The year is 2018, and only Taylor Swift can bounce back to popularity after complaining about how bad her reputation is.
Alas, for the rest of us, if our reputation’s never been worse, we’re probably facing a huge downturn in our business (and definitely not earning millions for confessing the same). Our activities, both online and offline, have become rather transparent, and for those running businesses, online reputation management has become an imperative.
What is online reputation management?
“Your brand isn’t what you say it is- it’s what Google says it is.” Chris Anderson, American Journalist
It’s become very unlikely for any of us do something without Googling it first- and this extends to our professional engagements as well. This study shows that 42% of adults in US look people up o search engines before doing business with them. Further, 45% of this number has reported that they have found something that has prevented them from doing business with that person. Furthermore, a study by BIA Kelsey shows that 97% of people read reviews about local businesses before engaging with them.
You can see that it matters what people look up when they search for you online- and that’s why it is important for you to ask yourself- ‘what is online reputation management’? In just a few sentences, online reputation management is nothing but controlling what results turn up when you’re looked up online. It’s a process of identifying what your current results are, and monitoring the same, so that you can mitigate any risks that emerge.
Is it the same as SEO?
When going through online reputation management services and tools, you might get the feeling that there are a lot of similarities between online reputation management (ORM) and search engine optimization (SEO). However, there are some key differences (and similarities).
Both are a part of online marketing strategies, but SEO is more concerned with getting a higher rank for your website for certain relevant search terms, whereas ORM is concerned with how your brand name fares in websites that have a high ranking for the brand name keyword.
The main difference between the two is that ORM will handle multiple websites to one or a few keywords, to ensure a positive online presence for your brand. On the other hand, SEO strategies handle one website, but optimize it for multiple search terms.
Which one should you do? Well, both! Especially if you want to leverage your online presence for maximum growth of your company. Both of them are a significant part of any online marketing strategy, and a strong SEO strategy will definitely contribute towards good online reputation. Of course, this is the best case scenario. The sad part is that most people tend to completely ignore online reputation management altogether.
Why do you need to track your online reputation?
Why should you be thinking about online reputation management services?
- Your online presence is ever growing: There is an increasing number of channels through which people can talk to, engage with, or communicate about your business (this includes your own website, social media pages, blogs, other review blogs, review aggregator sites, and more). With the avenues of conversation increasing, it has become more important for you to track what’s being said there- after all, 48% of adults in US who have searched their own names claim their results are not positive. If you’re running a business, this can be quite harmful for you.
- Your online presence is forever: You might have seen more than enough movies and TV shows to know that just because you delete something from the internet doesn’t mean it is necessarily gone: the internet is forever. All activities, pathways, and communication on the internet is saved in multiple places, and can be tracked. In such a pervasive environment, you definitely need tools that can ensure that a few bad comments don’t end up hurting you or your business.
- Anybody can list your business: Anybody can create a listing for your business on online directories, and you might not even know that there are people leaving comments or feedbacks there. Of course, you can claim the listing, after providing some proof of ownership, but this is a process that can take some time. The longer the time lapsed between creation of listing, and you successfully claiming it, the more danger your reputation is in.
- Reviews are more important than ever: 75-90% of consumers read reviews about products/services before purchasing the same. It is more important now, than ever, for you to know all the venues where you have an online presence (controlled by you, or otherwise), so that you can leverage the power of these reviews.
How can an ORM strategy impact your business?
A good ORM strategy would take care of all the aforementioned points, and ensure that you’re not blindsided by any negative coverage that could damage your business. However, the main purpose of an ORM strategy is more than that: it is to make sure that your online reputation is used to drive better business for your company.
As we spoke about before, an ORM strategy would go hand in hand with SEO strategy as well. But this goes deeper than that- if you partner with the right online reputation management companies, you can actually positively influence your placement in Google rankings. How?
- Negative content and reviews will be monitored and resolved, as the focus of an ORM strategy would be on open communication and transparency. This would increase engagement with the users of the platform, and would boost traffic to your page as well.
- The better your reviews are on platforms, the higher your SERP ranking. According to Moz, online reviews make up 10% of Google’s algorithm when it comes to deciding what website should be ranked higher.
- Your online presence will be built and solidified, and this will give your business a persona that more clients can relate to. Your trustworthiness among clients will increase, and will make them more likely to return to you in the future.
But that’s not all! ORM can have a 360-degree impact on your business- not only on the client front.
- Your company’s reputation and presence will be enhanced further, and it will have an impact on the loyalty of employees who would look up your organization before applying for a position.
- 84% of the current generation does not trust traditional advertising strategies, going for word of mouth recommendations instead. An ORM strategy will help you build a strong customer advocacy group, where your clients will act as your ambassadors, thereby reaching to a larger section of the population, and giving you an edge over the competition.
- The online reputation management tools might help you discover new channels of engaging with your clients and competitors that you were not aware of before, therefore diversifying your marketing strategy as well.
- You can also find new ways of leveraging feedback and reviews to gain insight into your clients, and drive further innovation in your business. The dynamism of the digital marketplace allows you to be way more innovative- you just need to know how to leverage this to your benefit.
An Online Reputation Management Strategy that works
The internet is a never-ending whirlpool, and having to track every single piece of information being shared about you (personally) or your business is a tiresome prospect. We agree- it can be a time-consuming job. That’s why we believe you need the right online reputation management services.
Of course, there are several tools you can use in order to track your online reputation, including:
(Please note that these are just recommended tools: we are not associated with them in any capacity).
However, these tools will only give you an idea about those specific arenas that you’re searching for. You’ll be able to track the reviews, your social media mentions, and more. But what do you do with all this information?
Don’t worry- that’s where we step in.
Our background with handling ORM strategies for companies has been impressive, and we’ll be able to help you in the creation and implementation of your ORM goals. Our team will work closely with you and your management to understand how you wish to position yourself and your organization, and help in ideating a strategy that will help you get there.
What do we offer?
- Assessing your current reputation across various segments.
- Help in ideation and operationalization of an ORM strategy that will allow you to engage with all the digital channels you’re engaged with, including paid media, earned media, social media owned properties (also known as the PESO model for engagement), and more.
- Assist in developing a strategy for social media engagement and content development, to ensure proactive and transparent communication with your partners, clients, and future employees.
- Assist in operationalization of the ORM strategy developed in a sustainable manner, by assembling the tools you’d require, including trackers, calendars, and more.
Each organization comes with a different set of advantages, reviews, and goals, so we don’t believe in using a one-size-fits-all approach to online reputation management services. Our customized service will definitely allow you to enhance your online presence, and ensure that you leverage this opportunity for your success.
Interested in knowing how we can transform your online reputation? Write to us now at firstname.lastname@example.org.