Reputation management for companies has had to evolve in the past decade to never having its finger off the button; who knows what could get posted at midnight that in the 7 short hours you are sleeping, could have the power to vastly devalue a reputation that took years to build.
This is where CSR has come into play, and how it can aid and assist when crisis occurs. Part of building a brand now means building a reputation, and that reputation now requires total transparency. The internet has the ability to reveal all, and to be shared with all, so the necessity for companies now lies in making sure its the positive that gets found first. One very quick and simple way to keep on top of online reputation? Social Media.
1. Social Media as Customer Service
Most stakeholders visit social media pages as first port of call when making a complaint. Ensure you answer swiftly and patiently; Social Media Examiner recommend aiming to respond within one hour, where possible. In terms of reputation management, it sends the message that you care, and value their voice, even if it is not a positive comment. Customers and clients will react favourably knowing your business does not simply sweep complaints under the carpet.
2) Social Media as The Voice of Reason
A negative article or mention on a website or by a customer that begins to make waves, needs to be addressed via your social media platforms, because that's easier to get the message across. Tweet an attempt to reach out or write a simple Facebook post addressing the issue and your response.
3) Social Media as The Reputation Stakeholder
If your company does good things for the community, shout it from the digital rooftops; let followers know you care and give them an insight into how you give back to the causes they care about. If employees are fundraising for charity, help and support them by sharing the info. Encourage employees to do the same and to help each other. Not only does this build on your reputation, it increases employee self-worth and retention. Include the good work you do in e-newsletters, mention it on Facebook, post it on LinkedIn. By building on this constant trickle of CSR activity, negative feedback can possibly be diluted if and when it does arise. Instead of simply, "Hey remember that big cheque we donated to that charity last year", let the public see a more constant intention to do good , little and often and where possible to causes they care about. This makes them more likely to go a little bit easier on you if there is upset caused. Consider it the "nobody is perfect" approach. Acknowledge that something has gone wrong, but that it shouldn't be allowed overshadow all those good things you have been doing. Use the various social strands as a voice for corporate conscience, because that's often what comes up on Google searches for your company.
CSR has moved from being about simple steps such as fair wages and holiday benefits, to caring more about bigger causes such as the environment, to now showing how they listen to the communities around them and know what changes it is THEY want. We at Yellow Harbour work with companies and charities to bring them together and achieve the same goals. If you and your company wish to know more about taking on volunteering projects for charities as part of your CSR policy, contact us now.