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What Is Online Reputation Management?

what-is-online-reputation-management?

It is a well-known fact that a brand’s reputation plays a crucial role in achieving success.

However, only a few brands take the time to figure out how to build and manage a reputation effectively. This is especially true when it comes to the uncontrollable nature of the internet.

The good news is that online reputation management is designed to do just that. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Online Reputation Management?

For starters, online reputation management is usually reactive, whereas public relations tend to be proactive. Public relations is generally outsourced to a dedicated agency, whereas online reputation management is traditionally conducted in-house but can be aided with input from an online reputation management consultancy service, should a business feel this is necessary.

Why Is Online Reputation Management Important?

Now that you have a better idea of online reputation management, let’s dive into why it’s essential by discussing online reviews, customer feedback, and viral incidents.

Positive Reviews Boost Your Online Presence

The importance of customer reviews on a Google My Business page cannot be overstated, especially from the perspective of an online reputation management consultancy. These reviews are not only evident in Google search results, but they are also integral to a comprehensive online reputation management strategy. It’s easy to overlook these reviews’ substantial impact on a brand’s image, where negative feedback can be particularly detrimental.

For a good reputation, reviews are indispensable. Consumers often equate the credibility of online reviews with word-of-mouth recommendations. This is evident in their shopping behavior, where they favor local businesses with high ratings and are less inclined towards those with negative thoughts.

The role of an online reputation management consultancy becomes crucial in this context. Managing online reviews is a critical component of effective online reputation management. The consultancy’s expertise in this area is vital for navigating the complexities of customer feedback and maintaining a positive brand image in the digital marketplace.

Customer Feedback

While it’s easy to automatically discount bad reviews in your small business’s search engine results and scramble to rehab your online image, they can be a valuable source of customer feedback.

You can then use the information you learn from this feedback to make meaningful changes in your customer experience and online reputation management campaign so that you can prevent more negative reviews from being left based on these same issues in the future.

For example, you see several similar comments in an online conversation about a defective feature on one of your products. You can then take steps to address the faulty part in the product and ensure that future orders are working correctly.

Viral Incidents

We’ve all seen viral incidents on business owners’ social media profiles that can cause a brand’s reputation to take a huge hit and leave them looking for a reputation management company.

For example, in 2017, a video concerning a customer’s negative experience with United Airlines went viral on social networks with more than 100 million views. As a result of this viral video, United Airlines lost over $1 billion in market value and had to work with online reputation management service providers to recover.

Predicting what will go viral in real-time and what won’t is impossible. However, it’s not impossible to assume that a negative viral issue involving your brand will negatively impact your brand’s reputation and end up on the first page of search results — resulting in lost potential customers and revenue that’s not easy to recover.

Who Needs Online Reputation Management?

Sure, online reputation management is essential, but is it necessary for everyone? As it turns out, all businesses could benefit from practicing online reputation management. However, online reputation management is critical for e-commerce companies that operate entirely online.

When you think about it, online reputation management is essential for companies operating online. This is because e-commerce customers base their purchasing decisions solely on what they see online. So, if they see a negative review or something else that gives them pause, that could quickly turn them off and cause them to take their business elsewhere.

What Are the Different Aspects of Online Reputation Management?

No matter what type of business or industry you operate in, you need to know four different aspects of online reputation management: owned media, earned media, shared media, and paid media. Here’s what you need to know about each of these critical aspects.

Owned Media

Owned media includes media sources that you own or control. Some examples of owned media include your brand’s website, online blog, and pages on third-party websites like Amazon. It’s essential to take advantage of the level of messaging control offered by owned media to put your best face forward in your digital marketing efforts.

For example, suppose you can promote your brand’s website designed to be as positive as possible on search engines like Google using search engine optimization efforts. In that case, you can better promote a positive online reputation since that’s what people initially see when they search for related keywords and products.

In addition, you can also post positive content on other media channels, including Linkedin and your social media marketing pages, to boost your ORM strategy.

Earned Media

Earned media includes coverage made from third-party platforms. Some examples of earned media include press coverage, articles, blog posts on other websites, review sites like Google and Yelp, and forums like Reddit and Quora.

While using owned media in search engine optimization is essential, you must also use earned media. Search engine algorithms scan the entire web for mentions and links. The more positive information that’s out there about your brand and your products, the better your online reputation will be.

Shared Media

Shared media includes media sources between your brand and other individuals. Some examples of shared media include social media accounts on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Depending on the specific platform, you can still control some aspects of your brand’s reputation. At the same time, you don’t want to be a brand known for blocking people or deleting negative reviews. Instead, focus on the things you can control and work to create a brand and products that people want to rave about on social media.

