Over the years, Online Reputation Management (ORM) has been steadily gaining momentum in online marketing. In the past, communication between companies and consumers had been very minimal, and companies had been selling or promoting their products to a passive audience. Nowadays, social media has grown to become a poignant presence and influencing platform for consumers to use, which enables them to freely state their opinions and concerns and allows other people to see and respond to their comments or reviews.
As more and more consumers rely on online reviews and comments when making their purchasing decisions, it has become crucial for businesses to know and understand what it is being said about their brand online and how a company can manage it in order to build and maintain a positive brand reputation online.
Therefore, it is quite clear that if a business doesn’t invest in developing and improving their online presence and reputation proactively, they will more than likely pay considerable costs later in terms of lost revenues, repairing abrupt damage, and developing out the presence they neglected.
First and foremost, is evaluating and determining your brand’s current online status. What is being said about you online? What do customers and competitors think about the brand? Monitoring is essential in any digital marketing operation as your brand presence is measured across various social platforms, forums, blogs and websites.
Secondly, start devising a plan to improve and develop your online presence,that means proactively engaging with your online community. Create a presence on any and all relevant social media websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, for specific areas of expertise, other social media sites would be beneficial, such as LinkedIn (for high-tech and/or professional types of businesses), Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube (for visually-oriented products).
Communication is key in any relationship you develop, therefore regularly interacting with your customers is a must. It’s important to build up your social media accounts. Merely having a social media account/page for your business is insufficient — you need to develop your audience on them as well, which will eventually build up to a close communication channel and increase your influence and engagement scores.
Be receptive to positive as well as negative feedback. Perhaps the only thing worse than under-engaging in online media is handling social media badly. No one can damage you as much as you can damage yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to respond to negative comments. Based on your response, they either make you or break you. Criticism can often provide your business with vital information regarding to where your business is going wrong. Moreover, it is also a great opportunity to speak to those who have posted negative feedback and ask them why and eventually offer solutions or help.
Positive comments build up your reputations just as much as the negative ones. Encouraging and highlighting positive feedback will definitely boost your brand. On both occasions, personally responding to comments and reviews shows each customer that you care and are actively listening to their concerns and opinions.
However, ORM is not only about managing negative and positive feedback, but also managing content in search engines. You may need to create content and you likely ought to develop content to rank them as high as possible on search engines as well. Develop website and blogs, where you regularly post high quality content and promote your brand in a positive manner. Using relevant keyword phrases will help learn the exact queries people type into search engines to find what consumers are looking for online. Therefore, using the right keywords in content will increase its ranking and therefore more people will access it, bringing in more traffic to the website.
Online reputation development requires two investments: time and money. Following this, ORM, when done right, may help put you and your business in a stronger position and may significantly impact your sales and business revenue.
Proactive online reputation management is going to cost you if you want to be perceived as a positive brand on the market, but it will also save you some money in the long run if the nearly-inevitable occurs. Think of it as a form of insurance. It won’t absolutely keep you from getting damaged, but it could mitigate the damage and keep it from being worse than it might otherwise be.