In times of social media, blogs, forums and rating portals, misinformation and harmful rumours are not uncommon on the internet. Negative reviews are visible to everyone and can damage your reputation permanently. Potential customers who use search engines to find out about you, your products or your services can stumble across these negative issues and be put off by them, which can in turn significantly affect your business performance.
With a targeted online reputation management (ORM) strategy it is possible to restore, protect, maintain and actively shape your reputation. Positive contributions that displace negative entries as well as an organic link building helps to improve your reputation in the long run.
Online Reputation Management at a Glance
Generally, the main goal is to proactively shape public perception. In the case of negative mentions on the Internet such as in blogs, forums, social media and search engines, reputation management plays a special role. Here, the aim is to dilute the negative image using various methods and ultimately to achieve a positive public perception.
As such, accurate business information, customer reviews, blog posts and social media activity all impact your business reputation. Your online presence influences consumer attitudes towards your brand and their purchasing decisions.
How does online reputation management work?
Here are the ORM measures in four steps:
1. Analysis of the current status and objectives
The basis for a successful online reputation management lies in a precise and detailed analysis of your current online reputation. Negative entries or misinformation must be thoroughly and quickly dealt with. If you have had little to no presence on the Internet or are difficult to find, one of the central tasks is to improve your visibility and build a good reputation.
2. Development of an online reputation management strategy
In coordination with the results of the analysis, a concrete reputation strategy is developed.
3. Implementation of the developed measures
Once the objectives and the corresponding measures have been defined, the concrete implementation of short, medium and long-term measures takes place. These include, for example, the removal of problematic entries, social media activities and website optimization. In addition to that, link building, classic public relations work or the creation of high-quality content also significantly contribute to the achievement of long-term goals.
4. Continuous monitoring of results
However, a one-off clean-up of your reputation is not enough. Online reputation management is a long-term and continuous process — only with careful and diligent monitoring can the effectiveness of the various measures be determined and maintained.
What measures does ORM include?
- Public Relations (PR): Classic online PR measures such as press releases, articles in forums or active presence on social media channels are ideal for building and proactively shaping your own reputation on the Internet.
- Social Media: Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube enable interaction between provider and consumer and offer the opportunity to convey a positive corporate image.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): The internet presence acts as a business card for your company and enables users to get a picture of you and your services. The key here is to ensure that your website is what comes up first when people search for your brand. An optimized website leads to a better search engine ranking and thus increases your visibility.
- Link building: The building of backlinks also contributes to a higher visibility on search engines. High-quality links with good content also strengthen your image.
- Removal of negative contributions: False information and negative entries damage your reputation. In order to have reputation-damaging entries removed or modified, direct contact with the operators of the respective homepages and portals helps.
- Content Management: Content is key! High-quality website content is becoming more and more important, because it will not only strengthen your ranking in search engines, but it will also contribute to a positive image.