In today’s world, online reputation management can be quite taxing on a brand. Hiring an individual or a team to manage the brand’s online reputation is crucial for success. To do your digital branding, it’s now necessary to understand the importance of effective online reputation management. Managing your online brand reputation means acknowledging good publicity while handling and responding to bad publicity too. What we mean by reputation management is managing your online presence, and ensuring it’s in good standing.
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This article will explain in detail about online reputation management and its importance. A key aspect of the article will be learning to understand online reputation management in 10 easy steps. Let’s begin.
What is Online Reputation Management
Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the activity of managing a public image, corporate, or personal brand through the use of digital media e.g. social media platforms and websites.
Companies, individuals, and institutions frequently use Online Reputation Brand Building very seriously to market their services, products, companies or themselves. Sometimes, they do it to avoid and handle public criticism and damage control.
ORM deals with creating and managing an online presence. Effective utilizing social media content & networks, monitoring website search engine rankings & removal of bad links or keywords, and monitoring online reviews, all are part of a good ORM planner’s job profile.
ORM involves tracking brand mentions to address any harmful comments. It also monitors negative and positive reviews.
Marketing and public relations utilize ORM for improved online credibility.
Factors that Contribute to Online Reputation Management
There are several factors that can contribute to online reputation management (ORM).
1. Customer reviews and ratings: Customer reviews and ratings on websites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook can have a significant impact on a business’s online reputation. It’s important to regularly monitor and respond to customer reviews and feedback to help build a positive online reputation.
2. Social media: Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn can also influence a business’s online reputation. It’s important to regularly engage with followers and address any concerns or complaints that may be shared on social media.
3. Website content: The content on a business’s website can also contribute to its online reputation. It’s important to ensure that all website content is accurate and up-to-date, as well as engaging and informative for visitors.
4. Search engine results: The results that appear when a business’s name is searched online can also impact its online reputation. It’s important to ensure that accurate and positive information about the business appears at the top of search engine results.
5. Industry influence: The influence of a business within its industry can also contribute to its online reputation. By consistently delivering high-quality products or services and participating in industry events and discussions, a business can build a positive reputation within its industry.
By understanding and managing these factors, businesses can effectively manage their online reputation and protect and enhance their reputation online.
Top 10 Tips to Understand Online Reputation Management
The below tips will help you fully understand ORM and how to make it successful.
1. Have a Broad Online Presence
One of the most important aspects of ORM is to have a broad online presence. Utilize different tools to determine where your target audience is and the content they are interested in viewing/consuming. Start with the “big three”: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Define whether your company is B2B or B2C. If it’s the former, LinkedIn might work best. If it’s the latter, Pinterest may be a better option. You can also focus on them all at once. Then, hire someone to manage the different accounts. This might be more suitable for larger businesses.
2. Focus on Social Media Accounts
Once you have broadened your presence and decided on which platforms your focus will be, put as much energy into this as possible. There is no shame in hiring someone to assist you with managing the accounts. It can be overwhelming, especially if you are new.
Larger businesses tend to hire social media managers. All your time must go into these accounts, and they must be tracked regularly. The managers handle content creation to provide relevant & interesting content to consumers. This leads to more exposure, engagement, and credibility.
3. Don’t Neglect Online Reviews
Many customers choose to read a review about someone else’s experience before making a purchase themselves. When people leave online reviews for your business, always respond. Positive reviews help you gain a good reputation. Ensure you acknowledge them by replying on time and in a polite manner.
Reputation management is about building credibility with good reviews and your response to bad ones. Don’t ignore negative reviews. It makes customers feel that you don’t care. Instead, apologize for the bad experience they had via phone or email.
4. Update Your Blog and Website Frequently
Your blog or website should be updated frequently. Blogs specifically have a huge impact on managing your brand’s reputation. They keep your customers updated, and answer different questions about various topics in your field.
Frequently updating your blog or website helps increase your following. The loyal followers you gain, trust in your expertise. They are likely to come to you for solutions to their problems. This is because you have proven to be a credible source with your identifiable vast knowledge.
5. Listen to What Customers Want
This is a key concept in all businesses. Listening to customers gives you an edge in the online market. It improves customer retention and raises the standards of your customer service. Taking their feedback seriously could prevent a lot of shoddy work and jump-start your efforts in the process.