Paid Media

Paid media includes media sources that you pay for. Some examples of paid media include digital advertising on platforms like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and more. There are countless forms of paid media you can use to promote your business, including but not limited to display ads, native ads, search ads, and video ads.

Paid media is another excellent way to boost your online reputation since you have complete control over the content in your advertisement. In your promotions, you need to present value, include a clear call to action, present social proof, and feature engaging visuals to drive viewers to complete your call to action, whether it be to sign up for your email newsletters, follow you on social media, or purchase a specific product.

Tips for Online Reputation Management

Based on everything we’ve learned about online reputation management, let’s wrap up with some tips to help ensure that your online reputation remains as positive as possible.

Tip 1: Start With an Audit of Your Online Reputation

It’s always a good idea to begin your online reputation management efforts by auditing your online reputation. Performing an initial audit will provide you with a picture of your current online reputation and will act as a baseline for your future online reputation management efforts.

There are several tools available online to help you perform this initial audit. For example, some agencies will “grade your brand” based on online information. There are also complaint tools that will help you compile all complaints across several different websites.

Tip 2: Determine What You Want Your Online Reputation To Be

Based on your initial online reputation audit results, you will need to figure out what you want your online reputation to be. You should ask yourself what you want to be known for.

Do you want to be known for your knowledge and experience as an industry expert? Would you like to be known for your customer service? Do you want to be known for the quality and innovation of your products? There are no wrong answers here, but could you pick a specific area where you want to excel?

Tip 3: Provide a Foundation for a Positive Online Reputation With Owned Media

Next, you should provide a foundation for a positive online reputation using owned media. When you develop your own media sources, you must keep your desired online reputation.

For example, suppose you want to be known for your product quality and innovation. In that case, you should promote this area on your brand website and blog by showing how your product holds up and why it’s better than your competitors.

Tip 4: Supplement Your Online Reputation With Shared Media

From there, you should supplement your online reputation with shared media. These days, it’s essential for e-commerce brands to maintain a solid and engaging presence on popular social media platforms.

Post relevant and entertaining content on these platforms that appeals to your customer base. Also, ensure you’re engaging with your followers regarding comments, likes, shares, etc.

For example, suppose someone comments about a bad experience on one of your social media posts. In that case, it’s important to promptly respond to the commenter and address their issue since people can publicly view this comment and your response.

Tip 5: Promote Your Online Reputation With Paid Media

Additionally, you should promote your online reputation with paid media. Typically, it’s not enough to have a branded social media account. You should advertise on these platforms to reach your desired audience with appealing content.

Consider where your target customers spend their time and what they’d respond to in an advertisement. Then, work with advertising experts at agencies like MuteSix to design and develop tailored campaigns based on your target audience and goals.

Tip 6: Don’t Forget About SEO

With all this focus on social media, it’s easy to forget about search engines. However, search engines are still significant for e-commerce companies looking to promote their online reputations.

For the best possible SEO results, figure out your target keywords, update your website and product listings, and try to get your name and links on reputable third-party websites. All of these methods will help you boost your search engine ranking.

Tip 7: Ask Customers for Reviews

If you’re a new brand just getting started, you should focus on building your online reputation from scratch because having no reviews is just as much of a red flag as having negative thoughts. The best way to do this is to be proactive and ask your customers for a review — providing incentives if necessary.

Tip 8: Respond Appropriately to Negative Reviews

The only thing worse than having no reviews is having many negative reviews. At the same time, it’s important to note that having a negative review here or there isn’t the end of the world. Instead, what’s important is how you respond to these negative reviews. Make sure to respond to any negative reviews quickly while addressing the concerns stated in the study.

Tip 9: Provide Adequate Training to Employees

Providing adequate employee training is another way to manage your online reputation proactively. Doing this can help prevent negative reviews due to poor customer service. You can also give your employees the tools to build your online reputation through different media aspects and respond appropriately to negative reviews.

Tip 10: Consistently Monitor Your Online Reputation

Your online reputation isn’t something that you can address once and forget about. Instead, it needs constant monitoring to ensure you’re coming across positively.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to spend all day every day scouring the internet and social media platforms for mentions of your brand. Instead, set up alerts for words of your company and set aside time to review them frequently.

Final Thoughts on Online Reputation Management

As you can see, online reputation management involves everything from engaging social media advertising campaigns to excellent customer service. MuteSix can help create engaging and effective social media advertising campaigns thanks to our expertise in various platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Google.

Sources:

Online Reputation Management: Why You Should Use It and How to Get Started | Forbes

The Marketing Appeal of the PESO Model | The Business Journals

5 Tips for Effective Online Reputation Management | AllBusiness

 

Special thanks to our friends at MuteSix for their insights on this topic.
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