sure everyone in your organisation knows how to respond to criticism and hopefully appease the customer before they start publishing their thoughts.  But when someone writes a negative review online what can you do?

3. Have policies and processes in place to manage negative comments

For serious issues you need to have a crisis plan in place.  Especially if there is risk to people, it’s prudent to involve a PR company that specialises in crisis management.   For day to day issues like people complaining about a service or staff member it’s important to know what comments to respond to, how to respond to them and what tone of voice to take.  Having a plan, with pre-approved responses in place, allows you to respond quickly and with confidence.  Think about how you can turn a bad review into a positive experience, not just for that person, but for anyone who reads the reviews and your reply in the future.

4. Monitor online comments and reviews

The most prominent places people can review you are via Google and Facebook reviews, so make sure you monitor these, preferably every day.  A quick response shows you actually care what people think about your organisation.  There may also be review sites that are specific to your sector (e.g. Clickability – disability, TripAdvisor – tourism, UberEats – food delivery).  Don’t forget to monitor these too.

5. Acknowledge positive feedback

Don’t ignore positive comments. Replying with a simple ‘thanks for the great review’ could turn a good reviewer into a great brand advocate.  Good news travels just as well as bad news.

Search engines

Each time a customer types your name into search engines like Bing and Google, they ‘crawl’ the internet and link to articles that mention your company.  Do you know what they’re seeing when they type your company name?  If not give it a try and see.  

6. Check contact details

The first thing to check is can people contact you.  Your website should come up first in the list.  If not, you might think about investing in upgrades to your website to improve your ranking.  Look to the right hand side of the page and you should see your business listing.   If it’s not there, there is missing or wrong information, or you don’t like the images, you can make changes by claiming your business.  All you have to do is create your Google or Bing account by following the links.  

7. Check for directory listings

Next, review any business directory listings on the first four pages of Google and Bing (which will cover approximately 98% of people searching). Make sure that any listings have your correct contact details.  If not contact the listing and ask them to be changed.  A customer will soon move onto a competitor if they can’t reach you.

8. Check for news and other mentions of your brand

If your see negative articles about your organisation, you need to create new content that search engines will prioritise over old content (on generic searches like your organisations name).  This way negative news about your organisation moves down the search results so less people will see them.  A study by Chitka Insights showed that 91.5% of users clicked on results from the first page of Google.  The best way to create new news is through a blog on your website, and by asking partners to share articles, as this will help the search engine ranking.  

9. Set up alerts

Create search engine alerts for your organisation. This way you’ll be informed anytime your organisation is mentioned on web pages.  While you can’t control what people write, knowing what’s been written gives you the opportunity to promote good news and create a strategy to deal with bad news.  Instructions on how to set up Alerts in Google and Bing  can be found via the links.

10. Try social listening tools

Unfortunately Bing and Google alerts don’t always pick up text on social media, but a free social listening tool like www.social-searcher.com can. This allows you to set up free daily email alerts to track social media.

Manage your brand’s reputation online

If you need help to build or manage your brand’s reputation you can book a free consult with me.  

Tom Rippon
Marketing Consultant
Email: trippon@cbb.com.au  

Market orientation: Why it matters for your community

With more organisations moving their core business to consumer directed funding models such as NDIS and My Aged Care, change is in the air – for providers and their clients and beneficiaries. For the first time, clients hold the purse-strings – and with them, the chance to exercise true choice and control over the services they receive. For the first time, individuals – not the government
– are the customer.

For a customer-driven market to thrive, there must be sufficient choice available from a range of providers, offering services that fulfil genuine community needs in a way that’s sustainable, ethical, and generates positive social impact.

Continue reading…

Communications – do it once, do it right

People aren’t perfect, mistakes happen and that can affect your bottom line directly (in the cost of fixing the mistake) or indirectly, by affecting your organisation’s reputation.  So it’s important to have a system in place to eliminate errors.

“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.”

