Most people define online reputation management (ORM) as the act of monitoring, addressing or mitigating SERPs (search engine result pages) or mentions in online media and Web content.
(Official) ORM primarily involves tracking what is written about a client on the Internet, then using online and offline techniques in promoting positive and neutral content, while at the same time pushing down the negative content you may not want to show when your business name is searched. (phew!)
In short, ORM is keeping track of what people are saying about you online and promoting the positive while eliminating and preventing the negative.
ORM is especially prevalent today as just about every business has an online identity in one form or another.
An identity or brand can be promoted in a number of ways, but it can also be damaged in many ways; and managing both of these plays key roles in ORM.
All of these affect your online reputation and that reputation is just as important as your offline one – something you’ve probably dedicated years to building and promoting.
Unfortunately, you don’t have years to dedicate to managing and build your online reputation. More people use and do business on the Internet every day, and the majority of people spend the majority of their time online in some capacity or another.
If negative reviews and feedback is out there about your company, what can you do about it anyway? And of course, what’s always on top of every business owner’s mind – when are you supposed to find the time to do it?
This guide will explain all of these things.
Finding every piece of information that’s out there in cyberspace about you doesn’t have to be all that difficult; and building positive reviews and positive images of your brand can be even easier online than it is offline.
If you don’t have the time for it all, as many business owners don’t, within this guide you’ll even find out how to tackle that problem. If you’re already feeling completely overwhelmed by it all simply give us a call and we will help put you on track.
If not, read on and start finding out everything you’ve ever needed to know about online reputation for your small business – it’s all here!
To say that online reputation management is not without its own challenges simply wouldn’t be true.
Whether it’s a business owner’s train of thinking or a bad online review, there are a few obstacles that can come up in ORM.
Here are some of the biggest challenges, and how you can combat them:
Bad press includes a number of things, and they are the number one challenge in online reputation management. This is what it’s all about after all, trying to limit and eliminate all the bad press that’s out there. But what exactly is meant by “bad press?”
Any of these and more:
squatted usernames (where someone else takes over the use of a company’s username)
disgruntled employees or individuals impersonating the company or one of its staff
hate or complaint sites
personal and corporate scandals
negative industry perceptions
This is something that lots of business owners think – a shocking number of them, actually. And while it’s true that some businesses have built up their reputation so strongly, and think that because they’re so successful right now, that a few hits to their online reputation will largely be ignored by their customers.
This is often true – for now.
But business might not always be so good and in those times, a good online reputation is a great thing to fall back on. Add to that the fact that those “few hits” could have a snowball effect where people start to pay attention and rest assured, it will matter at some point.
Lastly with this point, while major corporations may have a large and loyal customer base that will disregard bad reviews and the like, small businesses most likely do not.
That’s why small business owners need to pay even more attention to ORM. If you don’t take control of your online reputation, someone else will!
Lots of business owners also know that negative reviews and bad online press is out there about them. They may even know who published it and where to find it; but they don’t think there’s anything that can actually be done about it.
Managing your online reputation though is very similar to managing your offline reputation.
You would never walk away from a customer if they had or walked into your office and complained.
And when you leave online questions unanswered and complaints ignored, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
Need a Coffee break? Are you ready for Part 2 of The Survival Guide To Building Your Reputation: Creating A Positive Brand For Yourself Online and Getting Rid of the Negative Ones