Online Reputation Management (often abbreviated ORM) is a fast-growing discipline that refers to the influencing and controlling of an individual’s or a company’s brand reputation online. Living in a digital era such as this, the online reputation of brands determines how others perceive said business when they search for or stumble upon it online.
As such, online reputation management proactively focuses on the management of product or brand image as well as controlling the information flow online, for instance managing content in search engines. More specifically, ORM involves the monitoring of the reputation online, by addressing content which is potentially damaging to it, and using customer feedback to try to solve problems before they damage the brand’s reputation.
A major part of ORM involves suppressing negative search results, whilst highlighting positive ones. Some tactics used by companies include: improving the tagging and search engine optimization of company-published materials; publishing original, positive websites and social media profiles; getting mentions of the business or individual on third-party sites that rank highly on Google, amongst others.
An indispensable tool for any business is managing and monitoring their brand on social media platforms. Social media pages and profiles must be acknowledged as an extension of the brand, and used to create additional platforms for people to interact. When it comes to social media accounts, it’s important to dedicate the resources to stay active on them by engaging in conversations and publishing fresh content on a regular basis.
Good reputation management practices and making use of various tools is vital in helping any business manage their reputation. Ultimately, for businesses, reputation management involves the attempt and effort to minimize the gap between how a company perceives itself and how consumers view it.
Why is it important to manage your Online Reputation?
Because as consumers have migrated to online shopping in place of traditional in-store experiences, the need for positive customer sentiment online has grown exponentially.
Nowadays, most consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations — which means that as consumers, they are all conditioned to seek out online reviews before doing any purchases with a new brand. Therefore, a brand with a good and proper ORM system in place will have a competitive edge to other brands in a fiercely competitive market.
With the growth of the internet and social media, it has quickly become a necessary tool for many, especially for smaller brands. The current digital era provides a more level playing field for young, smaller companies that can take advantage of various social media platforms in order to gain and drive more website traffic.