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Online Reputation Management: Improve Reputation for Businesses
What You Need To Know About Online Reputation Management
Basically, online reputation management is the process of controlling what shows up when someone Googles your name. We’ll show you how to promote positive content to the top of your search results and push unwanted content (negative, irrelevant or competition) farther down to ensure that when someone Googles you, their results are populated with positive, relevant content about you.
Constant Google algorithm changes mean that search engine results are in constant flux, and links that were once buried might now be on top. Further, new content pops up all the time, so there may be new articles, photos, and social media entries you weren’t aware of before. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of your online reputation with regular assessment and monitoring. Doing so can help you identify and address any reputation problems or shortcomings before they spin out of control.
With the rise of social media and review sites, online reputation management has become more fragmented, and more important, than ever before.
Now instead of making a formal complaint or sharing a bad experience amongst friends, customers can easily, and immediately, air their grievances with your company for anyone to see.
Why Businesses Need to Improve the Online Reputation Management
A startup business might not have the time or money to do this work. As a matter of fact, most startups do not think they need ORM. This would have been correct a decade ago — but not in 2016. With the excitement over digital marketing, there is an increase in the use of Internet technology. Even small businesses are doing their marketing on the Internet. This, in turn, leads to an online presence. Simply put, if you do not have an online presence, then you should not expect your business to perform very well.
If you have an online presence, then you will probably need reputation management services. The only difference is, the ORM that is needed by a large scale business might be slightly more than that needed by a start-up business. As people continue to know about your brand, you are going to need to keep track of what they are saying about it. This is the main point of ORM for all businesses — startup or established: track information that is being shared online about your products and brand.
What people say about your company online has become the single most important reflection of your company’s quality, reliability, and skill.2 It doesn’t matter if you’re a dentist, a plastic surgeon, a carpet cleaner, or a painter. In Nielsen’s most recent Global Trust in Advertising study, 66% of global consumers indicated they trust online reviews from strangers when making purchasing decisions.
Besides being able to listen and pick up what your customers are saying about your business, ORM also allows you to understand what people are talking about in context to your business, products or services.
You might pick up that, as a retailer, people are talking about price comparison and using your stores as ‘showrooms’, eventually making their final purchase online. Picking up on this kind of insight could help change your entire business strategy and make you realize that your standalone brick and mortar store is no longer going to cut it and in order to be competitive you need to look at ecommerce options.
As a research company or educational institution you may pick up on trends and issues that suggest people are searching for information on that you are not covering. This may help you expand your offering and start a niche sector catering to specific sought after needs.
How Can Businesses Improve Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
Target the social media networks you want to conquer, target your audience, target the products based on priority … everything needs clever targeting.
And finally, remember that reputation management takes time and your company needs a consistent approach and a strategy to succeed. Take a look at some of the top telecommunications companies in the US like AT&T and Verizon—all bad reviews and negative experiences are responded to right away… And not only with helpful tips and ways to solve the problem, but also a personalized contact.
For starters, businesses have the option of responding publicly to customer feedback, fixing legitimate product or service issues, and proactively encouraging users to post positive experiences. Effective reputation management tasks include:
- Identifying and monitoring the sites that are most popular to a specific business segment. Example: OpenTable for restaurants, TripAdvisor for hotels.
- Responding promptly to customer comments and providing recourse, if applicable. Example: Businesses should respond within 24 hours to customer posts — even the positive messages. Happy customers like to know that their voice has been heard and are more likely to amplify the positive feedback.
- Asking customers for feedback immediately after they purchase a product or service. Example: providing onsite review opportunities, or sending requests via email or text message to customers within 24 hours of purchase. Staying in touch with the customer is just as important as the transaction itself.
- Sharing positive reviews where people can see them. Example: automatically posting feedback on Facebook and Twitter.
How do You Manage Online Reputation Management (ORM)
Create a System
A good monitoring system helps you spot an attack. But once you see it, you’ll need to deal with it. And that means you’ll need to create a response playbook that details what you’ll say and who will say it when you come under an attack.
The right response matters. In fact, in an Arizona study, researchers found hotels that responded to at least half of their online reviews increased their occupancy rates by more than 6 percent. That’s a great little stat that shows just how much power a response really has.
Use a Variety of Networks and Syndicate
This infographic shows the different online review platforms and which industries they best serve, courtesy of Salesforce.
Use a Reputation Management Service
The top online reputation management services take it a step further by helping you create and maintain venues where you can build relationships with your clients and monitor online mentions. These companies may also provide training so you can respond to negative content and build positive posts so you are not always dependent on their service.
Continually Add Content to High-Ranking Sites
There are a number of sites that already have high authority in general with Google, and by increasing frequency, volume and quality of content on those sites, you can increase how those positive-content pages show up and even supersede negative content in first-page results. These sites include Slideshare, Quora, YouTube and more.
Update Your Web Site with Meta Tags Title and Descriptions
Be sure your web site is optimized, ideally for the negative term. This could be complicated and might involve an SEO or ORM expert, but make sure your name or your company is included in the title metatags of some of your pages. The page’s Title is the link that Google displays when searching for you, and without it set up properly, the good information about you won’t be found.
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This post was written by David Moceri