BusinessDigital Marketing

Online Reputation Management

This will make you help you to know about Online Reputation Management

  • What is online reputation management?
  • Why online reputation management is need of hour?
  • Understanding ORM scenario
  • How to deal with criticism online
  • 10 Online reputation management commandments
  • 15 ways to create positive brand image online
  • Understanding tools for monitoring online reputation
  • Step by Step guide to overcome negative online reputation
  • Best examples of online reputation management

What is ORM?

Online reputation management is the process of removing negative mentions, monitoring brands image and creating a positive reputation.

Understanding ORM

There are a lot of misconceptions about online reputation management. Some people

think it’s just social media monitoring, while others believe it has something to do with

public relations, and still others literally have no idea how it can impact business and

sales.

In this guide, I’m going to explain the role of online reputation management in today’s

business and media landscape. Companies of every size can benefit from having a clear

outline of its main concepts.

What are people saying about you? Good online reputation management is not only

about reacting well to what people say about you, your brand, or your products and

services, but also about whether to react at all and, if so, when. Sometimes a reaction is

not necessary, and sometimes a reaction that is too late can cost you millions.

A proactive approach to the matter consists of monitoring your public reputation on a

regular basis, and not just when you come to know about a specific event to deal with.

How do you do this? The magic tools invented to solve this problem fall under the name

of “social media monitoring.”

How to deal with negative comments online

 In the online reputation management scenario, there are two types of negative content

that companies should be aware of. One is represented by complaints on social

networks. They need to be addressed properly, but unless your company has serious

problems, they do not pose a real challenge to your business.

The other is what I define as “online reputation bombs,” which affect your reputation and

sales long term and can severely damage a business. They are very powerful because,

unlike social network content, they are prominent in search engine results. What if

someone google your brand name and finds defamatory content?

Let’s see what they are:

  • Aggressive SEO: If someone googles your name, appearing on page 1 and 2 of the

search results will be much more important than your business card or website. They

will show at a glance several high ranking web sources talking about you. If they

display false information, the first thing that you or your online reputation management

company should do is devise a search marketing strategy that increases the ranking

of positive content, owned by either you or third parties. The search engine game is

too important to be ignored, and it is the first step in restoring your image.

 

  • Review removal: Did that user claim something false about your company? Is that

review clearly aimed at destroying your reputation rather than providing feedback?

Does it contain improper language? Legal liaison and speed of reaction will make it

possible to remove the negative review.

 

  • Online investigations: In case of serious attacks to your brand image, it may be

necessary to hire skilled online analysts to investigate untraceable threats and

attackers via email tracing, data cross-indexing, and other information collection

techniques. Cyber investigations are the definitive path to get to the bottom of difficult

reputation management cases.

10 Online Reputation Management Commandments

 Calling it “online reputation” really is redundant. Your online reputation simply is your

reputation. In the digital era, nothing is protecting you from criticism anymore. This is

good from a freedom of speech perspective; bad if your company has been defamed and

attacked.

To conclude, ten practical tips that sum up what we have covered in this guide. The world

of brand reputation will change in the coming years, but following these simple

“commandments” definitely will benefit you and your brand:

 Become well respected

 

According to several business experts, trust is a perishable asset and it is hard to gain.

Making people respect you and your work is more important than any other online

reputation management commandment

  1. Be radically transparent

After years of hiding critics, Mc Donald’s publicly forced egg suppliers to raise hens’ living

standards according to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals request.

  1. Monitor what they are saying about you

 Apart from the aforementioned reasons to monitor your online reputation, social media

monitoring also can bring business! These days, lots of people ask questions via Twitter

and Facebook because they are evaluating whether or not they should buy from you.

  1. React quickly and politely

 In case of a customer complaint via Twitter, for example, a prompt and simple “We are

aware of the problem. We are working on it and will get back to you as soon as possible.”

is better than a late reply with more information.

  1. Address criticism

 In 2009, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s WSJ op-ed on Obama healthcare

reform caused a controversy among WF customers. Two days later, the company

provided a response statement recognizing there were “many opinions on this issue,

including inside our own company” and invited people to share their opinion on the

matter.

  1. Treat your Google page 1 as your business card

 First impressions count, and we do judge many books by their cover. If the words “scam”

and “rip off” are associated with your brand, then that is something you should worry

about. 

  1. Understand your detractors

 Criticism can be the chance to learn more about your audience and craft a better

message in the future. Motrin’s controversial “baby wearing moms” commercial sparked

a lot of criticism. It did not come from competitors or illegitimate attackers, but from

people in Motrin’s target audience who felt offended by their promotional content.

  1. Attack your illegitimate attackers

 Sometimes we simply have to fight illegal behavior. In 2009, Domino’s Pizza

employees who posted disgusting videos of themselves playing with food were fired and

arrested. Another example is people who post false information on the internet.

Sometimes, if you don’t sue them, they might do it again.

