Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the practice of crafting strategies that shape or influence the public perception of an organization, individual or other entity on the Internet. It helps drive public opinion about a business and its products and services. A negative feedback or review can cost a business. No matter the remark is real or cooked up, the results will definitely affect the branding, reputation and upcoming ventures.
Today, the world is completely dependent on the internet. The content available online in the form of articles, blogs and news are equipped with several reviews and surveys related to the products and services. Every buyer likes to explore such content before making a purchase. Emails, social networking sites and forums are the efficient mediums through which the users share information or data instantly across the regions. It hardly takes a few minutes to spread any good or bad remark online as all such mediums are accessible to the users. Thus, a doctored criticism can tarnish the company’s image overnight. Online Reputation Management (ORM) is an effective marketing strategy that treats the company’s blurred image and discards negative reviews provided for the products and services.
Here are five latest strategies used in ORM:
- Content Publishing
The first strategy must brush off all the cynical published content that is given online. Replace the cynical content by original, positive and user-based content. Mention users’ needs, demands and their spoken words in the content. Social media, forums and emails are efficient mediums to know the customers’ views individually. If negative results are shown on Google for your brand’s name, get it removed and hide it by posting positive comments. Try to clear the doubts and the complaints of your customers readily by showing regular engagement. This will not only create positive impact but will strengthen belief on your brand.
- Quick, Polite and Apologetic Responses
‘Pulling someone back might possibly gain you a step ahead’. In the arena of cut-throat competition, such logics are often practiced to pull the toppers down. Your business may be the victim of negative publishing. React immediately, but be very polite, and be diplomatic in answering or handling the complaints. Talk to customers or engage them into conference over the phone or web chatting, and try to understand what has gone wrong from your end. Search for illegal and cooked up criticism and bring them in front of the consumers. If you or your company messes up, fails or otherwise does something wrong, own it up and make a genuine apology to those who have been affected. Avoid errors in your content being shown to the customers as this portrays a bad impression on the viewer.
- Identification of the Influencers
There are ‘influencers’, who divert the traffic towards or away from the business. They publish high quantity of cynical content such as blogs, articles, reviews, and are also active on forums. In such cases, search for negative influencers, and circulate the positive press releases along with other online content. Furthermore, start pushing down the negative keywords and links on the search engines. Before any negativity marks your business down, the ORM firms keep publishing authentic, informative and user oriented content related to your company, products and services on daily, weekly and fortnightly basis.
- Use of Monitoring Tools
One must use tools to maintain the credibility of your brand and spread the good vibes about your business or brand. Given below are some commonly used tools that can help in improving your ORM on different platforms.
- Google Alerts
To know about all the web pages where your brand is being mentioned, this tool can be your best friend. One can easily track web pages, blogs, forums etc., with this tool. You can set up alerts for any search terms you want, such as the name of your company or specify the types of results you want and how often. It is the best tool that can notify people about their business related activities that could concern them.
b. Twitter Search
People usually mention your name or business name with or without hashtags on twitter. To keep updated with the usage of your business name, it becomes really important to use this incredible tool. The beauty of twitter tool is that it provides information like date, time, links, accounts, sentiments etc. to give you a broader picture. To maintain your ORM on social media, one must use it.
c. Social Mention
It is basically the social media version of Google alerts. Social Mention tracks about 80 social media sites that include Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. One advantage of this application is that it is absolutely free.
- Don’t Get Into Online Arguments
It’s very easy to get sucked into this — but even if you’re technically right, you might lose out overall by just coming across as petty, harsh or unprofessional. Worse yet, you might actually be wrong… and once you get emotionally riled up, you could end up saying and doing things that damage your reputation. The best approach is to diffuse situations and take communications offline to try to reconcile. Be nicer in your online interactions than you even think you need to be. Your professional responses may win more customers than being “right” in an online disagreement. Always avoid minutest of errors as this can lead to a bad reputation of the company or your brand as a whole. Being real and transparent in apologizing can go far towards diffusing a situation and moving the process along toward reconciliation or, at least, toward making a crisis situation come to a close.