Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a strategy used to maintain a good online image of your business with the notion of suppressing the negative comments that might hamper the overall business reputation. The ORM may also be also termed as ‘Internet Reputation Management’. So ORM or Internet Reputation Management is the process of tracking, reporting and reacting to online feedback and opinions about a company and it’s people, products and services. The business Online Reputation does matter to a lot of people – by those who are going to be affected by it. It’s of great importance to the customers, job-seekers, business partners, journalists, marketing companies, personal contacts and more.
Some news and facts about online reputation management
- Recent news came up in The Daily Athenaeum where it states that West Virginia University offers a new professional development program to train faculty in areas of tourism and hospitality where the first series will focus on customer service management and will teach how to manage the guest experience, become customer-focused, customer diversity, deal with difficult people and effective online reputation management, according to a press release. This highlights the importance of ORM in different fields.
- BBC news featured an article where mis-information on the internet about Rebecca Posli-Cilli (the president of Freestream Aircraft – a private jet dealer) nearly cost her business reputation.
- News came up where BrandsEye an Online Reputation Management service tracked that 97% of the online conversation for the 2011 Budget Speech by the South African Prime Minister came from consumers where it highlights that 67% of the conversation was exchnaged in Twitter, which included 109 tweets.15% of the conversation regarding the topic were made in Facebook and the remaining percentage of the conversation were from different blogs and websites.Social Media definitely plays a major role in the reputation management.
- Online Reputation is an area where potential job seekers may also be aware of. Many people could be at risk and may be refused job offers despite having enough experience – just because of negative online reputation. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the major areas that can inform of a candidate’s online reputation. Further, quality of Blogging and Blog Commenting can be also considered as tools for selecting potential candidates.
Tips to maintain the online reputation
The following tips can help you to maintain your online reputation:
- Reverse SEO – This is a tool used to suppress the negative publicity that targets the business reputation. Reverse SEO on its off-page SEO perspective focuses on the viral spreading of the positive reviews of your company over the negative reviews through blogs, press releases and video marketing. From an on-page SEO perspective, targeting the keywords that competitors or the advertisers use in the meta tags and descriptions can create a negative impact on the business by pushing negative comments from the first pages of the search engines and replacing them with the positive comments and reviews.
- Bequick before viral spread of negative comments ruin you – Before the negative spread of the comments completely ruin your reputation, it’s always a good idea to take steps on the early spread of the negative comments as soon as they are identified.
- Effectively use Social Media – Creating profiles in social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook with appropriate privacy settings would help you to maintain the business reputation. These tools not only help to interact with the members but also help you to monitor the positive and negative remarks.
- Blog – Through blog reviews and blog comments, one can maintain the business reputation back to the professional stance it should be.
- Stop Spamming – With the idea of marketing your online business, take care not to ‘spam’ in unnecessary forum posts or by performing ‘black hat’ techniques – it will hamper the online reputation of your business.
- Handle negative comments with finesse – Negative comments (or rather criticism that crop up either from your competitors or from the grumpy customers) should be handled with care. For this, you need to have the following:
- Attitude of listening to others’ problems and finding out the root cause of that problem.
- An honest reply to the negative reviews can give you a far better position in the eye of the customers. It‘s good to apologise for something which your company promised but couldn’t keep up to it.
- Remain calm and be careful with the words while dealing with the negative reviews – don’t let offence take over and speak for you.
- Don’t end up fighting with the people related to your business just because they are spreading your negative reviews. Handle with care.
- Offer your customer something extra if their grudges are genuine. It will say more about your company than you think. Be different to most companies and your customers will tell others about it.
Tools to track and maintain the online reputation
- Google Reader lets you to subscribe to the favourite sites so that one gets notified when new contents are being posted.
- Google Alerts which can be subscribed either by an email or through a feed can be used to track the Web Results or other content from the blogs, news, videos or discussion group based on the searched query.
- Yahoo Alerts notifies you through email, Yahoo Messenger or mobile for major breaking news, keyword news, Daily Digest News.
- Twitter Search that comes up with a search box helps you to provide information based on the search query. Advanced Parameters provides more detailed information about a particular topic.
- Search Technorati is another tool that digs into blogs; news to find any suitable topics that matches the search query and returns the different sites or posts related to the query. It has filtering options which helps you to return more personalized results.
- Back Type is another reputation management tool that helps one to analyse the reputation based on different parameters like URLs, Topics, and People.
- Social Mention searches vast range of areas like Blogs, Microblogs, Networks, Bookmarks, Comments, Events, Images, News, Video, Audio, Questions for the queried keyword and returns you the results accordingly. It also displays different variables like Sources, Top Users, Top Keywords and many more.
- BoardReader helps you to track conversations across forums and message boards and helps you to refine the results by date, particular domain and relevance.
- Trackur another reputation management tool that searches both mainstream, social media sites, tweets, videos, images, and tags for the queried keyword and returns the result accordingly. With the paid options one can save multiple search keywords to its personal dashboard.