  1. Learn from your mistakes

 

Sony certainly learned a reputation management lesson back in 2005. The company

placed copy protection (XCD) on its CDs which created computer vulnerabilities that

malware could exploit. Instead of being upfront about their mistake, Sony stonewalled

criticism and lost millions in class-action lawsuits.

  1. Ask for help if necessary

 If your online reputation management efforts are not enough to protect or restore your

brand image, you have the choice to request help from a professional.

15 ways to create positive brand image online

 

Own Your Own Website

Your first goal for creating a positive online image is having a website. Chances are, you

already have one for your business like yourbusiness.com. Be sure to also protect your

personal brand by having one for your own name, i.e. firstnamelastname.com. Websites

with an exact business or person’s name in the domain generally rank first when

someone searches for the name. If you have a website you control at #1 in search

results, it will get the most amount of clicks and prevent most people from continuing to

look through the rest of the search results.

Own Related Domains

If you want to take it to the next level, build up some other domains for your business or

yourself. Hosting companies are notorious for having negative information pop up in

search results from bad reviews to anti-their-company groups. GoDaddy tackled this by

creating a crop of additional websites with their brand name in the domain.

Any business can do something similar by creating separate site for the following:

  • Your blog such as yourbusiness.com or yourbusinessblog.com.
  • Your customer support such as support.yourbusiness.com oryourbusinesssupport.com.
  • Your store such as yourbusiness.com or yourbusinessstore.com.
  • Your main products such as yourbusiness.com or yourproduct.com.
  • Your apps such as yourbusiness.com or yourbusinessapps.com.
Start Multiple Blogs

Your main personal or company blog doesn’t have to be your only blog. Thanks

to Google+ authorship and Google Direct Connect, you can tell Google a blog on any

topic is related to you.

Here are two great examples. Danny Sullivan is well known for being the editor-in-chief

for Search Engine Land. If you search for him, you’ll also find his personal blog named

Daggle. It comes up in search results for his name simply because he put Danny

Sullivan’s Personal Blog in the title of the homepage and connected it to his Google+

profile.

Be Active on Social Media

Notice that I didn’t say create a whole lot of random social profiles that you may never

touch again. There’s little point to doing that when reputation management is concerned.

Instead, you want to create several strong social profiles on prominent social networks

and keep them active and up to date. You will also want to build a strong audience on

these networks as well – you could almost consider your number of connections like the

number of links to your profile – the more you have, the better they will rank.

Some of the best social profiles to create and routinely maintain that will generally rank

well in search results include the following.

  • Google+ – Profiles for people, pages for business. Make sure you occasionally include your name or business name in a status update or two as well.
  • Facebook – Profiles for people, pages for business.
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn – Profiles for people, company pages for businesses.
  • Biznik – People only.
  • Pinterest – Make sure one of your pins includes your name or business name too!
  • Myspace – Don’t laugh, it still ranks well in search.
  • Quora
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
Create Online “Business Cards”

Want to create an online business card of sorts? Several websites allow you to create a

personalized page that displays a short bio about you plus links to your website, blog,

and social networks. About.me is probably the most popular one.

Claim Your Local Profiles

If you have a local business, be sure to claim your local profiles and local directory

listings, or create them if they don’t exist on sites like Yelp, Merchant Circle, Yahoo Local

and similar sites. This is also good to help with your local search marketing campaign so

local customers can find you easier online.

Write Guest Posts

When it comes to reputation management, you’re not looking to do one-off guest posting

opportunities where your name will barely be in the by-line. You will want to write for sites

that have author bio pages crafted for you or allow you to create custom profiles

like SEOmoz. Basically, the bigger the website, the better the chances of your author

page showing up in search results. While any site can be good, highly authoritative sites

like TechCrunch, Mashable, Forbes, and Entrepreneur are great examples of ones to

strive for.

Do Interviews

If you or your business is asked to do interviews on blogs, videos, or podcasts, definitely

say yes. Typically people will include your name and/or your business name in the title of

the resulting content which will rank well in search.

Place a Lot of Images of Yourself Online

This is easily done when you’re creating social profiles and getting guest posts. Having

lots of images of yourself online might sound like vanity, but it can trigger image search

results for your name or business to pop up, further pushing down potential negative

search results. Easy ways to do this is through profile photos on your social networks,

author bio pages on your websites & blogs, avatars on forums, and so forth. The key is to

always make sure that your photo’s filename isyourname.jpg or similar, not something

non-descriptive like profilephoto.jpg.

If you’re embedding your photo on a website, be sure to use applicable image SEO

optimization in the code like this:

<img src=”yourname.jpg” alt=”Your First Name Last Name” title=”Your First Name Last

Make Videos

Another great way to dominate search results is through video. YouTube is usually the

most obvious to go for as they are owned by Google and therefore are likely to appear in

search results. But don’t forget other popular video sites such as Vimeoas it also shows

up often in search.

