Online Reputation Management(ORM)
Online Reputation Management - A Complete Guide for Beginners
It refers to the process where a brand defends itself from being potentially damaged online. It is done by controlling the online narrative of a brand, person, or company. In today’s world, any product or service that comes to the online market has to have one influential factor to be sold, i.e. reputation/popularity. If and only if it has fame, it can create sales in the market. If a product lacks fame, it is less likely for a business to make sales of the product. This could not be further from the truth given that most commerce happens online. It is the era of e-commerce where a person buys even the basic amenities online. In this situation, having a positive reputation on the internet is a business’ need of an hour.
Why does your business need ORM?
When a business comes online, it lets itself open to analogy. It gives buyers the opportunity to compare it with the other products/services of the same category. If a business wants to stand out from the crowd, or at least from the immediate competitor, it needs to have an excellent Online Reputation. To do so, it needs to have good opinions among its users. Good quality products could be able to do that. It is not enough to just provide quality alone in this competitive world. More than that, it needs to have popularity out of such quality. If popularity is good, the business will generate a higher return on investment. It eventually is a win-win for both the seller and buyer. On the contrary, a brand could get defamed or could go traceless. It is unlikely to happen all of a sudden. This accumulates many small problems that add up to a big problem. In such situations, had the brand noted the beginning of an issue, it would have become an easy task to eliminate. This situation would not have presented itself if the business had already done proper online reputation management. It is all about optimizing and publishing content online about your brand.
How is Online Reputation Built?
Digital marketing platforms can be used to build the online reputation of a business. When it comes to the process that is involved in it, they are listed below:
- Fixing how you want to be known
- Analyzing your current reputation online
- Drafting social media policy
- Creating a social media content strategy
- Using Blog Posts to improve reputation
Specifying how you want to be known
The first and foremost thing that you should keep in mind while building your online reputation is your identity. How you want to be known lets you choose the right strategy and tools that will favor you. For instance, let’s suppose, you own an ecom store. You want your ecom store to be known for the quality of your products and the service you provide to your customers. This gives you clarity on what you should focus on. With this, you will be able to fix the starting point of your online reputation building.
Analyzing your current reputation online
The current reputation of your business can be analyzed by going through its presence on the internet. Customer reviews about your product will tell you the reputation of your business in the first place. The next place you can analyze is how often and with what keywords have the searches been made about your brand. Another important place where you can get to know the reputation of your brand is social media. Here, you can analyze what is the current situation of your brand.
Drafting Social Media Policy
Social media is a powerful tool to either construct or destruct the reputation of a business. When it comes to a company having its social media presence, it needs to be specific with the handle at the forefront. The company should authorize a person who is to manage the social media handle of the company. He should be educated in prior about the dos and don’ts on social platforms. In addition, he should be educated about the type of information that could be and couldn’t be disclosed.
Creating a social media content strategy
The strategy that you use defines the success of your mission, so it becomes vital for a company to have a perfect strategy. By creating a strategy, you understand what type of keywords you should focus on and on what platforms. It is crucial for you to be present on the platform where your ideal target customers hang out. If your ideal customers are on Facebook, you should target posting on Facebook. It can be analyzed by researching your competitors. When your competitor is present on one specific platform and has a high reach, it is most likely that your potential customer will be present there as well. Having analyzed that, you should work on the type of content that you are to post, and the frequency of posts as well. It is essential to take all these things into consideration when creating a content strategy.
Using Blog Posts to improve reputation
When it comes to creating content for search engines, keywords play a vital role. Keywords let you know the type of searches that users make on search engines. In order to reach your target audience, it is important to use the keywords that they are using to look for information. If you are targeting Google, which holds one of the biggest shares of searches, you can use its free tool – Google keyword planner – to identify the keywords of users. Using those keywords in your blog posts could directly bring in more users to your website. However, you should focus on two major aspects of writing a blog post - the quality and readability of the content.
How can Online Reputation be managed?
Once a reputation has been built for a company, it is important for the company to maintain the reputation that it has built. It can be done by constantly monitoring the brand mentions, and the talks around the brand. When there is positive talk that is going on, it is best to acknowledge that, and when there is negative talk going on, it is best to have a say on that as well. There are a few factors that you can use in managing and strengthening the online reputation of a brand. They are as follows:
- Auditing the brand
- Acknowledging the reviews
- Investing in SEO
- Encouraging customer reviews
- Promoting positive content
Auditing the brand
When you intend to manage the online reputation of your brand, the first and foremost step that you can take is to audit your brand’s online presence. You can begin this process by analyzing the keywords that people use in reaching your brand. This gives a fair idea of what the searches related to your brand are. Once you have an idea about what the searches are. You should check how you rank for those searches. If you rank for the right keywords, your brand is performing well. On the contrary, if it ranks for an irrelevant keyword, it is likely for your brand to not reach its potential customers. Either way, auditing helps you improve your reputation as a brand.
Acknowledging the reviews
In this technological world, it has become easy for people to speak about a brand. It lets the brand get its popularity. It can sometimes be positive and sometimes negative. Hence, it becomes highly imperative for a company to follow up with what is being talked about it online. If they are spoken off well, it is good. The brand can use this to get more reach to the customers. Whereas if they are spoken off badly, it is not good for the brand. In such situations, the brand can use this to improve upon its existing shortcomings. Another advantage of this is that if a brand has not noted the negative feedback, it is likely for it to blow off in its own way. This can be mitigated by following up and responding to it. Here, the company has a chance to show its credibility.
Investing in SEO
SEO relies heavily on authority and credibility. When a brand is able to prove that it has the authority to provide content in its particular stream, it is highly likely that it will be ranked. Similarly, if it shows that it has credibility over the content that it offers, it is likely to rank the content as well. When a company offers valuable content to its users and builds backlinks to the page that needs to be ranked, it is potentially about to show up in the search results. In addition to this, being active on social media platforms and serving valuable content to its users could also be a factor in improving the brand's reputation.
Encouraging customer reviews
Reviews are one of the prime factors in building the reputation of a brand online. It is due to the fact that many potential buyers look out for the reviews prior to the purchase. It gives them the feeling that the product is already experienced by another person, and he would share the real worth of the product. In such a situation, when a product has received positive feedback from a fellow user, it motivates the visitor to buy the product. However, there is one thing that a company has to do in receiving such reviews. It is that the company has to make it easy for customers to leave a review about the products that they buy. Once the customers have reviewed the products – whether it is positive or negative, the company should acknowledge them and respond to them. When a company does that the customers feel that they are heard and their opinion is respected. This is a crucial factor in building the online reputation of a brand.
Factors involved in ORM
When it comes to building the online reputation of a business, there are majorly 4 factors that contribute to the successful online reputation of a business. These factors can be used individually, or they can be combined together and utilized in building the business reputation. They hugely influence how a brand is perceived by its users. Those factors are,
- Owned media
- Paid media
- Earned media
- Shared media
These are the channels in which a company holds complete ownership. It acts as the sole deciding authority for the content to be displayed to its users on the platform.
It is an external effort that is made by a company in promoting its products or services through payment. It mainly comprises advertising in the form of display ads or pay-per-click ads.
It is a form of content that you neither created nor paid others to create. This is a media, as the name implies, that you have earned through the quality of your product or service.
It is a form of content that gets shared across different social platforms. It provides a wide reach to the content as it is shared across different platforms, and an opportunity to engage and interact on the content.
In the internet world, it is imperative that a company has a good reputation as it is a major influencing factor in online trade or e-commerce. It paves the way for the company to project itself as it is and helps in accumulating more and more customers along the way. If a company has a good reputation, it potentially could make a lot of sales.