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online reputation management

The 5‑Step Online Reputation Management Guide (That Anyone Can Follow)

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Few things are more crucial than your brand’s internet reputation. It fosters trust among customers, employees, and investors. As a result, you may build your business more effectively and generate a higher ROI. Online reputation management is the most effective technique to protect your brand’s image. Unfortunately, far too many brands wait until they face a public relations issue before investing in their digital reputation. And it’s primarily the industry’s responsibility because we’ve done a bad job of defining what reputation management is and when to invest in it.

As we increasingly live our lives online, we’re discovering that not only are there significant drawbacks to all of that social media over-sharing—but that we may have little influence over how we seem on the internet. A person who intends to harm your reputation will have few obstacles to overcome online, readily destroying your good name. Then there are online reputation managers. They specialize in giving online makeovers, frequently by concealing negative search results and boosting information that enhances a client’s desired image.

What is Online Reputation Management?

ORM, or online reputation management, is the practice of managing a person’s, company’s, or brand’s online information. The basic purpose of ORM is to create an accurate, sustainable, and controllable search environment that depicts an organization’s or CEO’s whole career arc.  ORM primarily works by responding to unfavorable customer comments online and reacting to stories in the media (both social and traditional) that cast a negative light on your organization. For example, you may issue a public statement addressing the story’s content or make a social media post in response.

Online Reputation Management vs Social Media PR

The purpose of both public relations (PR) and online reputation management is to present the firm in the best light possible. The key distinction between the two is how they accomplish that goal. Public relations firms promote themselves outside, such as through advertising and coordinated media promotions. Instead of reducing attacks on corporations, it is mostly a proactive attempt to strengthen brands (though PR firms do sometimes handle damage control). In contrast, online reputation management is frequently reactive. It entails searching for and responding to potentially harmful content from other people or businesses. The majority of ORM work is done internally by brands rather than through an outside business.

Why is Online Reputation Management Important?

In general, there are three reasons why a company might invest in online reputation management. Beginning with no reputation, restoring an already damaged reputation, and finally, preserving an established reputation. The first two categories are without a doubt the most popular. Many startups hire online reputation management firms because there isn’t enough information about them on the internet. They have no reputation and must establish one. It’s a terrific approach to generate favorable feedback or excellent press about your brand immediately. Because of this occurrence, other businesses seek the services of an internet reputation management organization. Perhaps there was a controversy or negative headlines about your company.

A credit card breach, a product recall, or an arrest in your C-suite are all possibilities. Businesses can also use online reputation management businesses if they have a lot of negative reviews or ratings on the internet. The third scenario is less prevalent, yet it nevertheless occurs. Businesses with a well-established reputation will hire services to protect their online reputation. However, most of you in the third category can probably keep going without assistance. If you are confident in your product, services, customer service, and branding plan, you may not require the services of an online reputation management business just yet.

Benefits of Positive Online Reputation

Higher trust, greater talent, less risk, and more profit are all advantages of having an excellent internet reputation. However, the benefits of a good company reputation go beyond that. Companies with a good reputation are treated better online and are even given a second chance. Your reputation might alter over time. Reputations can be harmed, but they can also be repaired, allowing you to gain the benefits of having a strong internet reputation. It’s significant, and it’s worth the effort to keep it in top condition. There are numerous advantages to keeping yours, but these are the ones we believe are the most significant.

Effect on Sales

Your internet reputation has a direct impact on sales as well. Before making a purchase, more than half of purchasers conduct research on a search engine. If potential customers see a streak of unfavorable reviews or press about your business, it may taint their opinion of your firm and lead them to buy from one of your competitors. They are more inclined to trust your company and make a purchase if they see a high amount of favorable reviews and news.

The way people perceive a brand has a direct impact on its sales and revenue numbers in today’s highly competitive business environment. Companies with a high reputation, on the other hand, can spend less on marketing and advertising. Because of the rise of social media and the transition away from traditional advertising, businesses must actively engage consumers and work on developing a solid online reputation. On the internet, reputation management is more than merely responding to negative information and creating favorable reviews. It is about developing a reputation that associates a brand with its basic principles and the primary demands of its target market. This is why organizations must implement a complete online reputation management strategy.

Customer Reviews

You can also obtain useful client feedback by managing your internet reputation. As a consequence, you will be able to improve your products and services, as well as the overall client experience. Yes, you should do consumer surveys and polls in order to improve your business. However, don’t dismiss unsolicited comments that may reveal new and better methods to serve your target audience.

Reduced Reputation Risk

Companies with poor online reputations tend to get much worse. This could be due to systemic issues inside the organization, but it could also be the reputation management equivalent of the “broken window theory,” which asserts (essentially) that a warehouse with broken windows attracts more vandals. Improving a tarnished reputation may appear to be a difficult endeavor, but there are steps that may be taken to save a damaged image and decrease future reputation risk.

Recruit More Qualified Staff

Reviews are vital for both hiring personnel and drawing clients. So much so that only one in every five job applicants would consider working for a company with a one-star rating! People want to work for a good firm that is “going places,” one that shares their basic values and beliefs, and one that they can trust. They also believe in current and former employees. Positive internet content, in addition to workplace reviews, demonstrates that your organization has a positive culture. Better-known companies tend to attract more, and thus better, talent.

