Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a crucial function for any large company. Smaller companies can benefit from implementing plans to manage risk and prevent PR problems. It is the careful science of gaining ethical control over how your business is represented in digital media. This is worth considering and ensuring you have a little input on how your brand lives online. Your online reputation can create a make-or-break situation for your brand’s survival.
ORM: How To Act
Over the past year, we have seen several brand-damaging actions, many of which have been treated badly with shaky crisis management plans and communications. Now, to be clear, managing your reputation doesn’t mean hiding misconduct, operating unethically, or deceiving the masses. Managing your company’s reputation is valuable to you and your customers. It can help you reunite with new consumers, position a useful service the right way, or instil trust in your existing customers. If you are doing the hard work of running an ethical business that offers value, this needs to be communicated online. This encompasses a broad spectrum of your digital marketing efforts. And it can also lead to more revenue and greater credibility. Therefore,
ORM: The Strategies
It’s really simple: A company that cares about its reputation cares about its work and customers. Reputation management should be a fundamental component of any online strategy. This is just one of the major milestones that can be achieved by indirectly managing your online reputation, but why do consumers hate brands that don’t do more? Here’s what we know for sure to be successful with the ORM:
- Customers have high expectations: Customers have much higher expectations of brands than in the past. They expect constant availability; having a seller available when you need them is a very important factor.
- Consumers are somewhat easily influenced: If a consumer is already part of a fandom or following, they will trust the word of online celebrities and personalities. This can present a challenge regarding how some public figures view your brand. In the event of a scandal, online comments will all be against you. So your relationships should extend beyond the general consumer or target market to the public figures they worship. If there is any public comment, reach out to these influencers to give them an accurate account of events.
- In a world of distrust, consumers want to feel like brands are on their side: Millennials, in particular, are showing considerable dejection at fake news, even from non-governmental organizations and charities.
Yet, 64% of consumers trust search engine results to validate entries or obtain information in this world of mistrust.
What Does This Mean For Marketers And Reputation Managers?
- We need to provide an accurate account of events: Resist the urge to paint your brand in the most favorable light possible. Aim for accuracy and honesty. This will improve your brand reputation in many cases instead of hindering it. Building trust is a valuable way to help manage brand perception and instill trust.
- We must be responsible for any wrongdoing and make amends accordingly: Consider each complaint if your brand is embroiled in a scandal or negative online sentiment. Make sure you know how to be responsible, within reason, and strive to make amends by offering compensation for services, replacements or support.
- Managing our online reputation by responding to consumers’ needs and answering their questions, concerns and positive feelings: Good service, relationship building and reputation management goes beyond mere responsibility. It’s also important to recognize the positive sentiment and connect with consumers who are fans. Reward their behavior, respond to what they say, give back their commitment.
- We need to closely monitor the data to help us ascertain where people are talking about us and what they are saying: This will help you react accordingly. View specific examples, gauge sentiment, and view top positions. This will help you understand your audience better and meet their needs.
- We need a risk and crisis public relations plan to mitigate potential disasters: Prevent disaster by anticipating falls in stocks. Set up response plans and processes for negative events.
- Keep ongoing discussions online to collect risks and possible risks before they get out of control: You have to remain part of the conversation to understand the complex.
All in all, we know that online reputation management is key in the digital sphere. So, making it a priority makes sense. Use the tools at your disposal and your in-depth knowledge of your consumer base to delight them and satisfy their needs.