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Small brands have the same advertising opportunities as large brands. They can maintain a great website, drive traffic to their site, and advertise through paid search and social media. While this is great news for smaller companies, it also makes the competition fierce. Not only do small businesses have to compete with bigger brands but also with small entities like themselves.

As you work toward gaining more exposure for your brand, you might be wondering how you can protect your reputation in the process. Don’t wait until your brand suffers a blow to put together a comprehensive reputation risk management strategy. Let’s dive into some of the most effective ways that you can protect your brand – starting today.

Update Your Website Regularly

Your website is the first place people go when they want to know more about your products. Keep your website up to date so that it makes a good first impression. Here are a few tips to run through with each update.

  • Maintain short but strong bios of the people in your company
  • Contribute to your blog with engaging and relevant posts
  • Update website security with routine maintenance and TLC
  • Add new keywords to your content based on user activity
  • Comply with Google’s latest algorithms

Create a Company Blog

Another great way to protect your brand’s reputation is to manage a company blog. A blog has many benefits, such as driving traffic to your site and increasing visibility in the search engines. A blog also gives your brand a personality. Through research, stories, and expert answers, you can position your brand as an industry leader.

Practice Social Listening

Social listening means that you are listening to what others are saying about your brand on social media. It’s highly important, as it only takes one negative comment to start a full-on discussion about your product.

If you notice that something unfavorable is said, address it immediately. Think about how you can turn the situation around. If it’s not something you want to address openly, ask the customer to send you a private message. Remember, be nice. The world is watching.

Develop Relationships Offline, Too

Today’s generation wants authenticity. While it’s great to have a positive image on screen, how do you interact with customers in the real world? Do you have a telephone number customers can call? Do you hand out promotional products for improved brand recognition? Let customers know that you want to hear from them. These personal interactions go a long way in shaping people’s perception of your brand.

Manage Online Reviews

Always encourage reviews, even if they aren’t entirely positive. Sometimes the best reviews are detailed and honest. Having a lot of positive reviews is ideal, of course, as they can overshadow negative comments. To ensure that your reviews are fair and mostly favorable, keep customer service at its best.

Protecting the integrity of your brand is vital. Be proactive, create a disaster plan, and form solid rapports offline.  This will insulate not only your company and staff, but your products and services as well.