“What are people talking about your brand on the internet?” This is the question you need to worry when you have an online presence. Your online reputation is your image on the internet. Search engine results are never always positive. Your online reputation is of vital importance as unfavorable news, negative reviews, bad picture, blog post and comments defaming your brand spread worldwide instantaneously on the web. It tarnishes your image both, online and offline, thus affecting your sales. This is where ORM steps in and you cannot afford to ignore it.
What is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
Online reputation Management (ORM) involves improving and rebuilding your name or your brand’s good standing. It can be attained by countering, weakening and eliminating the negative material found on the internet and thwarting it with positive material to improve your credibility and customer’s trust in you.
Why is Online Reputation Management important for your business/brand?
People who are searching for your brand on the internet can be termed as your potential customers. Search engine results have a flipside. When people search for your brand, the SERPs not only show them what they are looking for but also what you don’t want them to see – negative reviews about your brand. This affects their purchase decisions based on the negative reviews and you lose them. Negative and adverse comments, reviews and blogs about your brand can hurt your online reputation which will affect your business gravely. Hence it is important to have your online reputation monitored and have these negativities diminished while actively building a positive image.
Online reputation management tips and techniques
1. Monitoring and Reviewing – It is very important that you search and find the negative reviews on the internet about your brand. Only by understanding them you can proceed to plan your strategy to regain the repute for your brand. There are various free tools available on the internet which you can use to monitor your brand’s online reputation. Some of these are:
- Google Alerts – It helps you in updating and keeping you informed about the mentions on the web once you have registered, filled your brand name search query and selected which type of content you are looking for. You can include your preferred update frequency and quantity
- Tweet Alarm – 5000+ tweets are shared every second. You can search the ones that are about you via Twitter Search and create an automatic monitoring system. It will send you email alerts whenever someone tweets about your brand. If you have enough time every day, you can also use Twitter advanced search to monitor tweets about your brand
- Social Mention – It not only helps you to track the mentions about your brand across the web, but also analyses data from several sources to understand what’s their sentiment and origin
- Image Raider – Is anyone using your images? With this tool you can perform an automated reverse image search and discover websites talking about you without mentioning your name and people stealing or distorting your pictures
- Trackur – It is a social media monitoring tool that offers instant notifications when your brand is mentioned. It enables you to respond promptly and appropriately, even when you’re not glued to your Facebook news feed whole day.
2. Removing Negatives – Any photos or other content relating to your business/brand that you have posted on your own blog or on social media may attract bad review or comment. In such cases you can completely remove or untag what’s causing you problems. If it’s on any other profile, you can request them to remove it. Such information on the websites is difficult to remove from Google search results. Contacting the webmaster of the page to ask them to remove the information that’s bothering you can just do the work. You can get help in removing the search results from Google, containing certain sensitive information like photos, contact and inaccurate information.
3. Using SEO – You can use Search Engine Optimization to improve your online reputation. Some of the easy ways to do it can be:
- Setting up accounts with hosted blog sites like WordPress and Blogger and getting your positive image out to the public with their easy software programs
- Defining your keywords sensibly and creating your own searches. Plugging these results into your RSS reader
- Joining free websites like growth hackers and inbound.org and posting your quality content to improve your online reputation
- Getting your site linked onto as many reputable sites you can or even getting as many links from reputable sites to your content on your page
- Being active with your online community by posting positive content on forums and blogs and offering positive feedback to others.
4. Writing blogs – Creating good, attractive and informative content aimed at your rabid readers can help you in improving your online reputation. Posting it on various social media and other platforms helps in suppressing negative image. Write content that you would be proud for others to find and interest them.
You can also try writing press release to highlight positive news everyday and submitting it to the newswires to get the word out. Such type of positive content can show up higher in the search results.
5. Using images and videos – Using images and videos in your content and blog can help you in your ORM efforts. A killer image can add the spice to your blog.
Giving a brief one minute talk about you, your service, business or tip through presentation can go a long way in a blog. Having images of your brand can trigger image search results for your brand can further push down the online negativities of your brand.
Uploading your brand’s videos on your website, content and Youtube helps in getting your image up as Youtube is owned by Google and therefore they are likely to appear along with your brand name in the search results. It can be said that one video can equal the power of many blog posts.
6. Sharing on Social Media – One of the most brilliant ways to manage and improve your online image is by being active on Social Media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn attract millions of users everyday. Posting your articles and blogs on social media can help you reach out to wide audiences across the globe. You can put all the positive matter related to your brand on social media and develop your brand image which might have been affected.
Sharing positive and nice things that people say about your brand can work in creating positive perspective in people’s mind. Make sure people are taking notice of the good work that you do.
7. Monitoring your reputation – Monitor your reputation online on periodical basis to ascertain whether your efforts are paying off. Check for your brand’s or business’s name and mention on the internet as to see the changes and evaluate them This will help you in deciding whether you want to continue with the efforts you are taking or you need to be more proactive.
8. Keeping up the good work – Take out time and follow all the above steps on a frequent basis to keep a tab on your online reputation. It will not only help you in nursing your damaged reputation but will also help you in promoting your brand.
In 2010, Toyota suffered a major setback with countless complaints from its customers who bought their cars. These complaints were relating to the sticky floor mats, faulty pedals, braking and acceleration problems which compromised the safety and many more. Million of cars were recalled by the company.
Many blogs, forums, review websites, news websites started defaming Toyota but being a trusted and strong brand, Toyota amazingly managed its online reputation. The below points will tell you how:
- Toyota used comprehensive social media monitoring tools and strategies to find all mentions of them and evaluated these mentions
- Toyota formulated an effective and strategic response to each negative comment on twitter and addressed the affected customers through tweets and mails
- Toyota stated the recall of all vehicles and highlighted Toyota’s high safety standards on Toyota’s website
- The CEO of Toyota offered public apology to all its customers and the apology videos were uploaded on Youtube which generated around 1,00,000 views
- Toyota published many videos on its Youtube Channel which revolved around “Safety”, to maintain its reputation and brand image.
To all our friends & customers on twitter: Pls RT www.toyota.com/recall for info on affected vehicles. Don't give up on us.We hear you! ^DM
— Toyota USA (@Toyota) January 30, 2010
Finally after these efforts, Toyota’s sales were up again, they gained people’s trust and loyalty back and continued their pursuit for excellence.
We hope you got some valuable insights into Online Reputation Management. Let us know in the below comment box about your views and incase of any doubts.