Are you working on ways to improve how customers see your brand online? You should be, and Online Reputation Management (ORM) can help.
What is Online Reputation Management?
ORM is a process of managing and maintaining the public perception of a brand - their online reputation. With a majority of consumers turning to the internet to help with purchasing decisions or finding goods/services, it's important that your brand maintains a positive online reputation.
Before I dive into ways you can utilize an ORM, we should take a look at the four forms of media that contribute to your online reputation.
OWNED MEDIA = any media you control
PAID MEDIA = requires payment to feature your brand
EARNED MEDIA = coverage your brand receives from third-parties (without payment)
SHARED MEDIA = content about your brand posted to social media
With an array of media outlets, where little fires can happen, it's important to maintain your brand’s online reputation so you don't lose control and let little fires spread. Almost 60% of US consumers would stop doing business with brands they find untrustworthy. If you’re ignoring your online presence, your reputation could be defined by what others are saying and, in turn, impact sales.
How do you manage your online reputation?
1. Audit your online presence.
Find out how your customers view and talk about your brand online. Do this by reviewing your website, social media profiles, and any third-party business profiles (Yelp, Google, etc).
2. Create communication guidelines.
Decide how you’re going to respond to reviews and comments by creating communication guidelines that offer a unified voice. Then outline an internal plan so team members know how to handle public responses and address @mentions via social media. Lastly, decide how mentions/reviews should be prioritized via urgency.
3. Encourage online customer reviews.
By asking your customers to leave honest reviews, you increase your online visibility and you can address any issues which will help your online reputation.
If the review is negative, you’ll want to nip it in the bud. Remember, the earlier you resolve an issue, the less chance it has to spiral. In fact, it takes just one negative review to dissuade 22% of customers from buying a business’s product and the number drastically increases with four or more negative reviews. While responding, remember to remain courteous and acknowledge the mistake (if your business is at fault). Make sure you don’t move the discussion to a private message or email. Keeping it public shows other customers that you care about their opinions. The only exception to this is if sensitive customer information is involved. Once the issue has been resolved, reach out to the customer and ask if they could edit their review to reflect this.
4. Push negative reviews further down in search rankings.
Not every negative review can be resolved, but you can try to have your content ranked above them. Promote positive content (testimonials and reviews) prominently on your website, partner with industry influencers to promote your content, and share positive reviews on your social media profiles (make sure to ask permission and @mention the reviewer).
Online Reputation Management is an ongoing process so make sure you’re keeping tabs on the content your brand is sharing and what others are saying. Stay honest, reliable, and engaged to help strengthen the positive image your brand has worked hard to build.
Jessica is the Art Director at PromoCorner and has been in the promotional products industry since 2010. With a degree in Graphic Design, she has been working in Marketing since 2006 creating advertising of all sizes; from social posts to billboards. Jessica shares her passion for design in her monthly blog, Designer Patch. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org