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A Beginner’s Guide to Online Reputation Management (ORM)

Whether we like it or not, online reputation is crucial to success. Anyone in business invests in building a solid reputation for their business, and this reputation can easily be damaged online. An unprofessional employee or an angry customer can easily get bad information circulating on the web and damage your online reputation. This is why online reputation management is so important. 

Online reputation management involves much more than simply spreading the word about your good work or fine products. Whereas once you could rely on word of mouth to let people know yours is a quality brand, the web has now changed these dynamics. As easy as it is to build your online presence, it is just as easy for one or two people to hurt your online reputation. 

Online reputation management is now one more crucial aspect of any successful marketing strategy. As you work with other online marketing tools like SEO and Google rankings, you must also pay close attention and optimize your online management. Good marketing strategies now include online reputation management strategies. 

What is online reputation management? How does online permutation management work? And what tools and strategies can you use for online reputation management? This guide will introduce you to the processes of successful online reputation management.   

What is Online Reputation Management?

Online reputation management is a set of tools and strategies sued by marketing professionals to ensure that people find the right materials and information when they search the internet for your brand. The goal of online reputation management is to create an online presence that speaks to your best possible image when it comes to how your company is perceived online. 

We need to keep in mind that everyone who has access to the internet can make their views and opinions known through a vast array of online media. Social media, online reviews, and feedback sections on websites provide avenues for virtually anyone to articulate their opinions. What is more, people read these things. 

More than 75 percent of people searching for businesses online read reviews before making decisions about a product or service. This means most of your potential customers are reading things that determine your online reputation before they consider buying your product or service. Managing your online reputation is now imperative. 

How does Online Reputation Management work?

Online reputation management, or ORM, combines techniques of SEO and public relations to monitor and boost your online reputation. Utilizing a variety of tools, ORM seeks to convey a positive image that centers on your brand. Some of the techniques involved in ORM include:

  • Increasing the visibility of positive online content that positively reflects your reputation and the image your wish to convey. 
  • Finding negative content that could harm your reputation. 
  • Removing or suppressing negative content. 

 

ORM can also identify negative and fake content and have it flagged for removal so that it cannot harm your online reputation. 

Why is Online Reputation Management important?

To give you an idea of how important online reputation can be, we can simply look at some important statistics:

59 percent of people searching businesses online initially find trust in search engine results. 

More than 75 percent of people searching for businesses online read reviews before making decisions about a product or service.

Reputation risks are rated by risk managers as the most important factor when it comes to negative business outcomes and revenue loss. 

These numbers are revealing. What they show is that your online reputation can make or break your chances for success. The fact is, consumers and other businesses look to online reputation as a barometer for how well they can trust a brand. If your online reputation suffers, your business will suffer, and your online reputation can be impacted by almost anything. As noted above, bad reviews and customer feedback can negatively impact your online reputation. This will deter future customers, and the process can snowball. 

This is why ORM is so important. Businesses do not need to leave their online reputation up to chance. There are tools and strategies for managing online reputation. 

How to manage your Online Reputation on social media?

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to take steps toward ORM is on social media. Since almost every business has social media accounts to augment its web presence, this should be one of your first areas to begin online reputation management. Some real steps you can take toward social media OMS include:

Post engaging and relevant content

Make sure your social media is regularly updated. Do not let old content linger since people will simply skip this when searching for businesses to meet their needs. Stay on top of things like announcements, special offers, photos, videos, and new links. Take steps toward posting user-generated content to keep people involved and as a way of showing that you are responding to users’ ideas. You can optimize your social media content using tools like Facebook Insights. These kinds of tools can help generate conversation among users which further builds a positive online reputation.

Social Listening Tools

It can be difficult to pay close attention to everything that users are saying about your company. You are running a business after all, and not working as a social media admin. To help you follow what is happening online and with your social media, there are social media listening tools. Things like Hootsuite can help you perform your own ORM by anticipating consumer activities and trends. These kinds of tools can help you monitor social media activity and provide you with strategies for responding in ways that generate positive interaction with users.   

Boost reviews over likes and followers

While it is important to track and boost things like likes and followers, to really optimize your online reputation you should focus on reviews. Make sure you are regularly checking things like Google, Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Facebook for online reviews. Share and boost positive reviews since these are precisely what potential customers are reading before choosing a brand.  

Respond and Resolve

No matter what you do, it is inevitable that you will get some negative feedback and the occasional bad review. Customers are unsatisfied for all kinds of reasons, and not all of these are good reasons. Nevertheless, it is in your interest to respond to these things in productive ways. 

Resolving issues is one of the best ways to build your online reputation. Where customers are concerned, your reputation is on the line as soon as you receive any kind of negative feedback. With each passing hour, the damage gets worse. At the same time, few things build customer trust and faith like timely and helpful responses to their concerns and issues. 

