Online Reputation Management
Much like the name gives away, Online Reputation Management is the process of upholding one’s personal or one’s company brand image across online platforms and throughout commonly used search engines. ORM will help filter the negative customer reviews, manage the results that pop up on frequently visited search engines, and supply media that supports you and/or your company’s vocation.
In a recent Forbes article, 97% of business owners noted Online Reputation Management as an important aspect of the makeup of their company. This means that out of 100 companies, nearly all but three, value the way their company appears on internet searches. In another study, 84% of average people report valuing online reviews as much as the review of their friends. These studies prove the significance of social reputation and how deeply people value the results on the internet.
Take for example, a dissatisfied customer turns to Yelp to spew the wrath of disappointment associated with your family-run taco truck into fiery text and harmful words. The next customer comes along, desiring to find the taco-truck menu and simply types in the company name onto a commonly used search engine, let’s say Google for this case. Whether you like it or not, the customer could unknowingly stumble upon this negative review from the previous customer, simply by entering your company name. Before you know it, this potential client has now formed a distaste towards your truck and is now gone with the wind. But by employing reputation management services, these damaging search results will be easily mitigated and hidden amongst positive reviews. This is just a small example of how Online Reputation Management will take your personal self and company to the next level, ultimately advancing to the level of ‘damn good’.
The Perfect Online Reputation Management Tools
Each Reputation Management Company will offer a different approach to their online services, regarding Online Reputation Management Strategies, but the preceding list shows the five most common services that yourself and/or company can pick and choose from.
Online Review Monitoring
This strategy will constantly track your personal or company-wide mentions throughout a wide range of social media platforms and mainstream websites. When an individual includes your name/company name in a review or post, this feature immediately alerts the agency of those mentions associated with you and/or your company. Whether negative or positive, you can then reply to the comments in a timely manner. By quickly replying to complaints, you are able to mitigate the problems and show genuine attention to resolving dissatisfaction amongst your customers. On the flip side, this tool will also allow you to reach out to those customers leaving positive reviews, making them feel more appreciated and valued for providing feedback.
Negative Content Removal
This proves to be one of the most useful tools for Reputation Management as no matter what company or who you are as an individual, there will always be negative comments someone leaves on the internet. By consistently tracking all sorts of negative content across all kinds of conventional platforms, your company will be able to replace those poor reviews with much more positive ones.
Personal Online Reputation Management
The most impactful way to make you realize the importance behind personal reputation management is to think back to your prime college days full of drunk mistakes and unmindful decisions or perhaps the weekend away on the Las Vegas Strip. You and your friends are snapping pictures left and right, making some questionable decisions, and before you know it these images end up plastered all over social media platforms. As the night progresses, the images make their way onto popular search engines, and before you know it these profane pictures are pinned on Google. As the CEO or head of the company, an image of you slugging a bottle of beer, will not only poorly affect your personal reputation but also immensely harm your professional life. Maintaining a positive Internet Reputation will not only further enhance your job life, but help you maintain a consistent personal brand image across the board.
Look to the Experts to Handle the “Hard Stuff”
By now you may be asking yourself, ‘Why can’t I do this myself, it seems easy enough right?’. WARNING: if your company or personal self are self-classified “penny pinchers”, then you will not like the preceding answer: successful Online Reputation Management needs to be handled by the experts and the experts only.
In an interview with a reputation management specialist, Micheal Fertik, he draws the comparison between Online Reputation Management Experts and Virus Software Experts, noting that both are essential tasks yet best handled by those who have an abundance of technical expertise. When dealing with protecting your software against invading viruses and bugs as well as portraying the best version of yourself/company on the internet, those with years of experience and technical skills should be left to the task. The nit-pickiness behind Internet Reputation Management shouldn’t be neglected or under looked if you are striving for ultimate success.
Choose the Company with Round-the-Clock Standards
When scouring the internet for the best Reputation Management Companies, be sure to go for the company that maintains the following base standards among each of their ORM services.
One of the most important qualities to look for when choosing an online reputation management agency is non-stop monitoring of mentions to best tailor your individual or company needs. Be sure to go with a Reputation Management company that values your time and drive to keep up with the number of times your name/company name is mentioned online, whether that be big or small websites.
Honesty & Confidentiality
When dealing with personal pictures and information, the last thing you want is the agency managing your brand’s reputation to leak your secrets and expose the negative remarks to the internet. Taking the time to do thorough research on your future ORM company, will save you time and money in the long run.
When choosing the perfect ORM agency for you, you don’t want a company that will disclose the process and strategies they are using for you. This usually means some shady behind the scenes business is going on and perhaps they are making fake dummy account reviews for your company. Stray away from this at all costs.
Take Proactive Steps Before Your Online Reputation Goes South
Although you should contract out through ORM companies and agencies for the bulk of your Online Reputation Management needs, there are simple tasks you can do on your own to save your own ass before it’s too late.
Set up Google Alerts
With this easy-to-use tool, Google Alerts prompts you when new content is posted about yourself or the company. By typing in desired keywords, this simplified ORM tool will do the rest of the dirty work for you by diving into all sorts of platforms and websites, for that specific keyword. Oh, not to mention that the feature is completely FREE. So, to all my penny-pinchers, if you are still tuned in after reading ‘Step Three’, then you’ll be sure you want to set this up for yourself. Below are the simple steps to complete the set-up of the app.
Go to google.com/alerts.
Enter your keyword into the memo.
Click ‘Show Options’ to change settings like:
Frequency of alerts
Types of websites/platforms you would like the feature to search through
Bada Bing, Bada Boom. Type search and your email will soon be flooded with results.
Respond in a Respectful Manner
Though this step seems like a moment of “DUH… way to state the obvious”, there are numerous public examples of poor company replies to negative consumer responses. Responding to such reviews in a defensive manner will only dig your hole deeper. In these situations, it is always best to remember the customer is ALWAYS right.
Reach The ‘Damn Good’ Status Level
After learning the ins and outs of Online Reputation Management, the ultimate decision is in your hands… Are you ready to take the online version of yourself and/or company to the ‘damn good’ level? With the ability to essentially limit and control search engine results and company mentions, ORM agencies can get you to that level.
With an ever-increasing digitalization of the world, it would be foolish to disregard such an important aspect of your personal well-being and company well-being, as well. Yes, every person and every company will have naysayers that go against your vocation, but likewise, through ORM software you have the overall power to sway this. An influential person and company should have matched influential internet personas and results. In a fairly recent Forbes article, a study concluded that 50% of adults stumbled upon negative results after a simple Google search of their name. Using ORM tools, techniques, and agencies will help you not fall into that large chunk of unaware adults.