Over the years, different people have come up with different meanings to Online Reputation Management. With these different meanings, different misconceptions have popped up. Some feel it’s just social media monitoring while others are under the assumption that it has something to do with public relations.
In this article, I’m going to talk about Online Reputation Management and the steps to take to manage your brand name in today’s business and media landscape.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online Reputation Management(ORM) deals with the monitoring of the reputation of a brand or an individual on the internet.
You would be involved in maintaining your company’s brand in the online community like the search engines, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, blogs, forums and more. [Tweet “Most of Reputation Management is focused on pushing down negative search results.”]
Your Online Reputation Management can be done in three main steps.
Monitoring Your Brand’s Reputation (Brand Management)
As the owner of a brand, you have to know what is happening to your brand. Know the people that are talking about it, know what their opinion is about it and much more.
A lot of brands do not take the time to know whether they are getting negative reviews or positive ones. These influences the behavior of visitors as a person who sees a brand with bad reputation would try to avoid it
Listed below are a couple of tools, that can be used to monitor your brand online.
This is the go-to guy when it comes to monitoring your brand or your reputation. You can track the mentions of your brands name across search engine web result, news, blogs and so on.
This is by far the most efficient way to track your Brands mentions. After setting up, you can receive notifications via email and set the frequency with which you want to receive the alert. Did I mention that it is Free 😀
Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms and they have a search box with which you can search for mentions of your brand. With Twitter Advanced search, you can streamline the data you want to receive by dates, location, etc.
Mentions is one of the favorite tools of Reputation Management Specialists. It provides a way by which you can visualize and monitor your online presence. Mention currently monitors millions of sources and gives you the additional advantage of being able to react and interact. Mention offers a 14-day free trial, and then a variety of plans from which to choose.
With Talkwalker, you can set up a search query for the keyword or phrase you want to monitor. Streamline the result by result type, language and more. You get reports of your brand mention together with the sources where these mentions occur.
Protecting your Brand’s Reputation
[Tweet “When factors like your name, your company, your brand, your products and more are connected to brand reputation, it usually leads to a swift decline in trust and your leads and sales would reduce.”]
We are going to be looking at how to protect your brand from bad reputation and the tools that can make it easier
The easiest and fastest way to increase your brand’s visibility and reputation is to build it. Yes, I know that sounds like a corny one-liner, but it is the truth.
[Tweet “Start building your brand by securing your brand’s social media usernames”]. There are tools that can help you track this, but my favorite is Knowem. With Knowem, you would be able to find out which social media sites your brand has not been registered on. Their paid version even adds a lot more options.
Registering on the sites that are shown to you increases the chances of you filling up your brand’s search engine rank position so create and manage public profiles yourself
There are some key Social Media Accounts that you MUST have.
You can also prevent other sites that have bad reviews about you from showing up in the search engine when your brand is searched for by getting a blog and maintaining it.
With this blog, you are able to talk a lot about yourself and even combat any published bad reputation site. Other advantages to having a blog include the ability to publish articles about the company, provide an avenue for your customers to know you more, promote products and services.
Actively commenting in articles, forums and social media also helps.
Clean Up (Damage Control)
If it so happens that you currently have a very bad reputation online and a search for your brand on the internet brings mostly results that paint you in a bad light, it’s time for damage control. Below are a couple of steps you can take.
- Get in touch with the owner site on which you have a bad reputation post or article and ask them to take it down (Being nice about it would go a long way).
- Ask Google to de-index it if you are able to find anything in the page that goes against Google’s guidelines.
- Hire an ORM consultant
If by any chance, the options above do not work for you, it’s time to open the flood gates.
Remember those social media profiles you got using Knowem? It’s time to put them to use. Start registering on them and establish your presence on each of them.
Start a blog and make sure you link the blog to those social media accounts and your website.
The basics of Online Reputation Management involves social monitoring, online PR, social media content promotion and more, all with the purpose of getting all the possible ‘real estate accounts’ for your brand.
Interestingly, most people think an Online Reputation Management Consultant is only required when their brand has reached the cleaning stage i.e. when the damage has been done. Ideally, it is about establishing your brand’s online foundations and increasing visibility.
If you have not registered your name in the Social Media sites I mentioned previously, you should do that now.
Get a blog for your brand and link it with your website and your social accounts.
Participate in forums and other communities and monitor mentions of your brand.
If you have other ways by which a company’s individual’s brand name can be monitored, drop a comment 🙂