Online reputation management (ORM) is an important part of how businesses interact with customers online. It is about actively monitoring, managing and improving how your business is perceived on the internet, which in turn affects how customers regard your brand. It’s a key factor that determines how successful you are at driving customer engagement, marketing and sales.
At the heart of online reputation management are optimising digital assets like websites, social media accounts, review pages, and even ads. It’s important to ensure that all of your digital properties are “current”, updated and aligned with how you want to be portrayed as a business and brand. This includes everything from how your website looks and functions, to how often you post and engage on social media platforms.
So how does online reputation management work? You can break down the process into four manageable steps:
1. Monitor Your Reputation
This is when all those @’s, hashtags, tweets, reels, and even the notorious Reddit threads come in. Monitoring in ORM involves tracking mentions of your brand across the web, from social media platforms to review sites and blog articles and taking notes of the drivers of those mentions, as well as monitoring how people are engaging with YOUR content.
Observe how your followers and customers respond to your posts. Are they enthusiastic? Do they express excitement towards your promos and product launches? Do they regularly comment positively about their experiences with your business? Do they relate to your posts and featured reviews? Are they tagging their friends on your posts?
Find opportunities for improvement such as making more valuable posts and blogs. Or better visuals and images. A more cohesive branding image and aesthetic will also help your business’s online presence look more professional and legitimate.
2. Respond to Negative Feedback
Once you’ve identified any potential issues, it’s important to address them as soon as possible. This could mean humbly responding to negative reviews, or handling customer complaints directly, and offering thoughtful and appropriate solutions.
Responding to negative feedback can quell some doubts or hesitations from potential customers when they see that your team makes an effort to correct mistakes or improve another customer’s experience. Businesses are run by humans, mistakes are unavoidable. But displaying accountability and humility can help your company show trustworthiness and professionalism, and at the same time, rouse curiosity and empathy from customers.
Avoid retaliating or using negative language to defend your business when confronted by some particularly volatile customers. Being condescending will always play to YOUR disadvantage, no matter what the situation is. You can draw boundaries, and request for private discussion to recount proof, but never be disrespectful or passive-aggressive towards negative feedback. In this era of screenshots and cancel culture, as some publicists would say: online is forever.
3. Make Positive Contacts
Aside from turning around negative feedback, you will also want to make sure you’re actively engaging with your customers in a positive way. These important strategies include thanking reviewers for their positive feedback, sharing content that will further educate them about your brand and encouraging them to become more involved with your online initiatives and communications.
One great tactic that is being used nowadays is resharing your customers’ gleaming posts about you. Your hashtags and handles are not for nought. Aside from encouraging tagging your business or using specific hashtags to enable your happy customers to spread the good word about you, you can also track these hashtags and repost materials such as public tweets, reels, and photos proving positive experiences from your customers. This is possibly one of the easiest and best ways to boost your online reputation and say thank you to your customers.
4. Develop Strategies for Repairing Your Reputation
If you ever find yourself in the difficult situation of needing to repair your reputation, there are several strategies you can use, such as developing a crisis communications/management plan, working on your brand image and launching campaigns to spread positive messages about your brand.
As with any strategy, it’s important to implement best practices when it comes to online reputation management. This means regularly monitoring what’s being said about your brand across the web, responding quickly and appropriately to customer feedback (both positive and negative) and consistently producing high-quality and high-value content that will further build trust with potential customers.
By managing how your business is perceived online more intentionally and making sure you’re taking the right steps to protect and improve your brand’s reputation, you can make sure that your customers have a positive view, and even experience, of your business. This will then manifest in increased customer engagement, better marketing performance and higher sales.
As you follow these steps, you will be well on your way to effectively managing your brand’s online reputation. Doing so can help you build trust with potential customers, drive more traffic to your website and ultimately increase conversions— all of which are key components for successful digital marketing campaigns. If these tips helped you understand ORM more, the good news is we have more informative articles about ORM and digital marketing on the horizon.
Hope you enjoyed the article. Sign up for free updates and content from myself! I hope you learned something valuable about online reputation management and will be implementing it as part of your overall digital strategy.