Online reputation management (ORM) takes dedicated time and a great strategy to help mold and monitor what is being said about you and your business online.
With the growth of the internet over the last few decades, reputation management is becoming increasingly important. Just because you run a great business doesn’t mean that your reputation online will follow suit.
Having a positive reputation online takes work; this is where brand defender teams and online reputation management specialists come into play.
This article will take you through practical ways for your business to manage its online reputation alongside different reputation management services and if it is worth hiring one.
Effective Online Repuation Management Techniques
1. Perform an Audit of Your Reputation
One of the first steps to finding effective online reputation management strategies is auditing your reputation. Divulging what is going well and what needs improvement is vital to developing a solid strategy.
Start by looking at your Google search results. When consumers are in the first stage of the buying process, they do a lot of research. This includes googling products and businesses to see which is the best for them to buy from.
If a potential customer Google’s your name, the SERP should be flooded with positive information, videos, and reviews to help them in their buying decision.
Alongside the SERP for your business, think about other keywords that might be helpful for your business, like what products you are selling and other more generic keywords.
Audit your social media sites, and consider how to improve them. Also, ask yourself important questions like who is your target audience and where they are looking on the internet. Where do they go for information? Social media may be your greatest asset if your audience is a younger demographic.
Be sure to look over any review sites while you are doing an audit on your online reputation. A few negative reviews can add validity to your brand, but many negative reviews could be a bad sign. Address any negative feedback and find ways to improve so more positive reviews are published.
These are just a few things you can do to audit your online reputation. You can also use tools to help you audit your website and analytics software to gather essential data insights into how people view your brand.
Auditing can take a lot of time. However, it’s essential to create effective online reputation management strategies. If you feel overwhelmed with this task, consider hiring a service to help.
Our team of brand defenders is experienced and ready to help with any reputation management needs; from start to finish, our team of experts knows how to help your brand.
2. Develop an ORM strategy
After conducting an in-depth audit of your reputation online, you can begin strategizing what your brand needs the most help with.
This step can be overwhelming, but remember, reputation management is a process; it’s more like running a marathon instead of a sprint.
Taking small steps consistently is better than dumping a lot into online reputation all at once and then not looking at it again. There are a few factors you can focus on first after you have completed your audit.
Identifying your online reputation management goals is a significant first step to creating a solid strategy.
Decide what needs to be done first, what is urgent and non-urgent, and move forward. As you prioritize action items, think about what you have access to, as this will be much easier to begin working on because it’s in your control.
Once you have established goals and defined priorities, then you can focus on what tone of voice you want your brand to establish. These three things are a great way to start your strategy as you begin responding to reviews or comments and publishing content that will help your reputation online.
3. Monitor Brand Mentions
Do you know you can set up services to help you manage your brand mentions efficiently? Free services like Google Alerts will tell you when your brand is mentioned online.
Google Alerts will email you whenever your brand has a new mention online, whether it’s a new review or a third-party article published.
There are also ways to change settings so you can focus on harmful online content or have everything filtered through to your email, so you know what is being said about your business online.
Being proactive when negative news or reviews hit can help you in your reputation efforts. When you respond and act on these brand mentions, you can better define your brand and establish credibility for your online presence.
4. Use SEO To Help Improve Your SERP
Monitoring the search results for your branded keywords is extremely important. Without a little bit of SEO magic, ranking on any search engine results will be hard.
SEO, or search engine optimization, takes time to learn and understand. Our team of brand defenders are experts in SEO and online reputation management. With years of experience, we can best help clients find the right keywords, rank on search engines, and optimize internal and external content to best help their brand.
Finding the right keywords is the first step in SEO. You can try to define these branded keywords yourself, but many helpful tools scour the internet to help you find what keywords will rank best.
Once you have established the right keywords and their volume, you should implement them into your blogs, external content, videos, and more. Appropriately using keywords will allow Google to recognize them in content and sort it correctly on the search engine.
If SEO seems overwhelming and complicated to you, try learning a few basics to start and if you need help, hire a team of professionals, like our team of brand defenders, to help.
5. Gather and Encourage Positive Reviews Online
Reviews are a great way to help boost your presence online, but negative reviews circulating the internet can also be a significant detriment.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, people are more likely to publish negative reviews and bad experiences online than they are positive reviews. So it takes a little more creativity and strategy to gather positive reviews.
However, developing incentives through marketing strategies to boost the number of reviews your customers are leaving will benefit your online reputation greatly, as most potential customers read multiple reviews before buying a product or service.
Setting aside time and resources to encourage and gather positive reviews will be an excellent investment for your online reputation and business.
6. Manage Negative Reviews
As crucial as gathering positive reviews is managing negative reviews. There are many review sites, and anyone can publish a negative review online.
As mentioned above, it’s more common to publish a negative review than a positive one, so monitoring what is being said and how to resolve someone’s concern is critical.
A few things you can do to monitor these negative reviews is setting up alert systems, so you are aware when something negative is said. Also, you can respond to these negative reviews.
However, be sure to be kind and address the individual’s concern instead of being defensive and attacking them for leaving a negative review. Whether their review is true or not, always be professional and work to help resolve the issue instead of making it worse.
If you start an argument online by responding to reviews, it will hurt your online reputation.
7. Generate Content That is Always On-Brand
A lot goes into branding, and when it comes to reputation management, we aren’t necessarily focusing on your brand’s appearance and aesthetic.
Although that is important when it comes to ORM, the overall tone of voice and being consistent with messages are essential.
The content that your potential customers stumble upon on search results and through social media will ultimately establish their perception of your brand.
Being consistent across multiple platforms and in blogs and internal marketing content allows you to shape your customers’ thoughts of your brand and business. Having a solid strategy most definitely helps with this.
Overall, when it comes to ORM, consistency is vital. Being consistent with your work to manage your reputation online will ultimately help shape your perception online and allow you to insolate your brand so you can combat any negativity that may come your way.
This article is a basic overview of some simple things you can do to begin effectively managing your online reputation. However, if you want a more in-depth professional strategy for ORM, talk with our brand defender specialists today and get the help you need to clean up and maintain your online reputation.