Online Reputation Management: Why Is It More Important Today Than Ever Before?
Reputation, or in this case, online reputation, is the opinion, idea or concept that people form about an institution, brand, company or person based on their experiences with them. It is important to realize that online reputation is not under the absolute control of the subject or organization.
Beyond the image projected by the brand or company itself, online reputation also consists of the messages, comments and opinions expressed by third parties on social networks, forums, blogs, review portals and online media. However, a good online reputation can certainly be maintained if you are visible through well-positioned content, act transparently, have a solid and loyal customer base, and listen very carefully to what people are saying about your company, brands and products.
This is especially important on the Internet, where it is very easy to generate information and opinions through platforms such as forums, blogs or social networks, rating portals and easily damage the reputation of brands and people. Therefore, it is very important for companies to monitor and act on these online platforms — for example, by responding to negative comments and entering into a dialogue with its critics. And that is the task of online reputation management.
What is online reputation management?
Online reputation management (ORM) can be defined as the conscious control and influencing of the reputation of companies, organizations and individuals. Reputation management thus encompasses planning, controlling, building, monitoring and ultimately maintaining a positive reputation.
3 reasons why ORM is more important today than ever before
1. Branding alone is no longer enough today
So-called branding, where a company builds its brand by developing and communicating certain values and characteristics that make users identify the brand and differentiate it from the competition, is no longer enough today, as consumers have their own opinions and publicly share those opinions and likewise the experiences they have had with your company. So your own share of influence in shaping a company’s online reputation has dramatically diminished.
2. An image of your company exists outside of your own perception
Regardless of the size of your company, you can be sure that people are talking about your company online. Customers share their experiences in public networks or rating portals. This public opinion doesn’t have to match the values and ideas you have about your business. Therefore, the impact of public opinions on social networks or review portals cannot be underestimated. The viral nature of today’s information can do a lot of damage to your business from one moment to the next.
Your reputation is a reflection of the overall health of your brand and business, making it a key indicator of success and growth potential. That’s why ORM is so important for influencing consumers’ perceptions of your online reputation.
3. Customers study public comments and reviews to decide on a product.
Thanks to the endless information available on the Internet, customers are educated, highly informed and make quick decisions. One of the most valuable sources of information is the content generated by other users, i.e. what is said about your brand in reviews and social networks and how you are rated online. These public reviews contribute significantly to your online reputation. If potential customers don’t like what they read, they’ll go to your competitors. Reputation management allows companies to leverage data from consumer and brand interactions to improve brand awareness and customer experience.
Strategic online reputation management is always active
Online reputation management is always active. The digital presences must never fall asleep, and the target group must be cultivated. In all activities, one should be as empathetic, friendly and thematically hard on the target group as possible. Content is the trump card — those who can write or have a knack for photos or videos should gradually shape and secure their personal brand. Because reputation management is becoming increasingly important not only for companies, but also for private individuals. Not only companies, but also individuals need to present knowledge and expertise in a credible manner and continue to expand and consolidate their network.