GUIDE TO ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT(ORM)
Online reputation management can be defined as the total of all the techniques and strategies at your disposal that you can employ to have a positive impact of your organization, brand, product or service in the digital world.
In this era of digital expansion, the online reputation of your product, brand or service can be measured by the first 50-75 topics that come up in search engine results pages(SERP) relating to your brand. The pages, comments, reviews, and percentage of recommendations give us a fair idea of the perception of your product or service in the digital market. That perception is the online reputation of your brand.
Online marketing has huge potential presently. Its importance will only augment in the coming years. Today, any purchasing decision is propelled by the reviews that we can find online about a product or service. Therefore a positive online reputation is an absolute prerequisite for your brand whether you are a manufacturer or a service provider.
Online reputation is your goodwill in the digital world. For any online business irrespective of nature, goodwill generation/online reputation should be the number one priority. When you have a positive impact on people, your online reputation rises. As a result, your revenues automatically rise.
Why is online reputation important?
Online reputation is the sole element that can make or break your business. It gives you a far wider reach, visibility and, popularity among the online community. Whether you like it or you don’t, your brand will always have an online presence in today’s time. There will be reviews of your brand out there on the internet. The main aim should be to strive for positive reviews and address negative feedback. If ignored can prove to be detrimental to the online reputation of your company or organization.
An online presence can prove to be a boon as well as a bane, depending on the way you approach the marketing of your product or service and the online reputation of your business. Social media handles ensure that you are ever-present in the digital space. Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google Reviews, Reddit, Quora and, other social media platforms are a goldmine for your product or service.
Online reputation management is the sagacious use of all these platforms to leverage the maximum benefits that these platforms can provide for the reputation of your product or service.
Having your digital footprints has its fair share of risks and issues if not dealt with properly.
There is no set rule for reviewing a product or service. On top of it, the advantage of anonymity can provide users with the ability to provide false information about your brand. The smear of a large scale negative campaign is hard to recover from. So, it is imperative to take important precautionary as well as pre-emptive measures to prevent misleading news that can harm our online reputation.
One negative feedback has a greater impact on online reputation than one positive feedback. It is because people in general, are wary when making purchasing decisions, mostly applicable in the case of durable. They are long term investments and people tread carefully before making such a lump-sum investment.
Online reputation management strives to correct the wrongs as well as provide authentic information out to the public.
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Hereby is a list of 12 key points for online reputation management that can yield great results in the long run
- Active social media presence
What happens a lot of times is that we market our product and service during the initial phase of business and then don’t follow up. That can prove to be disastrous for the online reputation of your business. Sign up with as many popular social platforms that you can. Give your personal touch to the answers to reviews that come up. Treat all reviews equally whether they are negative or positive. Keep a friendly tone while addressing the negative reviews as well. Thank people for the positive reviews.
A corollary of the first point, make sure to engage with your customers for a positive online reputation. Ask them for reviews and recommendations if any. That can improve online reputation to a large extent
Let me give you an example of a brand that hit the bull’s eye in regard to a positive online reputation.
An appliance manufacturer sent a friendly note along with the invoice asking a consumer to vote for them if the customer found their product useful. The whole process of reaching out with a note was innovative, tone of the message friendly.
The result: The consumer ended up giving them 5/5
A lot of times consumers do not find the time or the incentive to go ahead and make a positive review. Proper positioning and a sound online reputation strategy can go a long way in maintaining your online goodwill. In this case, it was the reaching out and engaging that worked wonders for the online reputation of the brand.
Transparency with regards to your brand, product or service should be given utmost importance in online reputation. Disseminate authentic information about your brand. Do not write content that feels like you are gloating about the product. Make a compelling sales copy. Do not provide wrongful statements. Be sure of your policies.
For instance, you have a no return policy subject to terms and conditions. Despite all the conditions been fulfilled, you are unable to go through with the return policy. This will only prove your irresponsible attitude towards your consumer. That step will invite a negative review. Make sure to reach out and explain your reasons.
- Be prompt
Make sure you are ready to face the challenges of unfavourable reviews coming your way. Do not sit on the problem. Instead, address it as soon as possible. Further delay can wreak absolute havoc on your online reputation. It takes time to build a favourable reputation but it takes a few minutes for your online reputation to experience a huge blow in case of a strongly negative review.
