You’ve been up late at night, maybe even breaking out in cold sweats thinking about your businesses credibility. Thinking how just one bad review or comment can bring your house of cards crumbling down. So what do you do? * tiny whisper in your head, “online reputation management” *
Keep your head down, and push forward? Create an altar to the business gods to keep the scary users at bay? Or do you get proactive, hop in the trenches and do all you can to manage your online reputation? * tiny whisper in your head, again, “online reputation management” *
Savvy business owners take the management route.
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What is online reputation management?
Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of crafting strategies that shape or influence the public perception of an organization, individual or other entity on the Internet. It helps drive public opinion about a business and its products and services.
With this definition, you can go as broad or as narrow in scope as you’d like. The important thing to remember is that there is a need for active monitoring of your brands online reputation. And that’s because…
According to a recent survey, 81% of consumers say online search results influence their perception of a company. (reputationrhino.com)
So for sure online reputation is an ever increasingly important aspect to keeping your business going. But what you may not realize, is that well planned and executed strategy provides boosts in many aspects of business.
The biggest achievement companies experience from investing in ORM is a growth in sales (25%). (clutch.io)
Any growth in sales is welcomed, but a 25% increase is sure to put your accountant in a better mood.
Why does a business even need to consider ORM?
This is the most frequent question asked by business owners.
At TopOut, we tell our clients to consider this, “when you’re looking to sit a blackjack table, do you sit at the one with the dealer who’s known to be fair and trustworthy, or do you sit with the dealer who’s known to have an extra card up their sleeve?” This is essentially the conundrum a customer or client faces when they’re searching for products or services.
As a business you want to give yourself every advantage possible when differentiating yourself from the pack, and testimonials from users or purchasers is one of the better ways to do that.
But what if you’ve already done all you can to put your best foot forward, and still have a bit of tarnish on your name?
This is when you go into damage control.
And damage control requires intense monitoring and diligence.
If you’re like most people after getting this far in an article, you’ve probably found yourself thinking, “okay… so how do I start monitoring my brand?”
Monitoring your online reputation
Like anything these days, there are a ton of software offerings all vying for your attention as a business owner. And you might have been already Googling for a solution after being on the losing end of a bad review, or a malicious attack on your reputation from a competitor.
Each has their pros and cons, and it’d be up to you or your consultant to choose the service that best fits your needs and use case.
What does ORM include service-wise?
A majority of agencies and SaaS focus on mentions on social media. But that’s only one aspect and you need to account for everything.
A quick and dirty dive into online reputation management, you’d be focusing on paid, organic or earned media attention, social media, and your website(s). Once you figure out all of your avenues of potential reputation ruin – then you can plan your strategy of protecting your brand.
There is also the component of collecting and placing relevant reviews in strategic places. Some businesses benefit greatly from FOMO popups, especially sites selling events or limited time products. Others will get better results from video or written testimonials with a picture of the testimonial author.
Then depending on your business/brand size, you’ll need some public relations thrown in to your online reputation management.
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