Gone are the days when things like PR and reputation management seemed like matters of concern for only big companies and celebrities. There was a time when smaller businesses had very little to care about their reputation and user feedback.
However, post-covid-19, things have indeed taken a drastic turn. Today, the audience has gotten quite active and does not shy away from expressing their opinions about brands and services on multiple online platforms.
And certainly, the last thing you want your clients to see is negative reviews associated with your name. This is where ORM comes into the picture.
Learn how you can maintain the online reputation of your business with this easy online reputation management guide. So, let’s get started!
What is ORM?
ORM stands for Online Reputation Management, which means controlling how people see your business. The basic idea behind online reputation management is to invoke positive feelings and opinions about a brand while at the same time taking care of negative reviews or damaging comments.
Think of the last time you went out for a movie. Why did you pick up that particular movie? Favorite actor, favorite actress, or perhaps favorite director? Well, if you are anything like most people, you would have first checked its trailer, then its ratings on BookMyShow. And if you finally liked what you read, what all people had to say about it, you would have finally booked the tickets.
Interestingly, that’s not just limited to movies. In fact, we rely on Google for almost everything, be it online shopping, be it trying a new restaurant, or perhaps availing services from a business. Word-of-mouth, ratings, feedbacks, reviews are what decide the fate of any business these days.
ORM is often compared with SEO, wherein we have to push forward positive reviews or links about a person or a brand. The main purpose of ORM is to rank positive links over negative reviews or links.
How does ORM Impact your business?
It's pretty natural for someone to judge you and your organization by what they find about you on Google. Most users read online reviews before visiting a business or purchasing a service or a product.
A negative review about your brand or product, irrespective of whether it is true or not, can seriously influence your own and your brand's success.
Don’t simply believe what we say, have a look at these statistics, and you’ll understand why reputation management is important.
- 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- 3 out of 4 customers trust a company more if it has positive reviews.
- 49% of customers need at least a four-star rating before they decide to use a business.
- 92% of customers are less likely to visit a business after reading negative reviews.
- 94% of customers state that positive reviews make them more inclined to use a business.
Certainly, the numbers can be upsetting, however with a well laid-out online marketing strategy and best ORM practices; it is possible to shape an online reputation that conveys authority, sincerity, and reliability.
How? Keep reading this online reputation management guide to find out.
How Can you Know about Your Online Reputation?
- Search for your brand name or person name and look at the first five listings.
- Make sure you are in the top 5 search results by searching your brand or person name.
- You can check whether you are getting a positive or negative review. Of course, not every customer would be a happy one. However, try to ensure that the first impression you show on Google is as positive as possible.
- Check your Google My Business listing. Does one exist?
- Check your brand's social channels and what's being said on social media.
- Check reviews about your business or person name. (Google reviews, Facebook reviews, Angie's List, Yelp, and TrustPilot.)
How to deal with negative results on Google Search?
- Get it removed either by directly contacting the site by legal help or with DMCA.
- Face it with the right answer and counter proof so that others can see your answer.
- Push it to the back of search results by posting more positive write-ups and reviews & doing SEO.
How to Improve your Online Reputation?
Your online reputation gets re-defined by every social media comment, feedback, review, or blog post. The moment someone finds out about your business, they make their buying decisions based on the online content they read about you.
Want to stay ahead in the race and keep your business sailing smoothly? Follow these tips to manage and work on all the feedback you receive online and improve your online reputation.
Tracking and Monitoring
Before you start your online reputation campaign, you need to first learn what is being said about you. To get started with this process, you should identify keywords that represent you, your brand, your company, or anything you want to track.
Multiple tools for online reputation management are available that can be used for tracking what is being said about your brand. For example:
- Social Mention – socialmention.com
- Google Alerts – google.com/alerts
- TweetBeep – tweetbeep.com
- Technorati – technorati.com
- BlogPulse – blogpulse.com
- TagBulb – tagbulb.com
Once the tracking phase has been completed, you need to design a strategy to push back those negative reviews. You can use distinct strategies based on the gravity of situations and outcomes.
Some of the most popular examples include:
- Wikipedia page development
- Ask webmaster for "Replacement" of negative content
- Review & rating improvement
- New website creation with a person's name.
- Promotion of positive results
- Content posting on third-party high authority websites.
- Regular Social media posting
Content creation is indeed one of the most indispensable parts of this campaign. You need to create a good content marketing strategy while examining where, what and how often you will post online.
A multi-step content development strategy often consists of:
- Brainstorming content ideas
- Headline development
- Primary and secondary content creation
- Content approvals and editing
- Publisher placement negotiation
- Content placement
- Social and search content promotion
- Improve reviews and ratings online
We often identify and build websites, business listings, and social media profiles in the online reputation management process. These may include:
- Charity website
- Social media profiles
- Image sharing profiles
- Video profiles
To push the content that we have created, we have to promote it to target the audience. Web promotion takes many forms. Some of those include:
- Influencer outreach
- Search engine optimization
- Blogger negotiation
- Social media promotion
- Sponsored content on high-authority media websites
Treat your online reputation as a relationship. The only difference is that you are committed to multiple people simultaneously, not just one person. Of course, it's trickier to manage than a normal relationship; however, the foundation remains the same.
Like everything else, the game of ORM will too change. However, the fundamental rules will stay the same. Use these tips as a guideline while strategizing your ORM.
- Know your audience.
- Be completely transparent.
- React immediately and politely.
- Encourage your clients to write reviews.
- Start blogging more often.
- Work with social media influencers.
Indeed, your online reputation is decisive in molding the success of your business. A positive online reputation and high star rating can give a boost to your rankings, drive more visitors and build trust among your prospective clients.
Therefore, encourage positive reviews and handle those negative, hurtful ones carefully. Be informed about people's opinions about you, reflect on their feedback to improve yourself, watch and learn from others, and be honest and trustworthy.
If you follow these tips religiously, you probably won’t face much difficulty improving or rebuilding your online reputation. The benefits of online reputation management are many. It depends entirely on how you want to take things forward. Good-luck!
Editor: Richa Sharma