Have you ever tried googling yourself? What have you seen? Are you represented fairly?
That’s what Online Reputation Management (ORM) is here for: taking control over your online conversation with others. For brands online reputation decides how others perceive your business when they search for your brand or stumble upon it online.
All in all, it’s a mixture of strategies and techniques used to ensure that people discover the right and appropriate information about you. However, just an online presence is not enough; constant communication and engagement is key to a successful management of your brand reputation. This engagement can have a significant impact on your sales and business. Your online reputation doesn’t need to be left up to chance.
In an era dominated by social media, your brand’s reputation is even more at stake. In the past, communication between companies and its customers had been rather passive and static. Nowadays, with the growth spurt of social media, websites are no longer static brochures: user generated content is a must and constant engagement with your audience on social media is key.
You could break down this into countless subpoints on how to manage your ORM, but mainly, there are two central principals you must follow:
Firstly, by monitoring, I mean getting to know what your customers, influencers and competitors say about your brand. This includes ratings or reviews across a wide range of online platforms such as social media, search engines and review websites.
Secondly, take active measures to develop a positive brand identity by being receptive to positive as well as negative feedback. That means addressing issues and concerns left by customers in a polite and friendly manner. Even better, customers feel more assured when you address them personally, because that shows you are listening and are trying your best to provide a solution. When handled well, these types of interactions could potentially build more rapport and trust between you and your customer.
Build on your positive feedback. Just as you shouldn’t ignore criticism regarding your products, it is beneficial to respond to positive feedback as well. It shows that you genuinely appreciate the feedback and it will further strengthen your rapport. Moreover, not only will you reward customers for saying nice things, you’ll encourage others to do the same. Encouraging positive feedback will eventually enhance your online brand reputation.
Customers now have a platform that enables them to state their opinions and allows other people to see and respond to their comments. Your brand’s reputation affects the business directly. People won’t buy your products if they don’t feel they can trust you. Or worse, if they feel that others don’t trust you.
Having a ‘’transparency’’ policy will allow a company to handle both positive feedback and criticism effectively, as long as it embraces ORM and learns how to work with it. Being transparent means allowing your employees to talk about your products and services publicly, engaging publicly with negative criticism and feedback, building up on your positive feedback, whilst establishing and maintaining a close communication channel with your audience. When implemented well, ORM can become a significant boost for brands, increasing sales and directly impacting the revenue.