Wyatt Earp

Setting up a quality assurance and compliance system need not be an arduous task. When operational, the system allows your organisation to operate more efficiently, creating better results and allows you to focus on delivering better outcomes for your community, rather than re-doing work.

Continue reading…

Planning mission-focused marketing next financial year? You’re going to need this map.

Two hands putting pins on a map

With the end of the financial year fast approaching and budgets being drafted, now is a great time to start reviewing your marketing and engagement strategies, ready to plan your investment for the year ahead.

If you’re providing services under the NDIS, the end of this financial year is a particularly important milestone – 30 June 2019 marks the end of transition of existing disability service clients to NDIS in SA. For many service providers, that’s going to mean a big shift in focus – from helping existing clients transition, to positioning your services to attract new clients to your service. 

Continue reading…

How much time do staff spend managing Facebook?

image of clock with marketing strategy words around it and a yellow background

All businesses need to have a Facebook page, and have employees spending time each day writing posts and monitoring comments – or do they? 

It all comes down to your return on investment, a Facebook page is just a communication channel after all. But in order to understand what your return on investment is, you need to look at your whole marketing strategy. 

Continue reading…

Is your website still NDIS ready?

esthetoscope and laptop suggesting website health check

As disability services providers started to transition from block funding to individual NDIS plans, there was an immediate need to create new or update existing websites to reflect NDIS services. For many organisations, that was over a year ago, even longer if you were part of an NDIS pilot. So now is a great time to review your website. During this time you’ve been busy adapting your business to meet the demands of the NDIS, streamlining back office functions to maintain financial viability and meeting the needs and wants of the people you support. Over this transition period your organisation and services have changed. But have you reflected these changes on your website? If the answer is no, then you can use our website health check tool to see if you need to update your website.

Continue reading…

Planning for future success

Whilst there’s still work to do this financial year, an eye needs to be cast forward to next financial year – in particular developing your marketing budget.

But, before you can develop a budget, you need to have your marketing strategy in place, and any existing marketing strategy needs to be reviewed, challenged and redeveloped. This will allow you to create a marketing plan and budget based on strategic objectives and outcomes: Continue reading…

Blogs are important, improve your ROI

Content marketing is an excellent way of explaining to people why you do what you do. One of the simplest ways to start is with a blog. A website blog has numerous benefits, it:blogging

  • helps you connect your organisation to people;
  • improves your website’s search engine optimisation and search engine ranking;
  • increases traffic to your website and keeps people coming back;
  • positions your organisation as an industry leader;
  • allows people to get to know individuals within your organisation; and
  • informs people that you are keeping up with today’s issues and the information on your website is up to date and regularly refreshed

Continue reading…

Free tools to make your website accessible for everyone

When thinking about accessibility, we mainly think about people with a disability being able to navigate our website. This is an important focus but providing a better user experience is important not only for users with a disability but for everyone.Accessible website

Thinking more broadly about making your website’s content accessible in multiple ways, to suit a broader audience, can help you to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Changing the page structure, thinking about terminology, improving readability, labelling images correctly, or even something as simple as making it easier for your readers to share one of your blog posts or pages are good improvements.

Your website should also work for older and younger users, non-English speaking users and people with a temporary impairment. It might sound strange, but someone with a fuzzy head from a hangover or the flu who is trying to use a site will also benefit from it being more accessible.

At Community Business Bureau, we use accessibility tools on our own website and on websites we have developed for our clients. They are free and easy to install so you don’t need a web developer in-house. With basic web management knowledge, you can do it all by yourself!  Here they are: Continue reading…

Thinking for Change part two – finding inspiration

Welcome to the second in our series on different ways to think about marketing. Last time we looked at a simple technique to help you find new opportunities by playing with the rulesfinding inspiration
This month it’s a short blog, with a simple message – one of the best ways to grow your marketing muscle is to develop your understanding of people.

Reading and watching widely across all of the humanities can really help to level up your marketing mind – after all, marketing is really about people and design. Understand more about how people tick and you’ll be better placed to work with marketing’s mechanics to create value for the humans you care about.

Here’s two of my favourite sources: Continue reading…