Some great ideas for video title formulas include:

  • Your Name or Business Name on ____
  • ____ by Your Name or Business Name
  • Your Name or Business Name Interviews ____
  • About Your Name or Business Name
Write Press Releases

Press releases still make a dent when it comes to getting your name or your business

name out there. If you’re looking at a real-time reputation management crisis, try

submitting your responses through social media and through press releases. Legit

services might charge you a fee, but they are worth it when it comes to making sure your

press release is optimized for search. Some good examples of press release services

include PR.com, SBWire, and PRWeb.

Create an App or Podcast

Apple.com is a highly authoritative website, so it is no surprise that any apps or podcasts

rank well in search results. As a matter of fact, your app or podcast is almost guaranteed

to show up on the first page of search results for your name or your business so long as

you include it either in the title or the description.

Get a CrunchBase Profile

If you are the owner of a technology company, you can submit yourself and submit your

company to be included in the CrunchBase database. These entries tend to rank as high,

and sometimes even higher than Wikipedia entries.

See if You Qualify for a Wikipedia Page

Wikipedia pages are tough to come by thanks to the rules. But if you qualify to have a

Wikipedia page created about yourself or your business, it is generally a guaranteed

page one search result. Learn more about Wikipedia pages for yourself and for your

organization.

One thing to keep in mind about Wikipedia pages is that they are publicly editable. This

means if there is major news about you or your business, it will likely end up on your

Wikipedia page too.

Once you have a presence on the top social networks, local search directories (as

applicable), and other sites, it will make it easier to respond to any negative press when it

arises. Be sure to think before your speak / type and make your responses as

professional as possible. You’re not just trying to defend yourself – you’re also trying to

prove to people how awesome you really are.

Understanding tools for monitoring online
Reputation

 Now that you’ve done all of this work to build a positive reputation for your brand, you will

want to keep an eye out on any news about you or your business. The easiest (and free)

way to do this is through Google Alerts. Google Alerts lets you set up searches for your

name or your brand name and sends you emails when new results come up. Other sites

that provide similar services include Social Mention (free), Trackur (paid),

and Reputation.com (paid).

Step-by-Step guide on how to overcome negative online reputation? 

  • Begin with Introspective Analysis
  • Assemble All the Facts
  • Sort the Facts into Three Groups
  • Build an Action Plan
  • Execute an Action Plan
Begin with introspective analysis

If your reputation has tanked, then you need to take some time to reflect on why you are in the predicament.

Why did your reputation plummet? Are your products and services lacking, or do you have below average customer service? Maybe you have seen customers complain about their experience on your website.

Assemble All the Facts

 Gather all mentions and information necessary regarding your brand on the web. Tools like Mention and Radian6 and Google alerts are great for gathering what’s being said about businesses.

Sort the Facts into Three Groups

Now that we have the data in hand, we are going to sort it into three main groups..

Categorize results into three groups:
  1. Positive – These are easy to spot and also the easiest to take action on, because there is very minimal action for these findings. You will, however, want to make note of some positive feedback because this will help you identify some of your strengths and will leverage your sharing power on social networks.
  1. Neutral – These are the middle of the road comments, reviews, opinions where users were neither ecstatic nor displeased with your products or services. Just like negative feedback, this will serve as insightful information.
  1. Negative – These are the most detrimental and the highest priority for getting your business reputation back on track. Make a list of the different areas of concern. This will help you sort out where to begin. For both negative business reviews and negative content on the search engine results pages (SERPs), put strong websites as a higher priority because they have more visibility and will be harder to fight. Assess the strength of a website by checking its domain authority.
Build an Action Plan

How you plan to improve your reputation- kindly refer 15 ways to improve your online Reputation

Execute an Action Plan
First Phase

It never hurts to ask. Many times, website owners will be happy to remove the content..

If there is failure to remove results, the next step you may want to consider is to actually

move forward with legal action (depending on the situation).

If it’s a client review that doesn’t meet the review site guidelines, you can write an email

to the legal or customer service department. If it’s content showing up in the SERP, you

can use this link to request that Google remove the content:

Second Phase

Find strong websites with high domain authority (DA) to share positive content like the

BBB, Chamber of Commerce, and social sites like Google+ and Facebook. This gives

you an opportunity for increased credibility and more importantly an opportunity to push

down negative results in the SERP. The trick is to fight back with higher DA websites

than those that are showing the negative content in the SERP.

Here is an extensive list of 500 sites with high DA that you can start using right away:

For example, if you have negative content coming from hubpages.com (DA 88), you can

fight it by placing content on blogspot.com (DA 93). This is not a guaranteed method, but

it works a good majority of the time if you create better content, promote it, and have

patience waiting for it to kick in. It works even better if you build some links to your new

content.

Third Phase

Address negative feedback with real time responses on all review sites, blogs, and social

accounts. Whatever you do, do not get into a commenting war, become defensive, or

offer ill-informed responses. This only digs a deeper hole and will worsen the situation.

Even if the person making the claim is inaccurate with their information, it’s your job to

amend the situation, regardless of who is right. Maintain composure and review the

following pointers prior to responding.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button