Complacency is one of the worst traits in online reputation. If you are smug and refuse to entertain negative reviews only because you are satisfied yourself with what you have given out to the consumer, you can say goodbye to your online reputation and business. Remember, the opinion of the consumers out there matters the most. They are your key to return on investment. Your sole aim should be to keep your customers happy which will, in turn, generate more leads and more customers resulting in profitable business.
- Try to identify the problems
Go through the issues that your buyers complain about. Think it through.
What is the problem here?
Why are people giving you negative reviews?
What changes can be made to alter the negative perception of your customers?
How can I improve my online reputation?
- Investigate negative reviews
Fraudulent reviews are as much a part of online reviews as are a genuine review of a product or service. Track the assessment and analyses of your product or service diligently across all the known mediums and inspect the criticism that comes in the way of your online reputation. Scrutinize the reports and make sure that they are telling the truth. Do not try to mould genuine negative reviews arising out of real issues into positive feedback. But, be circumspect, and dispel any wrong information that is disseminated about your product or service online.
Take strict measures against slanderers and go to the depth of the problem.
- Hire an online reputation consultant
It is important to recruit someone who knows the nitty-gritty of online business and online reputation management. A business should hire an online reputation consultant specifically to build a positive brand image in the online space. Online reputation consultants can provide their expertise and knowledge to give the desired push to your brand’s goodwill. Online reputation consultants are masters in their field and they can be very beneficial to your brand’s online reputation with their unique and innovative ideas.
- Monitor your reviews and publish relevant content
Keep an eye on the reviews your product is receiving. Improvise your former content and post specific relevant content for your brand, product or service, use search engine optimization techniques to have a favourable online reputation. That will help to display the newest reports in the SERP of any search engine. A consumer has a lot of questions about a product. They want to make an informed decision while making a purchase. Make sure that you clarify their doubts and answer truthfully to all the questions being asked. Honesty is highly valued in the digital marketing world. In a space where there is ample opportunity to falsely promote a brand, an honest approach of a business house can yield extremely positive results for your online reputation
- Post authentic reviews
Do not put out false information about your product or service out there. The digital world can be a ruthless place if a lie by an organization is caught. Moreover, a dishonest circulation of the specifics of a product can be very harmful for your online reputation leading to even a failed business venture. Make sure you post only authentic reviews and clear information.
- Word of Mouth
Just like it happens in the offline world, word of mouth plays a vital role in the online reputation of your product or service. Testimonials from people who have used your product, review episodes from influencers can have a very valuable impact on the online reputation of your products and services.
- Use analytics and metrics
It is imperative that you evolve both as a marketer and as a business entity when you have an online digital presence. Online reputation depends a lot on tracking your number of visits, the positive as well as the negative feedback, your overall rating. According to various studies consumers are never keen on investing in a product which has less than 4-4.1 review online. So, you can imagine how vital it is for your brand to have a higher rating.
- Keep your employees happy
This is perhaps one of the most vital things you can do to be successful at whatever business you are in. Your employees are your assets. Keep the content and give them incentives so that they are happy with the work they are doing. Their reviews on sites can make a great impact on your online reputation.
- Improve your SEO skills
The need for a strong search engine optimization(SEO) strategy cannot be emphasized enough. You will have to advance and constantly develop innovative techniques to impress the potential customers out there thereby attracting positive online reputation.
- Strive to build trust
Make efforts to build the trust factor in your consumers, leads and potential customers, especially in the case of new products. When you are launching your brand, it is imperative, that you employ various techniques to make a positive impact thereby improving your online reputation.
- The negativity surrounding viral videos/photos
Nowadays, videos/ photos can go viral within a matter of seconds. A defective product or a bad service when recorded and posted online can get a million hits in a matter of hours. Do not get disheartened by the negative impact of the viral content. Do your best to reach out to the concerned parties, explain and talk to them and have a crisis management team to take care of the online reputation. Make a video or publish content addressing the problem. Do not shy of apologizing. That can help you gain back the trust you just lost.
- Highlight the important specifics of your product or service
Online reputation is based on the way your product and service is perceived by your consumer. The attention span of a consumer/ potential customer is less. They do not want to go through pages and pages of elaborate descriptions of your products. Be precise and succinct, Highlight the main points of your product and service and highlight them so that your consumers can find what they are looking for.
There are many online reputation management tools available in the digital world that help you track your website’s performance, negative reviews, criticism. They are very convenient tools solely designed for the betterment of the performance of the business.
