If you were to ask to do business with someone who is highly shady, what would be the first thing on your mind?
You’d probably do any of these two things; you will walk away from that person as fast as your legs can carry you, or you’ll stall for time while you open up your mobile phone as you start researching on the shady individual. You’ll ask small things about this mystery figure until you’ll have enough information to tell you what kind of person (or persons) you’re dealing with!
Such is the power of the Internet.
It was that way years ago. Now, with a worldwide pandemic forcing everyone to remain at home and use computers to do their work, influence in the online world is a valuable commodity.
And the only way to gain this commodity is through having a sterling online reputation.
Before we jump over towards understanding and defining online reputation management, we must first understand what online reputation is.
Online reputation is the reputation of a person, company, product, service, or any other element on the Internet and digital platforms. With that said, this reputation can be affected by any of the following factors:
As such, online reputation is critical for most websites that sell or offer products and services. The moment their reputation plunges, the same thing happens to their sales. No one would want to do business with a company that has a meager online reputation score!
Even if you conduct your business online in a trustworthy manner, your online reputation may suddenly decline when unscrupulous competitors start attacking your reputation through slander and fraudulent information. For example, companies that hire thousands of employees are often left at the mercy of angry ex-employees who may have been fired for a good reason but can still hurt the company’s reputation by submitting a lousy employment history report or by spreading slander through social media.
This is why it is now important for almost any company to start practicing online reputation management, whether big or small. There is no excuse.
Now we come to the part where you can protect yourself and your company’s reputation through ORM or Online Reputation Management.
With ORM, what is usually done is to control how people see or perceive your business. It’s all about invoking positive feelings and opinions about a brand while at the same time working behind the scenes to take care of and remove all negative reviews and/or damaging comments.
Again, no one wants to do business with a company that has a shallow online reputation. Why would anyone ever want to do business with a company like that? Now, if it were your company, you’d be shaking in fear over the potential loss of your business, right?
So how does one check the reputation of a company? Why, through Google, of course. You have hundreds of search results and comments left on specific social media sites that talk about the reputation of many businesses, both the online and the offline kind. So, in short, if someone starts typing the name of a company or person online, once they hit enter, the search results will reveal everything that is linked towards that company or person. Every report, every comment, every story published, Google will show everything and anything.
Now, if you a company managed to do ORM, the search results that come out will only be about positive reports and comments about your company. That is the job of the online reputation management agency; to filter out and remove anything that may damage your company’s online reputation.
To better understand how online reputation management can impact the growth of your business, consider the following statistics:
Yes, the reality is that a single bad review on you or your company is enough to make you lose a lot of opportunities. It sounds unfair, but that is just how people nowadays choose a business to work with.
Therefore, it’s up to you to decide how to go on from here!
The key to improving online reputation is to practice efficient online reputation management.
The process often starts with first checking your online reputation. Open up your browser, type in your company’s name or even your name, and then check what the Google search results come out.
There are a couple of things that you need to check while reading the search results:
Once that’s done, take note of the results. When you do find negative reviews, you can do any of the following:
Some of the other methods that can help improve your business’ online reputation are content creation, the review strategy, and tracking and monitoring.
With content creation, your online reputation management agency will create content pieces that they can spread online to reinforce your company’s reputation further and push out any negative comments and feedback from the search engines.
As for tracking and monitoring, you will be looking at the daily activity of social media platforms. You will be checking how your company is being mentioned in online discussions. The moment you notice any negative review or comment about your business, it is brought to your attention at once. You deal with it by answering the negative comment or requesting to have the comment removed.
All in all, you have the power to protect your business through online reputation management. However, it is simply not enough to just depend on the integrity of any and every Internet user. As a business owner, you must be vigilant and be prepared to defend your business and strike back at those who want to bring it down.