29 October, 2020

Online Reputation Management – How to Protect, Defend, Repair and Manage Your Most Vulnerable Asset

A definition for “Online Reputation Management” (ORM) is the online strategy for creating, improving and restoring where necessary, your business and products brand names on the internet.

Which means you and your business taking control of your reputation online by responding with both proactive and reactive strategies to enhance and offset  to any negative damage that might occur to your reputation.

The various strategies you can use include tools and techniques to respond to any negative comments by publishing positive content to counter the negative, or getting the comments removed on Google search results, on social media platforms, or any unwanted images.The reason why this online reputation management so important, is because today’s social interaction is increasingly built online around the Internet. Which means, when a prospective customer comes across your business brand and your products and services for the first time, they’ll go to find more information on the internet. And the reality is, they’ll believe what they see, hear and read there.

So the old adage, first impressions are important hold up online, because one negative comment or a bad customer review, can mean a would-be client immediately saying no and clicking off your website, YouTube video or social media site.

In addition, there are more and more online Facebook Groups and discussion platforms forming every day, which means friends, colleagues, associates and family members are sharing more information, videos and blog articles – both good and bad.

And the fact of the matter is that any negative content and comments online not only hurt your sales but could also be misrepresented. For example, a new customer who thinks they’ve had a bad experience with your company, just because they don’t really understand the value of your products and services, or your processes, could result in them posting comments online that could easily mislead other potential buyers.

And even if your business is completely offline, which is a very rare these days, you still need to monitor your online reputation because what people are saying online can have a huge impact on your business offline. So, even though your business is not online, your customers and potential customers are so you still need to monitor and control what’s being said about you and your products.

And remember, what happens online is there forever for everyone to see, so when a negative comment comes up in Google’s search results, it’s going to hurt your business. By using reputation management, you can “reframe” their mindset and set the record straight. By being proactive in managing your online reputation, you can mitigate negative results and improve your brand’s image overall.

Monitoring your online reputation can also give you valuable feedback on how your business is doing because you will see and read about what people are saying about you, both positive and negative. Positive content shows you what your product strengths are and what you’re doing right. Negative content shows your weaknesses and ways you can improve.

In fact, by effectively handling negative content and comments, your actions can give you new opportunities that can lead to more sales, happy customers and more customer retention. So, an angry or frustrated customer provides you an excellent opportunity to show to others that you listen to your customers and that you care enough to interact and engage with them to seek ways to correct mistakes and improve your products and services.

Unfortunately, the worst case scenario is that some person out there on the internet could actually be violating your privacy. Perhaps an ex-employee lets of steam by sharing private or business information about you or your company. Or someone posts a picture or video on social media revealing sensitive information.

You could simply walk away from the shocking reality that your privacy is being violated or you could us ORM to give you control over what is being posted out there about your business to keep information confidential. Most online platforms do monitor situations in order to make sure no one is violating their policies and rules, or the law. But it’s impossible for their monitors to see every misdemeanour and you do, therefore, need to monitor both your own name and your business’s name online so you can respond to or eliminate content that’s inaccurate, confidential offensive, inappropriate and even libellous. Because if you don’t, these online comments and content could have a harmful and damaging effect on your reputation.

This is not based on opinion, but on the brutal facts of toxic statements and show the importance of maintaining and controlling your online reputation and the key factors and tools required to implement a reputation management strategy that will result in damage limitation and control and minimise any negative comments if they occur online.


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