10 of the most important tools for online reputation management are as follows
Buzzsumo is one such online reputation management tool that helps you to explore and sift through the net for content that includes your search terms. It has a huge variety by which it can engage each of your search results.
Buzzsumo uses several filters to carry out its searches. Some of them are Dates, Language, Country, Word count, Nature of content, publisher.
Buzzsumo provides figures for engagement of various social platforms and discussion forums like FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, etc.
One of the main functions of online reputation management is to analyze and create a report on content.
Use buzzsumo to create alerts for
- your brand mentions
- competition mention
- website content
- keyword mentions that relate to your content
In today’s age of social media, we are forever swamped with new content that goes viral and trend. Buzzsumo gives idea about the latest trending topics from social media platforms, articles from websites, and blogs.
It also allows you to draw comparisons between your competitors and yourself and make changes to increase online reputation.
Buzzsumo is a great platform to get information about influencers. They can help further your business by giving it the required boost.
Reputology, as the name suggests is an online reputation management tool that uses different metrics to build and protect the reputation of your business, brand, product, and service. It can find, track and then monitor reviews from all over the internet. People dealing in niche businesses can make great use of Reputology.
For Instance, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Facebook, etc.
One of the main characteristics of reputology is that it is location-specific. It delivers all of the reviews from different locations and incorporates them in on platform for you to have a closer look at the metrics. You can respond from that same platform as well.
Some key traits of Reputology that makes it one of the best online reputation management tools are the following:
- It guides you to successfully handle negative reviews.
- assists in tracking how your team is working
- retrieves information from specific niche industry sites like healthcare, fitness, hospitality, dining and gathers data, analyzes them and provides you with the report.
- One of the key features of Reputology is it converts negative reviews into customer support tickets. E.G. Personalised E-mail
What are Customer Support tickets?
To provide proper communication between customers and the company, the support staff from such online reputation management tools provide a form to the customer from their website with a unique code, number or ID. Every time a customer’s query has been replied to, the status of the ticket changes but it remains open.
All messages are carried out with the same unique code. That way, it is easy to identify customers and solve their doubts and worries no matter how busy the company staff is. In this way, there is clear clarity and communication between your customer and your business. There is no room for any ambiguity. Your online reputation gets a major boost this way.
- Google alerts
Google Alerts is a free online reputation management tool that allows you to see how your organization or brand is performing in the simplest manner possible. It requires you to set up an email notification for new SERP results based on your choice. You can set alerts for your brand or whenever your product or service terms are mentioned.
For instance, your company name can be entered as the keyword for obtaining results. Google Alerts notify you through email about your mentions based on your choice and preferences.
Google’s database is enormous. Therefore, google alerts can help to track a wide range of topics that are relevant to you and your company.
Google alerts can help you o track your company, yourself, your employees, your brand, product, and also specific searches.
Specific Search in online reputation parlance are those words which are systematically arranged in a phrase rather than the ransom set of keywords that are used to monitor and research a particular subject. The phrase search should always be in quotation marks.
- Social mention
Social mention is probably one of the most popular online reputation management tools used to build a reputation and analyze opinions. it combs all prominent social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Quora, etc.
It provides the following information for better results and improvement.
Strength: It gives an idea about the mention of your brand on social media. It calculates how much you are mentioned by dividing the number of mentions the past day to the number of possible mentions. It arrives at a percentage and thus reports as to how your product is faring in the online world.
Sentiments: Brings up mentions from the last day and calculates a ratio between negative and positive mentions. It also gives an idea about neutral sentiments and you can analyze your reports and turn the neutral mentions into positive perceptions. Remember Neutral mentions aren’t a bad thing at all. It merely indicates that they are discussed.
Passion: Analyses how strong passionately people mention your product or brand, how many times they mention it. You can monitor the reports and conclude as to how your product impacts the consumers in social media.
Reach: Measures your impression on social media users. If your product has high reach as well as high passion then the trend is favourable for you. In cases where your product has high passion but low reach, you need to re-evaluate and promote your brand more, to reach a wider spectrum of people. The wider your reach, the more influence and impact will you have on the market.
Social Media has completely revolutionalized the methods of business. Marketers now can analyze, research crucial information related to their product and service in real-time. Since social mention picks up search and analyses in real-time marketers can respond to the metrics immediately thereby instantly making positive changes to their online reputation.
