The growth of social media, review websites, and blogging has given more power to consumers. Brands need to be more transparent with customers, paying close attention to their reputation. Where it was once possible for businesses to deal with customer issues in private, more conversations are taking place in public spaces. Online reputation management (ORM) has become a critical factor in overcoming public relations issues, but many people are unsure of how it can help their brand.
What Is Online Reputation Management?
While you may have a precise view of your brand and the values you stand for, this may not get conveyed accurately online. The sites used by your consumers, from the Google search engine to social media properties like Facebook, use algorithms to present content to users. If you let others define your business, you may find your brand perception is considerably different from what you hope to convey.
ORM uses many techniques to shape how consumers view you, ensuring your reputation is positive and represents you well. When you provide an exceptional service to your customers, most people will be happy. However, ORM is needed to ensure this message is received online, backing up the brand messages you are conveying and reducing the impact of any detractors.
Why Is Online Reputation Management Necessary?
It is impossible to control your reputation online entirely. Any business of significant size will get discussed widely, leading to a host of opinions. ORM is not about trying to stifle ideas or remove any negative feelings but ensuring you do not get misrepresented. Negativity usually gets more interest online, with other websites reposting this content to gain more visitors. A successful ORM policy can move accurate content to more visible positions, increasing real estate in the search engines and across social media.
What Are Some of the Areas of Focus?
Reputation management encompasses both entire businesses and individual personalities. There can be a wide range of platforms that should be monitored for potential issues.
When a user types in your brand name, the first page of Google will be the main focus for the majority of people. A page spreading lies or negative opinions about you can, therefore, be particularly damaging. ORM can be used to bump your properties, such as your website, social sites, and directory listings, into prominent positions, so you control more of what gets seen.
Review sites are an excellent way to research businesses before making a buying decision. Unfortunately, though, your brand can suffer if you get targeted by competitors looking to diminish your reputation. You may also receive a negative review that could get resolved by reaching out to the customer. ORM can work to resolve issues and remove reviews that have not been posted in good faith.
News and Blog Platforms
While there are many quality outlets for industry news, there are also examples of negative coverage without basis. Fake news is a hot topic, with some platforms exaggerating or misrepresenting content to get more views. ORM can get alterations to errors and ensure journalistic standards get upheld in the territories the material is published.
Social media regularly sees waves of bad publicity for brands. Stories may be small but significant within your industry. On rare occasions, though, the issue may become a global scandal. In these circumstances, it is essential to act quickly, responding in a way that resolves problems and improves brand perception. Making the right call under challenging times can be hard, but ORM aims to stop issues getting out of hand.
Wikipedia and Information Sites
Wikipedia, along with smaller alternatives within particular industries, is used by people to get information that is perceived to be accurate and unbiased. Unfortunately, the content gets created by editors and will not always be reasonable or fair. As many consumers will look to a site like Wikipedia for the truth, it is vital to monitor it and ensure it represents your brand. ORM can stay on top of any changes and work to correct misleading information.
Ideally, businesses will not suffer a crisis that requires critical attention. A quality brand can continuously grow based on their reputation among consumers. There may be occasions, though, when you need to respond quickly to public relations issues that risk your appeal in your industry. Even minor problems can escalate if there is no clear plan in place, so it is essential to develop good practices that employees can follow. ORM is a crucial factor in the digital age, making a series of systems and processes a vital part of success.
If you have any questions, our team would be more than happy to help. Call us today at (484) 893-4055.