Keeping track of customers feedback and easily implementing their suggestions forms part of reputation management. Respond to every concern respectfully rather than defensively. Neglecting this aspect can unintentionally drive customers into the arms of competitors.
6. Make Genuine Corrections Where Necessary
Making mistakes is normal. Not wanting to fix problems because of pride, can hurt your business. If something went wrong, just apologize to customers. If you can’t fix a mistake, tell customers you’re still trying to make amends or that you are working to fix the situation.
This way you not only show your company’s transparency but also make the customer feel like you are personally invested in fixing the problem. Customers feel reassured when there is honesty and transparency.
7. Define What Goals You Want to Achieve at the End
Investing in ORM without knowing why or what you want to achieve at the end makes it a waste of time & money. Decide on what needs to be achieved to make the planning process easier and get successful results.
Desired goals can include reducing the amount of negative online comments. It can also be helpful in increasing your target audience.
8. Don’t Engage in Arguments Online
Engaging in online arguments is unprofessional regardless of who is right or wrong. Responding emotionally to criticism can backfire and your brand ends up with a bad reputation.
Resolving the matter offline more professionally brings a better response from clients. Step away for some time when someone has a negative comment about your brand. Clear your mind, so you can respond with solutions.
9. Work on Growing the Visibility Online of the Brand and Products
This is similar to updating your social media channels frequently. For people just starting, it is important to create social media channels through which you will communicate with consumers. These social channels should be the places where you can promote new goods and services.
They should also be used in a way to provide helpful insight to consumers. All these aspects form a part of reputation management.
Visible social channels lead to more promotion on search engines. This drives organic traffic and can increase your conversion rate.
10. Constantly Work on Investing in & Prioritizing ORM
Businesses & individuals looking to improve their ORM should ensure there is a constant investment coming for your business. However, you must prioritize ORM when you’re planning to run ads, spending dollars without giving time to reputation management could backfire and result in spending without any significant achievement.
And, make sure to study your competitors.
Following these steps effectively can increase your customer base and improve brand visibility, which will inevitably increase your profits.
How is Online Reputation Management Different from PR?
Although they may seem similar, there are some differences between ORM and PR.
- ORM is more content-based, while PR is more relationship-based.
- ORM works more behind the scenes to create content for a website or social media. PR however, is more focused on promoting the published content.
- PR focuses on creating positive relationships, while ORM focuses on determining if a problem needs rectifying.
- PR is more willing to work for individuals, organizations, and groups. ORM on the other hand is more focused on content and creation.
PR and ORM are both integral aspects of a business. ORM creates content that PR promotes for a positive brand reputation.
The Importance of Effective Online Reputation Management
Before you go with the ORM system, it’s necessary to understand the importance of effective online reputation management.
Because of the rapid change in content creation, people’s minds are constantly exposed to new ideas and thoughts. This may cause them to see and view things differently and sometimes negatively considering you have great competitors in the same field.
Managing your reputation online ensures that there is transparency in your business. This happens by capturing a holistic view of your online reputation and activity. It helps you understand who influences your online reputation and activity from a strategic perspective. Research shows more than 40% of online marketers track online activity daily, and others even hourly.
It is important to manage your reputation online because without regular attention, you may lose out on valuable opportunities. Develop a schedule of activities that allow you to monitor the online reputation of your brand.
Here are some reasons why effective online reputation management is important:
1. Improved customer trust
By actively managing your online reputation, you can build trust with your customers and show them that you care about their experiences with your business. This can help to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
2. Increased brand awareness
A positive online reputation can help to increase brand awareness and make your business more visible to potential customers.
3. Increased sales
A good online reputation can lead to increased sales and revenue for your business. Consumers are more likely to do business with a company that has a positive reputation.
4. Competitive advantage
A strong online reputation can give your business a competitive advantage over other companies in your industry.
It should be noted that online reputation management is a crucial part of many businesses, especially in the online digital world. It gives people the opportunity to fine-tune their digital footprints spanning from personal to professional, proving how reputable you are.
Without the ability to fix any potential online proclamations about your business or professional life, you’ll be missing out on opportunities. This may have an irreversible negative effect on your profile, and lower the level of respect earned within your field.
The rise of digital marketing has made ORM more important than ever. Businesses and individuals need to properly understand it. By keeping your information up-to-date, you take appropriate steps to ensure people are aware of who you are and what you offer.