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Online Reputation Management: Trends for 2024

Today, more than ever, online reputation management is at the heart of corporate strategy. 88% of business leaders say that they actively manage reputation risk. This figure comes as no surprise: a bad reputation can have a major impact on consumer trust and a company’s business performance.

So, how do you manage your online reputation in 2024? What are the new or emerging trends in online reputation management? Read on to find out!

Brand reputation management in the age of the Internet and social media

There’s no denying that the advent of the Internet and the widespread use of social media has profoundly transformed the way brands manage their reputation. Today, brand reputation plays out first and foremost on digital channels. The first thing a consumer does when wondering if they can trust a brand is to check consumer reviews posted on websites, blogs, review platforms, or social media. 

La page d’avis client Fnac qui propose 3 catégories principales et des tris par utilité, la meilleure et la moins bonne note

Today, every comment, customer review, tweet, or post on social media can potentially damage a brand’s image. As the famous investor Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.”  

When managing reputation risk, most brands focus on online reputation management. Although this is not a new trend, it is growing year after year along with the influence of review platforms and social media, which have become a consumer trust barometer. 

Brands need to be proactive, not only by monitoring their online presence but also by actively engaging their audience to shape their image positively. Companies at the forefront of online reputation management have implemented everyday practices such as managing customer reviews on their website, authenticating reviews, maintaining an active presence on social media, and collaborating with nano-influencers to build a good brand image. Now, let’s go into a bit more detail. 

The key role of User-Generated Content (UGC) in online reputation management 

Let’s start with a little quiz.

What type of content posted online and on social media has the greatest impact on a brand’s reputation? 

  • A: Content published and distributed by the brand on its website, social media, newsletters, and various other communication channels. 
  • B: User-generated content: customer reviews, consumer videos, social media posts. 

The correct answer is B. Today, User-Generated Content (UGC) plays the biggest role in shaping a brand’s reputation. 

The reason is simple: consumers trust peer-generated content more than brand-generated content. Multiple studies have proved this to be true. According to a Marketing Land survey, to take just one example, 83% of consumers trust online user recommendations more than ads. 

A customer who posts an online review or shares their experience with a product is seen as more trustworthy than a self-promoting brand. Why? Because customers are impartial, unlike brands. 

Consumer-generated content, or UGC, can take on various forms. The best known are customer reviews posted on websites (see the Fnac example above) or on review platforms such as Verified Reviews

La page attestation Avis Vérifiés de Lacoste

But UGC includes a much wider range of content such as: 

  • Comments posted on forums or independent blogs. 
  • Posts published on social media by users or content creators with a certain audience (nano-influencers). 
  • Consumer videos: product demonstrations, unboxing videos, reviews, and testimonials. 
  • Photos published on social media in which consumers present a product they like (or that they were disappointed in). 

The key challenge for brands is to: 

  • Analyze the content published by consumers about its products or services. UGC, whether positive or negative, is a source of invaluable feedback and allows brands to identify areas for improvement in the customer experience better than any other abstract analysis. 
  • React to UGC, whether to thank the authors of positive content or to respond to detractors (responding to reviews and community management). 
  • Prompt customers to publish content about their products, whether testimonial videos, post-purchase customer reviews, or posts published by partner content creators (influencer marketing). 

UGC is not just a reflection of online reputation, it is its foundation. UGC significantly influences online shoppers’ perceptions and decisions. 

The growing role of trusted third parties in managing customer reviews

The power of UGC stems from its authenticity and impartiality. However, this authenticity can sometimes be undermined. Take, for example, fake reviews, published by dishonest users (who often haven’t bought the product they’re criticizing) or competitors.  

To ensure that UGC is authentic, and therefore reliable, trusted platforms specializing in customer reviews management have been developed. The use of these platforms is one of today’s rising trends.  

Our Verified Reviews platform confirms this trend; the number of brands we’re working with is constantly growing. Our platform guarantees the authenticity of customer reviews through a solid authentication process. Customer reviews obtained via our platform are only collected from customers who have bought the product (post-purchase prompts).   

These certified customer reviews are then published on the brand’s Verified Reviews page, and can also be distributed on all the brand’s channels: 

  • Product pages and/or other website pages 
  • Social media 
  • Email (newsletters and others) 
  • In-store 
  • Print communication materials 
Une cliente testeuse donne son avis en vidéo sur YouTube pur French Bee

Trusted platforms are becoming key online reputation management tools, making it possible to counter the risk of fake reviews and guarantee genuine, reliable, and trustworthy customer reviews. Joining forces with a trusted partner who can ensure authentic UGC is becoming a key component of brand strategy.

From written reviews to consumer videos: the diversification of UGC formats

Today, written reviews are the most widespread UGC format, whether posted on the brand’s website, review platforms, or social media. It is also the very first UGC format used by consumers. 

Over the past few years, a wide range of UGC formats have emerged. This is one of the biggest online reputation management trends. Brand online reputation management is no longer just about moderating written reviews. 

The most striking phenomenon is the rise of consumer videos, which also reflects the importance of video content on social media.  

Consumer videos stand out from written reviews because the vast majority of them are requested by the brand (we discussed earlier the importance of adopting a proactive approach, including for written reviews, with a platform such as Verified Reviews to guarantee authenticity).  

Brands can prompt consumers to make videos by: 

  • Inviting customer ambassadors to publish testimonials about their experience, sometimes in exchange for incentives.   
  • Collaborating with content creators and asking them to test products and share their opinions with their audience in videos. 

Reaching out to consumers and distributing their videos is, without a doubt, another online reputation management trend. Consumer Videos, a Skeepers solution, specializes in producing consumer videos and managing the entire process, from recruiting customers to distributing their videos on the brand’s channels, as well as editing and other post-production stages. 

Once produced, these consumer videos can be posted on websites (and elsewhere), or as extracts on social media. Either way, they help build consumer trust.

In a digital world increasingly dominated by video, companies have everything to gain by leveraging this content and incorporating UGVs (User-Generated Videos) into their online reputation

Conclusion: leverage your UGC to manage your e-reputation

Today, online reputation management is based on managing and promoting User-Generated Content, or UGC. As discussed in this article, brands can take control of UGC and actively encourage customers to create authentic content, whether in the form of customer reviews or consumer videos.

Investing in UGC management (rather than in ad campaigns with uncertain ROI) will enable your brand to enter the era of authentic marketing. Verified Reviews and other Skeepers’ solutions can help you take the next step and meet new consumer expectations in terms of responsibility and ethics.

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