Online reputation management (ORM) is a strategy and process of monitoring, identifying, and influencing your digital reputation and credibility online. An effective online reputation management strategy can also provide you with new opportunities and insight on increasing your brand awareness.
If you are a business owner, I’m sure you know that having a good reputation is important for business growth. The same goes for your digital reputation, as most people in today’s digital business lifestyle go online when they have a problem or require information regarding a specific product or service. If your reputation is negative online, will these people looking for answers turn to you? At the end of the day, a bad reputation online will have a negative effect on your business objectives.
There are many other reasons why it’s important to have an online reputation management process in place to help you with your social media and other digital marketing campaigns, but here are just a couple of reasons to consider getting one.
1. Increase sales
Many people are researching brands, services, and products online before they make the final purchase decision. Do you know what they are looking for? If not, then you are already missing out. What difference do your marketing campaigns make if you are not sure what message is being received by the people you are trying to reach?
Most companies start to investigate when their sales start to drop. For some, regaining momentum is not worthwhile economically and the service or product is discontinued. What if you had valuable insights about what your target audience is looking for online? Would this change the game a bit?
2. Build trust and credibility
Having the trust of your clients is a major component of success. Your clients discuss their purchases with friends and when they have a problem they will most likely spread the word about their experience. The internet makes everyone a citizen journalist and you should now worry about negative content spreading like wildfire online. If your company suffers a loss of confidence in the public, there is a chance that you will never be able to turn it positive again. If you can recover from this negative publicity to regain trust from your target audience, the cost will be high in comparison with having a process in place that could have prevented it.
3. Show your best side
Current and potential investors, corporations, banks, and the general public are all going online to research your business before doing business with you. Look at investors as simply being consumers on a different level. These investors don’t know your company well enough and will often make decisions on the information that is available to them. Once again if you have a negative reputation online, it will show. Do you want to be associated with a business with a negative reputation?
4. Online insights
Gossip, speculation, and rumors have destroyed great names in the past and many businesses have lost the confidence of their target market due to this. Today it’s very common to see a celebrity or business with an associated scandal to simply vanish. Quite often this happens by an abundance of all the negative information floating around about them.
During a crisis online it is very common to have inside information available, but is often leaked to external sources before reaching all of the essential channels. Back in the day it was easy to remove the issues internally before they went out to the public. In today’s technology driven lifestyle with access to the social web in our pocket, news travels fast, especially if it’s negative. It can take seconds to collapse a brand that took years to build.
Having professional staff is the foundation for a successful workforce. The top individuals in every industry are forever head hunted and by knowing that, they will most likely research your company and look at all the facts concerning your brand before they accept any position at your company. If you know what your competitors, clients, and employees are talking about online, it can make a big difference in hiring someone with a good reputation.
Online reputation management is not a simple buzz word. It’s a reality and if you are not serious about protecting your reputation online, why are you still in business?
Author | Anton Koekemoer
I'm your friendly neighbourhood digital marketing specialist. I specialise in helping brands connect with targeted customers by enhancing their online presence through emerging web-based communication channels. I translate business objectives into comprehensive initiatives that focus on humanising brand identity while maximising measurable business results. More