Online Reputation is the public perception of a person or company on the Internet. It is based on content — such as news, articles and media — and interactions — ratings, opinions and comments published on social networks, blogs and specialized websites. In this sense, Online Reputation Management (ORM) aims to evaluate, monitor and promote improvements in the brand image.
Online Reputation: what is it and how to evaluate it?
Online Reputation is the way in which the general public understands your brand and the feelings related to it in the different online channels and media. Similar content in search results, user reviews in social networks, publications in specialized sites and even articles published in news portals can be used as a “thermometer” to evaluate brand reputation.
This concept revolves around a well-known strategy in the market — social proof. Beyond testimonials and success stories, what this knowledge tells us is that the consumer has much more confidence in people’s opinions than in the company’s promotional actions. This means that the Online Reputation of brands is directly related to the opinion expressed by their audience — stakeholders, customers and influencers.
Modern consumer behaviour: what is the influence of online reputation on business success?
To better understand the influence of the public perception of a brand on the performance of a business, we need to investigate modern consumer buying behaviour.
If in the past people played a relatively passive role in business communication, today they act as true protagonists. The new consumer is not only up-to-date and consumes tons of information on a daily basis, but has never had so many tools at his disposal to protect himself from misleading products and services.
Advertising and propaganda are definitely no longer the lifeblood of business and the company that does not develop ways to gain the appreciation and trust of its audience may pay a high price for it.
The influence of the Internet on the purchasing process
It is not only Internet service providers and e-commerce that should be concerned about this, as statistics show that the tendency of the vast majority of people is to search for information on the Internet, even before making any purchases.
Instant searches for products and brands on search engines and comparison sites have become a key step in the purchasing process. This has even significantly changed the structure of websites and social networks. Platforms such as rating and review sections have become 100% commonplace on websites and online stores just like the classic “Like” on social networks.
People are proactive in seeking information to find out what other customers think about a company and its products before making any investment.
The positive impact of a good online reputation
Brands loved by the public sell more, that’s obvious. But the results of a good online reputation work go far beyond sales. In this sense, these companies also gain more authority in the market, have more collaborators, attract the attention of investors and, naturally, grow even more.
However, from the customers’ point of view, the return can be even more amazing. Whilst the modern consumer is more critical in their purchases, they are more willing to build a relationship with and even contribute to their favorite brands. In addition to having great loyalty rates, the companies “spoiled by the market” also get an army of propagators of their ideas.
Your customers actively interact on their social networks, participate in promotional campaigns and even defend your online reputation, responding to haters and possible attacks from competitors.
At the end of the day, the most admired brands are those that are interested in the universe of their audience. As you can see, knowing your audience and getting a good online positioning is fundamental for today’s business success.