Do you frequently receive inquiries from well-meaning senior executives regarding the true value of reputation management? Occasionally, we are asked, “What exactly do you do? What do you bring to the table?” and “What is your contribution to the bottom line?”
Take such questions as opportunities to educate some executives on the importance of reputation and reputation management in achieving organizational and business objectives rather than be offended by them. (Although some of the questions are quite – personally and professionally offensive – admit it!).
Frequently, such questions represent a “cry for help” – a desire to comprehend the role and importance of reputation management to corporate health and resilience. When people realize the value of reputation management, they will no longer consider it a “cost center,” but rather an asset that needs to be managed and protected – that reputation management should be at the forefront of operational agenda and boardroom discussions (as I have experienced in my past corporate life – that when that light bulb moment hits senior executives about the value I bring and the reputation management strategies we implemented, my counsel was not only sought for, but I was involved in major business decisions).
To assist all reputation managers in delivering an excellent elevator pitch or corporate presentation, or engaging in intelligent conversations within and outside your organizations, I have compiled a number of “rep stats” – seemingly basic statistics and information that will prove useful in your daily grind as reputation managers in the digital age.
Indeed, developing a positive image for a brand online can have a significant impact on a consumer’s purchasing decision, which is now a widely accepted fact. As a result, more businesses are focusing on establishing a positive online reputation.
Research shows that 63 percent of a company’s market value is attributable to its reputation, with approximately 25 percent attributable to its online reputation. As reported by 41 percent of those with a negative online reputation, a negative online reputation can lead to significant revenue losses for businesses. This is why companies invest heavily in digital marketing strategies designed to influence favorable consumer behavior towards their brands. According to Forbes, customers read an average of 10 reviews before placing their trust in a business, and spend more than 13 minutes deciding to make a purchase.
According to a report by Search Engine Land, 88 percent of individuals trust a company’s digital reputation as much as a personal recommendation. Some 73 percent of consumers pay attention to reviews written within the last month, whereas 50 percent of consumers only read reviews posted within the last two weeks, according to studies.
On the other hand, 72 percent of people say they are more likely to trust a business with positive reviews due to the influence of reviews on consumer trust. In addition, 86 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for services from a company with higher ratings and reviews, highlighting the importance of a positive online reputation.
According to studies, consumers place a great deal of faith in the recommendations of their peers, with 83 percent of respondents indicating that they trust brand recommendations from friends. In addition, nearly 70 percent of individuals trust consumer opinions over paid advertisements, highlighting the significance of online reviews and ratings. Unfortunately, as expected, negative reviews can have a significant impact on consumer behavior, with 60 percent of consumers stating that negative reviews discouraged them from patronizing a business.
A company’s online reputation can also affect its ability to attract and retain talent, with up to 69 percent of job seekers stating that they would turn down a job offer from a company with a poor reputation, even if they were unemployed. Even a substantial increase in compensation will not convince 30 percent of job seekers to accept a position with a company with a poor reputation.
Today, companies face significant challenges when it comes to managing their online reputation. The fact that people tend to form their opinion of a company based on the first page of search engine results is one of the most significant obstacles that businesses face. In fact, research indicates that 90 percent of people worldwide only view the first page of search engine results, and an astounding 93 percent of searchers never go beyond the first page.
Social media reputation management is crucial for businesses to maintain and enhance their online image in the digital era, with 54 percent of consumers conducting product research via social media. While 87 percent of consumers engage in cross-channel comparison shopping, 78 percent are influenced by social media posts when making purchase decisions. Positive social media experiences also increase the likelihood that 71 percent of consumers will recommend a brand to their friends.
According to a US study, 76 percent of American consumers are influenced by social media posts when making purchasing decisions, with videos being the most popular form of branded content used by marketers. Some 93 percent of marketers claim to have acquired a customer through social media videos; 86 percent of B2B organizations prefer LinkedIn for social media marketing, whereas 98 percent of B2C organizations use Facebook.
The future of reputation management
According to several surveys, 87 percent of executives consider managing reputation risk a top priority, whereas 84 percent of marketers believe that building consumer trust is becoming the primary objective of marketing. Considering that TikTok and YouTube are increasingly becoming information sources, videos could become even more crucial for enhancing brand reputation, with some 95 percent of marketers saying that video marketing has helped them increase brand awareness.
In addition to social media, Google remains a major player in reputation management. Thus, businesses and brands should maintain a positive reputation on this platform. Google is said to dominate the global search engine market with a 91 percent share, and Google Chrome is the most popular search engine in the world with a 92 percent market share. Google is also the most popular destination for online reviews, with approximately 59 percent of customers using it. (So, try to learn and understand search engine optimization folks!)
Other “rep statistics” that I find interesting include:
• 92 percent of consumers have a more favorable opinion of businesses that support social and environmental causes.
• 63 percent of the public would give socially responsible businesses the benefit of the doubt in a time of crisis.
• 87 percent of consumers will purchase a product because a company supported a cause they care about.
• 66 percent of consumers are willing to pay more to do business with companies committed to CSR.
In today’s digital world, reputation management is a crucial factor for businesses to consider. With the rise of online reviews and social media, it is crucial for businesses to monitor their reputation and take measures to ensure that their brand is well-received. Reputation curation and management should be the top priority for all organizations and brands.