What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of monitoring and controlling an individual’s or a company’s online reputation. It involves tracking what is being said about a person or organization on the internet, and taking steps to mitigate any negative comments or reviews. ORM can include various strategies, such as monitoring social media and online reviews, responding to negative feedback, promoting positive content, and building a strong online presence.
ORM is particularly important in today’s digital age, where information spreads quickly and widely through the internet. Negative comments or reviews can have a significant impact on an individual or company’s reputation, and can even lead to financial losses or a decline in business. By actively managing their online reputation, individuals and organizations can protect their brand image and ensure that their online presence accurately reflects their values and mission.
The 4 main online reputation management channels are as follows:
In ORM, paid media refers to any online advertising or promotion that a company pays for to improve their online reputation. Paid media can include various strategies, such as Google PPC ads, social media advertising (Facebook, Instagram etc), display ads, and sponsored content.
Paid media can be an effective way to promote positive content and push negative content down in search results. For example, if a company is facing negative reviews or articles in search results, they can use paid search advertising to promote positive content, such as testimonials or success stories, to appear at the top of search results. Similarly, Facebook and Instagram advertising can be used to promote positive content and engage with customers, while display ads and sponsored content can be used to build brand awareness and credibility.
While paid media can be effective in managing online reputation, it should be used in conjunction with other ORM strategies, such as monitoring and responding to online reviews, creating high-quality content, and building a strong online presence.
In ORM, earned media refers to any online content or publicity that is generated through word-of-mouth or organic sharing, rather than through paid advertising. Examples of earned media can include positive reviews, social media mentions, shares, and reposts, as well as news articles or blog posts that mention or feature a company or individual.
Earned media is highly valued in ORM because it is seen as more credible and trustworthy than paid media. Earned media is often the result of a company or individual’s positive reputation, high-quality content, and strong relationships with customers and followers.
To generate earned media, companies need to create engaging and shareable content, actively engage with their customers and followers on social media, and provide exceptional customer service. By building a strong online presence and reputation, individuals and organizations can encourage their customers and followers to become brand ambassadors and share their positive experiences with others, generating valuable earned media.
In ORM, shared media refers to any online content or media that is shared or co-created by a company or individual with their customers or followers. Shared media can include user-generated content, such as social media posts, photos, and videos, as well as blogs, podcasts, and other types of content that are created in collaboration with customers or followers.
Shared media is important in ORM because it helps to build a sense of community and engagement around a brand or individual. By sharing content and collaborating with their customers or followers, companies and individuals can create a more authentic and human connection with their audience, which can help to build trust and loyalty.
To generate shared media, companies and individuals need to create content that is shareable and engaging, and actively encourage their customers and followers to participate in creating and sharing content. This can include running social media contests, asking for user-generated content, and collaborating with influencers or brand ambassadors. By creating a culture of sharing and collaboration, individuals and organizations can build a strong and positive online reputation.
In ORM, owned media refers to any online content or media that is created and controlled by a company or individual. Owned media can include a company’s website, blog, social media accounts, email newsletters, and any other online channels that they have full control over.
Owned media is important in ORM because it provides a direct channel for companies and individuals to communicate with their audience and control the narrative around their brand or persona. By creating high-quality and engaging content on their owned media channels, individuals and organizations can establish their expertise, build trust and credibility with their audience, and shape the way they are perceived online.
To leverage owned media in ORM, companies and individuals need to create a comprehensive content strategy that aligns with their brand values and messaging. This can include creating educational blog posts, producing informative videos, engaging with their audience on social media, and sending regular newsletters to subscribers. By consistently creating valuable content and engaging with their audience, individuals and organizations can build a strong and positive online reputation that reflects their brand identity.
Why is Online Reputation Management so important to a business?
Online reputation management (ORM) is critical to a business because it directly impacts how potential customers and partners perceive and engage with the company. Here are a few reasons why ORM is so important:
Building trust and credibility: A positive online reputation can help to build trust and credibility with potential customers and partners. People are more likely to do business with a company that has a strong and positive online presence, and that has a track record of delivering quality products or services.
Protecting brand image: Negative online reviews or comments can damage a company’s brand image and result in lost business. ORM helps to mitigate the impact of negative feedback by addressing customer concerns and promoting positive content.
Attracting and retaining customers: A company with a strong and positive online reputation is more likely to attract and retain customers. ORM can help to create a loyal and engaged customer base, which can result in increased revenue and growth.
Staying ahead of the competition: In today’s digital age, businesses need to be proactive in managing their online reputation in order to stay ahead of the competition. ORM can help a company to differentiate itself from competitors and establish a strong and unique brand identity.
Overall, online reputation management is important to a business because it helps to establish trust and credibility with customers and partners, protect the brand image, attract and retain customers, and stay ahead of the competition.
Monitoring mentions of your brand is key to maintaining a good online reputation
If you don’t know what people are saying about your business or brand, then how do you know if you need online reputation management? Its of paramount importance to monitor what people are saying about your business, both positive and negative, as you are able to rectify any issues that your business may have, but also you are able to promote positive feedback to help grow your business.
There are several ways you can monitor mentions of your brand online for ORM purposes:
Google Alerts: Set up Google Alerts for your brand name and related keywords to receive email notifications when new content is published online.
Social media monitoring: Use social media monitoring tools, such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or Mention, to track mentions of your brand on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Review sites: Monitor review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business for reviews and comments about your business.
Online forums and discussion boards: Monitor relevant online forums and discussion boards for mentions of your brand or related keywords.
Blog comments: Monitor comments on your blog and other blogs in your industry for mentions of your brand.
Brand monitoring tools: Use brand monitoring tools and services, such as Internet Removals, to track mentions of your brand across multiple online channels, including social media, news sites, and blogs.
By regularly monitoring mentions of your brand online, you can quickly respond to customer concerns, address negative feedback, and promote positive content to improve your online reputation.
Why is managing my online reputation so important?
Not managing your online reputation can have several negative impacts on your business, including:
Loss of Credibility: Your online reputation is a reflection of your business’s credibility. If negative reviews or comments go unaddressed, potential customers may view your business as unreliable, unprofessional, or not trustworthy.
Decreased Revenue: Negative reviews can lead to a decrease in revenue. Customers are less likely to purchase from a business with negative reviews or a poor reputation. This can result in a decrease in sales and revenue over time.
Difficulty in Attracting New Customers: Prospective customers may search for reviews or information about your business online before making a purchase. Negative reviews or a poor reputation can deter potential customers from choosing your business over competitors.
Harm to Brand Image: A damaged online reputation can harm your brand image and long-term success. This can result in a loss of customers, reduced brand loyalty, and difficulty in attracting new customers.
Legal Issues: Negative comments or reviews may violate intellectual property laws, or include defamatory or false information about your business, which can lead to legal issues.
Overall, managing your online reputation is crucial to the success and longevity of your business. It is important to monitor and respond to feedback and reviews, and take necessary steps to address any negative feedback or concerns.
Do people really take notice of negative reviews and information about a business online though?
According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal in 2021, 91% of consumers aged 18-34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations when considering a purchase. In addition, 87% of consumers aged 35-54 and 79% of consumers aged 55+ also trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
These statistics indicate that a significant majority of consumers rely on online reviews when making purchasing decisions. Therefore, it is important for businesses to maintain a positive online reputation and manage their online reviews in order to attract and retain customers.