Online Reputation Management (ORM) refers to strategies which help a business improve and respond back to public opinion about its products and services online. People give these opinions and reviews on the entire web, i.e., review sites, blogs, search engines, social networking sites, etc. Online Reputation Management strategies make sure that people find the material when they search for you on the web. When done in the right manner, ORM helps create balance, deal with misleading trends and also lets you take your best step forward.
Why Should You Care About The Online Reputation Of Your Business?
The online reputation of a business is slowly becoming pervasive. Primarily, the online reputation of your business forms your reputation, both personally and professionally. The reason for this is because:
People Look For Anything And Everything On The Internet:
- The Internet is considered as the most dependable source of getting information about a business or a person with two out of three people.
- 70 percent of companies reject a candidate due to some or the other information they find online about him/her.
- 97 percent of people go through online reviews when they search for a local business.
Based on these stats, it is quite clear that whatever happens on the internet does affect a person or business for entire life.
Both Online And Offline Are Now Blending:
Each day, the online world is getting integrated more and more with our daily activities. Starting from smartphones to televisions, you are living each passing day online, without even without touching your computer. This means that there are several ways for you to post a positive or a negative review online.
You might not even know, but some people might be searching for you online for some common reasons such as:
- Hiring managers conducting pre-interview research.
- Landlords searching for prospective renters.
- Former colleagues searching to share professional opportunities.
It doesn’t matter how low-tech your lifestyle is now. This is because there’s already a fair amount of information about you available online and people are viewing it.
Your Online Reputation Lasts Forever:
If a person leaves a negative review about you on the web, it can place you at a major disadvantage in the long run, especially when you do not know about it. You may never come to know why you never got the apartment you wanted or why a job offer did not materialize even after an incredible interview. Hence, it is significant to keep a check on what people say about you on the web and take appropriate steps to improve inaccuracies.
Why Having Positive Reviews Online Is Important For Your Business?
- Reviews show up front-and-center on search engines.
- Reviews can help you enjoy a higher rank on the search engines.
- Future customers tend to judge your business based on the reviews.
- Reviews have an impact on the customer buying decisions.
Why Do You Require Online Reputation Management?
With search engines, as well as other information technologies, slowly becoming advanced now, why is there still a need to manage our online reputation? Unfortunately, online reputation mismatches aren’t technology issues but are human issues. The algorithms set by Google can only provide us with information that we ask for. So, if a person searches for entertaining gossips and negative reviews, then that is what he/she will get based on the search terms.
ORM counteracts this human bias for entertaining gossip, making sure that the information which is important does not get overwhelmed by rumors.
Such a need will always stay in existence. It is probably going to become more significant to manage online reputation as major search engines begin to be a bigger part of our lives.
Typically, the set-up for Online Reputation Management followed by a business involves:
- An Online Reputation Management software program which lets you collect online reviews from popular review websites with ease.
- Then, adding a ‘review schema markup’ to your business website.
- Next, business owners ask customers to write reviews about their business online.
- The business owners get notifications and alerts when customers leave reviews online based on their business on the review sites.
- The owners must have the ability to tackle both positive as well as negative reviews. They should thank the customer for their positive feedback and address any complain a customer has in case of negative review left by them.
- The owners must then advertise and promote their company’s positive 5-star reputation via newsletters, social media, paid ads, websites, etc.
Online Reputation Management is one of the most effective online marketing strategies that you can use to gain and keep more customers and clients.
Also Read: Best Online Marketing Strategy
What Are The Key Online Reputation Management Principles?
Based on your needs, Online Reputation Management can be a simple or a complex process. However, most of the ORM campaigns use a few general rules mentioned below:
The Search Results Are Generated Algorithmically:
The online reputation you hold is determined based on complex calculations which are run by computers automatically. No one, after all, has time to note down all the information that is available out there. So, search engines, as well as social media websites, take educated guesses based on what people will consider interesting.
Popularity Is Important Over Accuracy:
There is no algorithm out there which can say whether information reflects you accurately or not. So, popularity is more significant and is the main measuring stick. This is why an embarrassing part picture, a lawsuit ended years ago as well as other types if irrelevant but click bait information rule over online reputation.
Do Not Click:
Even though it sounds tempting to go through negative webpages shown on your search engine result page (SERP), don’t do so. This will project the search engines that the webpage is relevant, thus leading the page to rank higher in the results page. For this reason, you should also not tell your friends to visit the webpage. Also, under no circumstances, you should link the webpage on any social media or other sites.
Do Not Engage With Detractors:
If a person writes unflattering things about you, you should not respond back. Avoid commenting or writing back anything and do not refer to such an offending item on online forums. Doing this will attract in turn attract more people towards the issue which you don’t want to be seen. Besides, there also exists the danger of malicious posters taking your comment and twisting words against you. Hence, it is better to fight back to their taunts with radio silence.
Bring Out Your Story:
You will only be able to promote the materials which exist out there. This means that you will require a strong base of quality, positive content to boost your online reputation. This can be done yourself to a certain extent-starting a YouTube channel, blog- but you might require the help of a publication team to affect the competitive search results.
Utilize Social Media:
Are you not on Twitter? Then sign up by using your entire name as the handle username. Are you active on LinkedIn? Then ensure that your resume is up-to-date. Social media websites likely rank higher in your search engine result page and you can control the content which they showcase. This can help you make a strong difference to your online reputation.
Secure Your Privacy:
Keep a check regularly on your personally identifiable information that you have put up online. You should immediately sign out of those services which sell your details and withdraw your data from the people search websites. This will reduce the chances of your sensitive personal information getting hijacked and used to demean your online reputation.
Imagine That Everything Lasts Forever:
If there is something which has been published online, it is potentially a part of your online reputation permanently. The search results are not chronologically arranged, and so, the old, outdated information can continue to rank in the search results if the search engines still consider them as relevant. Such a scenario can make either work in or against your favor.
Some Tools You Can Use To Monitor Your Brand’s Online Reputation
Using this tool, you will be able to track web results, blogs, news, group results, and video results. Google Alerts is one of the best ways to get all your brand mentions and monitor its online presence.
You can set up free Yahoo Alerts for your brand’s website to track news by stocks, keyword, local news and more. This tool sends notifications or alerts to business owners through Yahoo Messenger, email or mobile.
Almost every person retweets content on Twitter, with/without using the hashtag. Here, the best part of the Twitter search is that it allows you to set search parameters like likes, dates, location, Twitter account and more.
This tool is the social media version of Google Alerts. It monitors your website in the various social media platform throughout the internet. You can get email alerts, subscribe or even download the result to track the progress.
Hence, the world of online brand reputation will constantly keep changing in the coming future, but considering the rules mentioned above will benefit you and your brand in the long term.