Online Reputation Management in the Age of Digital Communication
In times of digital communication, online reputation management (ORM) is just as much a company’s tool as advertising and flyers. Online reputation management refers to the monitoring and influencing of the reputation of a company or a product in the digital media.
This involves regularly starting search queries in search engines with the name of the company/ brand or product and then evaluating the search results. It is nice if you only find positive entries. However, if you find negative entries, you should consider how to get them out of the search results. Usually this works quite well with newly created content, which then displaces the old and negative entries.
There is an infinite amount of content on the Internet that almost all search engine users have access to. As a rule, you yourself have no influence on what information about you is displayed to your customers. Your company can be featured in rating portals, blogs, news outlets or on other websites, with or without your knowledge. It is up to you whether you let it control your reputation or not.
What you as an entrepreneur can do for your online reputation
In order to operate sustainable online reputation management, it is important that you recognize that it is an ongoing process. Reputation management gives you the opportunity to actively influence, protect and defend your company’s reputation. You must consistently and sustainably showcase the qualities of your company.
The range of forms of self-presentation on the Internet is enormous. You can present your company via a company website, even with your own blog. Or your company is mentioned in press releases or reports in Internet publications, up to various postings with pictures and videos in social networks.
For each medium that you use for your online reputation management, you should acquire basic knowledge. This is especially true for social networks. Before you choose a network for your business, you need to know which networks are used by your customers.
Companies are often concerned about their online reputation if they discover negative comments. Under certain circumstances, frequent negative comments can also damage your online reputation. This makes it all the more important that you react to negative comments. If you always signal a willingness to engage in dialogue and are genuinely interested in solving the problem, the negative comment will turn into a positive customer voice.
Nevertheless, selected reaction strategies are helpful in such cases. Even if you would rather have the negative comment deleted, this is risky. A request to delete a comment alone can give the impression that you want to “cover up” something. This is where the danger of the “Streisand effect” arises. For this reason, it is recommended to seek polite dialogue and to deescalate the situation.
Online reputation management strategy
The situation analysis serves as the basis for the online reputation strategy. Necessary steps and goals are documented in detail and executed exactly according to plan. Here are the most common and effective measures used for an ORM strategy.
- By means of website optimization of their own websites and social media promotion, positive impressions in the foreground. Through search engine marketing you can increase the positive brand presence and thus diminish the unfavourable.
- PR campaigns — with social media marketing, press releases or submitting articles to well-known evaluation portals, a positive reputation is purposefully developed.
- Link building — through link building using high-quality backlinks relevant for search engines, both the search engine placement and a positive reputation basis is secured.
- General improvement and search engine optimization of the brand or company website.
- Conveying a strong image of the company through regulated content management.
Success and a good reputation are strongly linked. Whether as a private person, company or organization, in the information age, one’s own online reputation should not be left out, as long as one is looking for success.