Some additional benefits of Social mention are:
- Identifies the correct audience
- Monitors reputation keenly and gives the most accurate results
- covers mention from across the web
- Gains valuable customer insights that can help the business is a great way
Social mention is convenient to use
Go to the site
Enter your brand name
Select from the different options given( Blog, Microblog, Bookmark, Images, Questions, etc) or choose ALL and press Search.
You will get authentic results and report from every source.
Mention is one online reputation management tool that searches all the web including review sites, blogs and more than 60 platforms including social media to analyze reports and present to you your mentions. They do it in real-time and you can react and respond immediately.
- It tracks brand awareness, sentiment and goodwill of not just your brand but also that of competitors, thus providing you with the most effective and relevant results.
- Helps in preparing and dealing with crisis management in a lot more convenient manner.
- Gives you the author or consumer/customer details. For instance, when your product is mentioned in a social platform like facebook or twitter it will give you the details of the bio of the author. Thereby you know about the person mentioning your product.
- They have all formats for PC android and ios and their app alerts you with a notification every time you are mentioned. So you are never lagging.
- They highlight priority sites and relegate the irrelevant sites to the background and stops alerts from such sites.
- Sifts negative from positive reviews so that you can identify your weaknesses and work towards correcting them
- The Brand Grader
The Brand Grader is one of the most useful tools to measure the performance of your brand online. It is a free tool and can be used extensively for audits and analyses of brands for online reputation. The user interface is simple and easy to navigate through. All you have to do is type in a brand name, whether your own or your competition and thereby get results.
Some of the key areas covered are as follows
- Identifying biggest web influencers
- analyzing and reporting on top sources
- Assessing sentiments
- followers on social media platforms
You can download Reports and share across various social media sites. You can also post and embed Graphs and graphic representations of the results on your website page. It can help build and consolidate the reputation of your product or service.
Similarweb is another popular online reputation tool that provides you with information about your business as well as the businesses in your niche. It assesses results from competitors as well and helps in optimizing your reputation and effectiveness in the digital space.
Similarweb is a tool that gives you information about any application as well. It identifies and lists the new competition in your niche as well as the latest trends. Thus, becomes easier to optimize your site using the information.
The tool helps in detecting traffic and engagement for all sites and picks up consumer trends and intent thereby providing you with enough data to make a proper marketing strategy and strengthen your brand.
- It is an important paid online reputation tool that searches and scans millions of websites, public forums, news sites to bring you comprehensive data about your business.
- They provide valuable insights from executives, sentiment analysis and report and broad coverage of all blog and social media platforms.
- has a free trial period for you as well after which you are asked to pay for continuing the use of Trackur.
Ubervu is among the top online reputation tools for social media advertisers. They delve into a particular brand’s entire social networking information and give insights to customer sentiment, influencers., stories and trends of your product or service.
Ubervu is a paid tool. It has one of the most hassle-free user interfaces and can be set up and implemented quite easily. They have a distinctive feature of collaborating with your colleagues, providing real-time research and analysis that you can benefit from. Ubervu is in direct administration with Facebook and Twitter.
They have a free trial period for clients and help them in setting up their account fully.
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- Reputation Defender
Reputation Defender is one of the most used and most popular online reputation management tools. As a result, that can help your reputation as well as the reputation of your brand. It has specific features that specialize in SEO related topics. Reputation defender can get you access to some of the best range of SEO practice that it offers.
It is a paid tool for online reputation management and can help strengthen your reputation in the digital world.
Reputation defender tracks your popularity, offers an all-inclusive set of solutions that help to monitor, correct and maximize your online reputation.
It hosts a variety of services like surveys, online reviews, brand listing, operational changes to yield maximum results.
Reputation Defender offers a variety of niche services. Bug business houses and big enterprises benefit immensely from this tool. It gives business houses the opportunity of a social environment where they can interact with their consumers and can help them make decisions regarding the purchase of a product and the use of services from them.
There are several other tools that you can use to track your growth in the online world, manage your online reputation and become a leader in your niche.
- Visible online reputation
Important Tip for Online reputation management
Remember, you are omnipresent in the digital universe. Your brand, product or service is constantly under scrutiny in the vast world of the world wide web. You have to evolve and make the best use of all opportunities that come your way to sustain your online reputation.
There are so many tools and techniques available to help you make the right decisions with respect to online reputation. Be sincere and attentive to the consumers’ needs, tastes, preferences, and choices. The success in a thriving online business is to take the utmost care in providing your consumers with the best product and service at your disposal.