Companies adopt social media marketing strategies with the aim of projecting positive brand values and encouraging customer participation in their brand’s activities. The Online Reputation Management (ORM) component of Digital Marketing deals with stakeholder engagement and the ground-level portrayal of the brand’s image. Leave a positive impact on your consumers and proactively make them feel heard and you know your ORM campaign is working for you.
Managing a good reputation in this growing digital age is an indispensable tool for any brand or service, especially with the way a single inflammatory comment – whether justified or not – can damage your brand’s online reputation. In Warren Buffett’s words, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you’ll do things differently.”
Here are a few important aspects of online reputation management:
1) Monitoring people’s opinion of your brand
The Internet is a cacophony of voices and opinions – and some of those concern your brand. If your brand is mentioned, if people form an opinion, you need to know. Monitoring social media chatter gives you a great idea of how your brand is perceived, what people like about your brand and what they don’t, so in other words, it tells you in which areas you excel and in which areas you need improvement – maybe pricing, customer support, product variety, or something else.
There are many tools that do exactly this – monitor Google and other search engines and social media outlets like Facebook. Google Alerts is an excellent tool to monitor new content or news about a given brand or topic. Trackur, Social Mention and Rankur are a few of the many good Social Media Listening tools you can use to monitor and gauge online chatter about your brand.
2) Positive Search Results
Online Reputation Management is also about highlighting positive press about your brand, while understanding the reasons for any negative press, and handling the same in the right manner.This includes displacing negative content in search results & instead using SEO and other methods to promote favourable aspects of your brand.
Negative results about your company/brand/product/service dominate search engine rankings either because a) there’s an aspect of your offering that is lacking or b) your competitor is actively undertaking a smear campaign against you to show you in a bad light.
In the first case above, ORM will help you identify the shortcomings people are facing in interacting your brand, and you can act upon the factual, legitimate end-user feedback you’re receiving due to your social media and search engine monitoring efforts.
In the second case, where your competitors try to defame you, the best approach is to generate even more honest, credible, useful content, and displace those spurious, unfavourable results. Another effective way to displace those results – while delivering an additional SEO benefit – is ensuring your company profile is listed on directories, information portals and other relevant sites like Yellow Pages, Wikipedia, CrunchBase, BBB.org, Alibaba, etc. Listing your website on third party outlets overlaps with a Search Engine Optimization campaign – so this activity is like growing two plants with one seed.
You might also need to block any variations of your domain name, and on different TLDs (top-level domains like .com, .in, .net, etc.). A recent example of this is Apple, Citigroup and other companies have rushed to snap domain names ending with newly released domain suffix ‘.sucks’.
3) Dialogue with Opinion Leaders and Online Communities
ORM helps identify opinion leaders in the verticals you operate in. You need to engage providers of industry insights and influencers, and prove your credibility to them. There’s no comparison to what an external, unbiased, publicly valued opinion can do for your brand. A credible blog with a large audience and great search engine visibility can greatly influence how other people perceive your brand.
You might also find a lot of chatter on forums and online communities on topics relevant to you or on your own brand or offerings. These conversations not only help you gauge public sentiment about the industry and your company in particular, but also allow you to step in and reshape that opinion wherever it might be wrongly guided, unjustified or biased.
General Data P. Limited offers customized Digital Marketing Services, of which Online Reputation Management is a part. If you’d like to learn more about ORM, do get in touch with us.