Why Online Reputation Management is Important22 November 2019
Before we discuss the importance of Online Reputation Management or ORM, let us first define what it is really all about. Keep in mind that character is what your business is all about, but reputation is the perception of others and how they see your business as a whole.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online Reputation Management or ORM, sometimes referred to as Reputation Management or Rep Management in business is defined as how customers’ perception of a brand or service is shaped. This may also apply to any individual’s reputation as well; however, at this point we will simply concentrate on business reputation. As suggested by the name itself, in ORM, the information that may primarily be used as top influencer on a business perception or reputation is done online by using third-party websites, directories, blogs, social media, and otherdigital media platforms.
The Benefits and Purpose of ORM
In this modern day and age, the power of online influence must never be taken for granted especially by businesses and organisations. Customers’ feedback posted publicly on the internet can make or break a business, and no company or organisation would ever want to fall victim to a really bad review. So, it makes sense why it is very important for businesses, whether big or small, to have some form of damage control for negative reviews and even intrigues. Similarly, good and happy reviews need to be addressed graciously, as these can also gain loyal customers plus new sales referrals.
Specifically, the purpose of ORM is monitoring a business’ brand online, addressing both positive and negative comments and feedbacks from customers. This is to either gain more customers or avoid potential loss of sales and loyalty, because whatever people think about a brand can either be a win or a loss for the business. A good company or business that is managed properly should know and understand that maintaining a solid reputation is vital to business growth and success. Companies must always be proactive in monitoring their online reputation.In conclusion, it is important for any company to maintain a healthy reputation in order to be successful.
Why Should Businesses Prioritise ORM?
Allocating resources for ORM should be impertinent especially for large-scale companies who are exposed to both direct and indirect target markets. Whether a company prefers to have in-house staff, external agents, or any form of ORM software, it is always best to keep track of your business’ reputation, and find the most effective means that work.
- On Marketing and Sales– As quoted by Andy Beal who is The Original Online Reputation Expert, “When your reputation is clean, it makes it easier for the sales team to close a deal on a potential client…” and “A clean reputation limits the hesitation a client might have if they see negative reviews or complaints about your company.” This is sensibly understandable and common sense will tell you that nobody will patronise a business or a brand with a bad reputation. This is also one reason why even the most expensive brands get the highest sales, not because customers are all rich people; but because the business has established a good reputation as compared to its other competitors. Most people would rather pay high for excellent quality products matched with good customer service, than pay cheap and regret it in the end.
- Social Media Influence – Based on “Our World in Data”, there is an estimate of 7.7 billion people in the world with 3.5 billion internet users, with Facebook social media alone having 2.4 billion worldwide users as of September 2019. This is just a gist of how social media can influence people, and any business or brand can go viral with either positive or negative reviews overnight. A single very bad review can cause a business its entire reputation in a snap, not to mention the fact that some people are not content in posting reviews alone, but will go deeper by adding actual videos with reference to their bad experience. Nowadays, people who use social media understand empowerment and if a company does not have ORM, you can just imagine how a single business can lose profits due to bad reviews and feedbacks. Whether these things are from legitimate sources or internet trolls, false or real, companies and digital marketers must always be on track of what’s going on in the social world.
- Reputation Remediation–According to Axia Public Relations, there are 3 tactics to reputation management and these are Repair, Rebuild, and Recuperate.
Repair.If your company or business falls victim to bad online reputation, take immediate action and control the damage. Depending on situations, there are different strategies that a company or business can undertake, in order to keep tabs on what’s really going on. Should any legal action, publicity, compensation, or public apology is needed, then do not hesitate to do what is truly necessary for ethical reasons, and save the business as a whole.
Rebuild. When major issues have already subsided, then it’s time to take the next step, which is to rebuild a business who has suffered setbacks. Fresh PR campaign and rebranding is a vital part in this next step in order to build a new business perception and a new positive vibe. The goal is to make the company or business to be trustworthy once again, and most people will appreciate seeing efforts for improvement.
Recuperate.As a final step, to recuperate also means recovering losses and burying all the negatives. Part of rebranding also means having the best SEO strategies and gaining new and positive publicities for the business and its branding. This time, best efforts must be given in order to maintain a positive reputation.
We should understand that full control regarding online reputation cannot be achieved, and running a business or managing a company is never an easy task. But, it is important to keep in mind that business actions can be controlled and how you respond to customers, whether positive or negative will say a lot about your business. Online reputation can be managed to a certain degree and there are things that can be adjusted with proper Online Reputation Management.
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