Online reputation management (ORM) caters to a wide variety of audiences. It can be an individual but it can also be a business or a company. Their strategies may significantly work on individuals who intend to fix their online reputation but they also work best with businesses who want to boost their sales through an outstanding reputation. Online reputation management functions by curating what people can see on the internet. They deal with negative content by aiming to push it away from the first page of Google–something that businesses would deem necessary for negative reviews. SEMRush (2020) highlighted that “ORM is all about monitoring and managing your brand’s reputation across the web, about ensuring that your business is properly represented and that potential customers are left with a great impression on who you are and what you do.” Regardless of the type of business and its goal, online reputation management has only one main purpose–to guarantee positive recognition on social media.
A business can benefit from an ORM in different ways as it delivers both short and long-term success. There will also be varied reasons as to why a business would employ professional ORM services. If a major reason such as fixing the online reputation of a business is out of the picture, a business may simply want to certify long-term success by having an ORM monitor their performance in detail. To understand further, here is what businesses should know about the impact of ORM:
When dealing with a business or its product, customers want the assurance that what they are paying for is worth its price. They usually evaluate this through reading customer reviews given that these are from real people who are not sponsored and simply took the time to give genuine feedback on the product. Spiegel Research Center (2021) conducted a study on how online reviews influence sales, they found several factors that come into play when customer reviews are made. First, “the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than the purchase likelihood of a product with no reviews”–they explained that when a product starts to acquire reviews, their conversion rates also increase. A 5-star review can also guarantee more buyers, however, this still gets affected over time due to the rate impact of other reviews. Second, they informed that “negative reviews can have a positive impact because they establish credibility and authenticity”–while it may sound counterintuitive, these reviews can actually show that your business is authentic. Having perfect reviews all the time would also make a customer think that it is “too good to be true”, after all, nothing in life is perfect.
The reality now is that social media holds a lot of power when it comes to issues and complaints. Nowadays, people get news from social media platforms and no longer from news channels–this is most likely because the internet is a more fast-paced platform that delivers information. It is unlikely for a busy person to sit down and watch TV news when he can simply read top news online in a brief manner. Similar to the point above, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Therefore, while a negative review can help authenticate a business, it can also greatly affect both its profits and reputation. In discussing brand reputations, Birdeye (2020) asserted that “brand reputation is how a brand is viewed and perceived by its customers, stakeholders, and the market as a whole. It is the most valuable asset that a business can have. When customers think of doing business with you, they want to be assured that not only the product will satisfy their needs, the experience of doing business with your company will be great as well.” How your business is being talked about online will definitely affect impressions from new and old customers.
Letting your customers feel that you value their opinion is one of the best ways to cultivate your business. In order to do that, you cannot simply rely on their reviews–you also have to interact with them, offer seasonal promos, deliver informative content, and engage them with different social media trends. These are all part of sustaining a business’s online reputation since it will show that you care about the community and not just the benefits you get from it. Once you start paying attention to your customers, you will also recognize your target audience and what made them drawn to your business. Through this, you will be able to distribute products and trends that would match their interests. Moreover, community engagement will also allow you to distinguish valuable feedback and insights that can help improve your brand’s online reputation.
Influencer marketing is now a part of the modern online business. The sponsorships and endorsements are factors that will urge you to grow your business. Top or rising social media influencers will most likely accept sponsorships from highly reputable businesses–this indicates that your access to better talents is attributed to the online reputation of your business. Through online reputation management, you will get to identify influencers who fit your brand’s identity the most. They will also be able to gather data on who mentions your brand and monitor their impact on your business.
With all of these in mind, online reputation management handles a culmination of steps that aim to improve and progress the online image of a brand. A detailed plan will be developed according to the goal of your business; consistent management and monitoring will also be done in order to ensure that your online reputation is advancing. Thus, ORM is an essential part of any business as they will benefit from it in a number of ways. With the knowledge and experience they have, they would be able to employ strategies that can sustain the positive growth of your online business.