Why Brands Should Support Online Reputation Management of Local Affiliates

National brands selling through distributed channel partners continue to ramp-up online marketing support to local affiliates. As continued research shows efficient use of local marketing spend is driving local transactions, brands realize local channel partners need support for success.

Yet with the success, a new challenge is emerging. How can Brands manage their reputation, and indeed encourage positive results, throughout its channel partners presence in the digital world?

Brands need to focus on Reputation Management to ensure channel partners active online don't detract from the reputation the brand deserves. Bad reviews, and conflicting directory and social profile configuration, can compete with the National Brand's strategy and tank a company's standing because of bad reviews - ultimately impacting financials.

Here are a few steps a Brand can take to direct an ethical, transparent and proper reputation management strategy with its channel partners - making it a win-win for both parties.

  1. Offer Turnkey Management of social profiles and directories

    Whether through the use of a technology or a service, brands need to employ a strategy that provides consistency throughout the channel on social pages like Google+ Local and directories like Yelp. Training doesn't work - as many of our clients have found out. A good strategy provides brand access to administer compliance, as well as smart optimization strategies to drive local search results, while still giving local partners specific responsibilities that make sense -- and will get executed.

  2. Monitor negative reviews, set protocols and train

    The bigger the channel program, the more difficult it is to respond to every negative review. Channel partners need to be trained on how to respond to a negative review, and why its important. Brands can facilitate this program by pushing reviews to partners daily. In addition, the brand should roll-up this reporting to easily identify the channel partners that are not in compliance so that they can take action.

  3. Facilitate reviews from happy customers

    Make it easy for brand advocates to review local affiliates selling the brand's products or services. With the proper marketing automation logic, brand detractors can be suppressed while advocates are encouraged to offer their positive view.

Jared Shusterman's picture
Jared Shusterman, Managing Partner, CEO
In 2005, as a recent graduate of the McIntire School at the University of Virginia, and working for investment banking practice Thomas Weisel Partners, Jared moved to Miami to start SproutLoud before the pressures of fatherhood and a mortgage could scare him out of entrepreneurship. Always looking for something new to learn, he’s recently started Spanish lessons and is currently an MBA-candidate with Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. He’s an aspiring pilot with a fear of flying (weird) and likes any spicy food that makes him cry (same goes for chick-flicks). He has recently been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Entrepreneur in 2010 by South Florida Business Journal and top 50 Entrepreneur in 2012 by Business Leader Magazine.