Increases Trust and Credibility

The internet, particularly social media platforms, enables customers to voice their opinions on virtually any topic. People like to shop from companies they recognize. Trust is essential in every business. This is why firms must discover strategies to foster client trust. One of the most effective ways they can accomplish this is to avoid receiving negative feedback. No customer wants to be associated with a company that has a terrible public perception. Effective online reputation management software guarantees that only information that benefits the brand is published on social media and search engines. Instead of leaving web material unattended, organizations may use online reputation management software to pick what they want their audience to view.

Increases Visibility

Visibility on the internet is vital, which can be achieved through a well-designed and content-rich website or through company blogs. These internet channels are included in social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. All of these platforms are fantastic marketing tools. They do, however, require adequate management to handle daily user activity. The ideal approach for managing these regular user behaviors is online reputation management software.

Online Reputation Strategy Guide for Your Brand

Online reputation management is critical because it allows organizations to frequently monitor their online reputation. Because online content is constantly changing, how people view a brand can also vary dramatically. Businesses must determine what is being written about them online and how they might improve if people have a poor perception of them. According to data, more than 40% of digital marketers watch their company’s brand on a daily basis, while others check it hourly. Companies can prevent losing a large number of new business leads and sales by regularly checking their internet reputation. Furthermore, in order to protect their brand reputation, firms must include online reputation management as part of their digital marketing plan.

Step 1:  Respond Promptly and With Empathy

Sometimes the best ORM occurs prior to the posting of a negative comment or review. When clients ask questions, whether they message you directly or post on social media, you should react as soon as possible.  According to a survey, 83 percent of people want responses to social media comments within a day or less, so don’t wait too long. Prompt responses keep disgruntled users from leaving negative feedback and demonstrate to the client that you value their assistance. Responding with empathy is also crucial.

Step 2: Address Any Negativity Right Away

It can be tempting to dismiss bad customer comments and reviews. After all, why would you want to draw their attention by reacting to them? However, by ignoring dissatisfied clients, you are doing your firm a disservice. 97 percent of the 82 percent of consumers who read online reviews also read the business’s comments. Addressing bad reviews demonstrates to clients that if they have a problem with your organization, you will be there to help them.

Step 3:  Accept Responsibility for Your Mistakes

If your organization is being investigated for a genuine or perceived scandal, it is always beneficial to apologize. Showing guilt helps to defuse uncomfortable customer situations and strengthens customer relationships. It also demonstrates to customers that your organization is honest and transparent. Create your apology with the real aim of owning up to and resolving the problem. Address the primary issues made by consumers and the media, and explain how you intend to rectify the situation. Consider your apology’s media as well. If the majority of negative comments are received via a social media platform, for example, that would be the best place to post your statement.

Step 4:  Maintain Control of Your Search Results

Most marketers consider SEO to be a means of keeping their brand prominent. However, it is also an important tool for reducing the visibility of unfavorable publicity and content related to your brand. When your company’s name is searched, you want your page to come up first. After all, the top SERP result receives more than 31% of all clicks, and customers are 10 times more likely to click on the first search result than on a website 10 spots down. Monitor your brand’s search results in an incognito window to observe what buyers view. Competitors can bid on your branded keywords to appear first, so you may need to bid on your own keywords to keep the top spot.

Step 5:  Automate the Management of Online Reputation

Instead of manually trawling through websites and social media, use software that automates ORM activities to save time. Google Alerts is one of the most basic monitoring tools. Simply enter your brand name into the tool to receive notifications when media and news pieces regarding your firm are published. That way, you’ll know right away when your company is being mentioned, and you’ll be able to reply promptly if necessary.

Reputation Management Tools

Your internet reputation is one of the most powerful indicators of your company’s success. Online life is the same as real life, and your online reputation is crucial. This means that maintaining and monitoring your internet presence is a critical component of your digital marketing plan. It is critical that you identify (and address) problems before they become serious issues, and that you provide prompt feedback. Monitoring what others say about you online will assist you in maintaining a positive reputation. So, how do you keep track of what others are saying about you on the internet? Check out some of the greatest online reputation monitoring tools below.

1. Brandwatch (Formerly Falcon.io)
2. Brand24
3. Digimind
4. YouScan
5. BrandMentions
6. Buzzsumo
7. Mention
8. Your Web Browser
9. Google Alerts
10. The Brand Grader
11. SimilarWeb
12. SocialMention
13. Review Push
14. Reputology
15. GatherUp
16. Reputation.com
17. BrandYourself
18. SentiOne

Work with Professional Reputation Management Company

Like I said earlier, online reputation management is NOT about quashing negative reviews—especially not if they’re objective and fair. (That’s dishonest and something we absolutely do not advocate.) It’s about making sure your brand is accurately represented wherever your customers (and potential customers) are looking for you on Google. Because Google rankings change all the time, reputation management is an ongoing process. You should, therefore, proactively monitor for new mentions of your brand and deal with any potential issues in a timely manner.

What is the finest business for online reputation management?  It is determined by your specific requirements. To help you narrow down your alternatives, use the methods explained above. You don’t have the time to do it yourself? Hire an online reputation management company like Mach 1 Design to accomplish it for you. Simply inquire about the specifics of our service and whether we are capable of doing any of the things described above—any reputable company will be conversant with these concerns. Please share any additional clever reputation management tips in the comments! Contact us today at [email protected] or give us a call at 318-349-4998.

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