When it comes to running a business, brand reputation and company image are everything—especially in the era of social media. One single mistake can instantly ruin your business and find itself at the receiving end of a cancellation, and a single accusation can destroy everything you’ve built.

This is why business owners need to work hard to ensure they pay attention to how outsiders perceive their businesses. Whether your company is just starting or reeling from a faux pas, here are some tips for improving your company image and brand reputation.

Make advocacy a centerpiece of your brand identity

Here are some tips for building a brand identity that your target audience will remember and trust:

  • Spearhead a detailed assessment of your brand—what needs you are trying to meet and the rational and emotional concerns of your target demographic. Knowing these things will help you determine what sets your brand apart from others.
  • Consider centering it around an ethos, mission, or value. For example, if you care about climate justice, consider committing to only using environmentally-friendly materials and processes in coming up with your product, and make sure that this commitment is front and center in your marketing and promotional materials.

When audiences recognize your brand as one that cares for a worthwhile cause, they will be more likely to see it in a positive light, at least compared with brands that don’t make their values more known or obvious.

Strengthen your online presence

There are no two ways about it: If you want a strong brand reputation and an instantly recognizable presence, then you need to ensure that everything you pit out online is nothing short of stellar. A visually attractive online presence will help make your brand appear more professional, put together, and legitimate. So you and your team cannot afford to neglect your website and social media accounts.

Here are some of the most important aspects of social media that you need to pin down:

  • One of the first things people do when they want to know more about something is to Google it. If your brand name or keyword automatically directs to your website, you must ensure that your website gives the best possible first impression about your company. Make sure it has an excellent design, is easy to navigate, and has all the information and links your potential clients and customers might need to do business with you.
  • If your business model relies on a steady stream of recruits, consider having an online job portal developed. A well-designed portal will help you attract the best and most qualified candidates, and it will help you gain an advantage over competitors with the same business model.

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Build a company culture that values and protects employees

At the end of the day, there is no better way to build your company’s reputation and image than by having something tangible to show for it. Especially since social media is such a crucial part of our everyday lives now—your employees will play a big part in how outsiders perceive your company and brand.

Promoting your company as a wonderful place to work will mean nothing if management does not treat employees properly or if your team feels overworked or unsafe. Here are some ways to establish a healthy company culture:

  • Remove any hiring practices that might be discriminatory by employing strategies that ensure that you hire people based on potential and ability and nothing else. The laws enforced by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can help you create healthy and non-discriminatory recruiting processes.
  • Be progressive in your management and employment policies. One of the best things you can do is to create a company culture that is welcoming, inclusive, and safe for people of all genders, races, ages, abilities, and others.

Create trust and authenticity by providing excellent products and services

Another way to ensure that your company’s reputation remains intact is by constantly delivering on what you promise. If you’re still in the process of establishing your reputation, then having good products and services is key. Do this by listening to feedback, treating customers with the utmost respect, and going above and beyond to help them.

Building your company’s image and reputation is just like establishing a relationship with someone—it’s all about establishing trust. If you break that trust, you have to do everything you can to fix it. Leverage technology in your quest to do this, and it’s already a good start.

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