Share positive reviews on your social media

If you get good ratings, share them. Make your positive reviews visible. You can even include these kinds of things in your company blog. Good reviews and good ratings build what is called social proof. This is the kind of user-generated reputation booster that works best. 

Keep an eye on Google and Facebook

The majority of reviews and discussions about a company are found on Google and Facebook. Make sure you stay connected to these two systems to monitor online discussions about your company. 

How does Online Reputation Impact Sales

About half of all marketers monitor a company’s brand every day. Some marketers monitor a brand hourly. The reason for this kind of attention is that online reputation can have a profound effect on sales. Nearly everyone searching online will look at things like reviews and ratings before making a purchase. A negative online reputation will drive down sales, and a positive online reputation will drive up sales. It is this simple. 

Another factor to consider is that Google uses things like negative reviews and feedback for its criteria in rankings in searches. If you do not monitor and optimize your online reputation, you will lose sales simply by becoming invisible. 

How can companies improve their reputations?

For many companies, online reputation management is handled by professionals who understand all the aspects of ORM. Beginning with online review services that connect to sites so you can manage and monitor your online reputation, these marketing services will also put into place some concrete steps that may include suppressing negative content, filling out various social media profiles, and publishing content designed to boost your online reputation. Other steps may include: 

  • Wikipedia page creation and management,
  • Public relations,
  • SEO, and
  • Content marketing

 

Some businesses need to identify specific areas of vulnerability. Others may require something like crisis management to restore a seriously damaged reputation due to negative press. 

Online Reputation Management Tools

There are some great tools available for ORM. This online software can help you begin the work of ORM on your own. Some of these tools include:

Podium

Basically an all-in-one marketing and communication platform designed to help small businesses gain traction in ORM. Podium will help you generate leads and convert them at higher rates. Podium helps boost your online reputation and locks these leads in.

Birdeye

This is the highest-rated reputation and customer experience platform for local and small businesses. Birdeye can manage online reputation and generate contacts and leads for increased conversion rates.

Reputation

The tool promises to completely shift customer experience by translating large amounts of solicited and unsolicited data into usable insights for companies toward boosting their online reputation. Reputation refers to their system as a process of Reputation Experience Management, and the entire system is geared toward ORM.

Where do the most common Online Reputation Management problems come from?

Problems with online reputation tend to stem from a few simple issues. These issues reflect a lack of care, and paying attention to these things can save problems down the line. The most common problems with online reputation stem from the following:

Lack of awareness

Simply not paying attention to what you are putting online is the first mistake people make. Most people believe that their product or service is good, and that is all they need to think about. You just remain aware of how your brand and your online content are being received. One bad review that is allowed to sit for weeks without a response can sink your online reputation. Remain aware of both your content and what others are saying online. 

Social media without a strategy

Because social media is so easy for anyone to use, many small businesses create social media pages for their brand and go at it without a strategy. It is not enough to just post regular updates and announcements. Your message and content need to be on brand or people will come to misunderstand what you are doing and offering. This leads to confusion and bad feedback. Formulate a social media strategy before creating a social media space.  

Overly zealous responses

It is a fact that you will receive angry and even unfair reviews and feedback. The temptation is always there to ignore these things or worse, respond with the same kind of anger. Don’t do it. Take time and care to respond to all feedback in ways that are gracious and understanding. It pays in the long run. 

Lack of monitoring

Finally, simply not paying attention to what is going on with your online presence and reputation will damage your online reputation. As we said above, marketing professionals sometimes monitor the online reputation of a brand every hour. You do not need to be that vigilant, but you do need to constantly monitor your online presence. 

HeyDay Marketing offers online reputation management with a team with years of experience.

HeyDay Marketing has a professional staff who are knowledgeable and experienced in online reputation management. We have the online tools and the technical insights to help build or even repair your online reputation. 

HeyDay Marketing can help you set up strategies to monitor and optimize your online reputation. We can help you to get the most out of customer reviews and achieve the benefits of customer reviews for increased visibility. HeyDay Marketing can do things like suppress bad reviews and augment positive reviews. 

We are a full-service marketing agency based in Miami, and it is our business to get your business the best online reputation possible. This means we know how to place your business at the top of local searches in Florida. When potential customers search for local businesses, HeyDay Marketing knows how to position your business so that yours is among the businesses with the highest rankings. 

Online Reputation Management FAQS

What is Online Reputation Management?

Online reputation management is a set of tools and strategies used by marketing professionals to ensure that people find the right materials and information when they search the internet for your brand. The goal of online reputation management is to create an online presence that speaks to your best possible image when it comes to how your company is perceived online. 

How does Online Reputation Management work?

Online reputation management, or ORM, combines techniques of SEO and public relations to monitor and boost your online reputation. Utilizing a variety of tools, ORM seeks to convey a positive image that centers on your brand.

What are the main mistakes people make with online reputation management?

Lack of awareness, social media without a strategy, overly zealous responses, and lack of monitoring.

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