For any kind of business, maintaining its reputation and consumer trust is vital for its survival and growth. Online reputation management has also gained importance in the current scenario. Imagine putting in efforts in your paid and unpaid marketing strategies and losing consumer trust due to bad reviews and malicious digital attacks. Nowadays, due to massive social media usage and online reviews, managing reputation becomes important to ensure sending the right message about your brand to your audience.
In this article, we will cover:
- What exactly is Online Reputation Management or ORM?
- Tools to manage ORM
- Strategies for proactive ORM
What exactly is Online Reputation Management or ORM?
Online Reputation Management actively monitors the conversations on digital platforms around your brand and addresses the negative discussions as soon as possible. This involves monitoring social comments, posts, and reviews concerning your brand. All these efforts are made with an aim to build a good brand image and reputation.
Here’s an interesting statistic about online reviews. According to Trustpilot, close to 89 per cent of consumers like to go through online reviews before arriving at a purchase decision. You certainly can’t ignore such a number.
There’s no doubt that online reviews hold a lot of importance for a business. This is because any kind of negative review left unaddressed can lead to a negative brand impression on the target audience. Any prospective consumer can come in contact with a negative review and change their decision.
At the same time, controlling a brand’s reputation online also involves ascertaining a clear brand message in the consumer’s mind. For instance, a handloom brand might want to portray itself as traditional, while a gaming brand might want to set a more friendly and modern approach. This message decides the kind of audience that a brand will ultimately attract.
More and more people are talking online about their brand experiences. In today’s tech-savvy world, it is essential to monitor the online conversations and events around your brand and reach your consumers first before they build any wrong impressions about you.
Tools to manage ORM
There are various tools that you can use as a business to manage the conversations about your business. Here are some of them:
Google Alerts is a popular tool to keep a guard on your brand mentions online. It informs you about any new mention of your brand with the help of an email. It works with the help of the keywords that you choose. Google alerts will send you an alert when it comes in contact with your chosen set of keywords on any kind of online content like blogs, research articles, or posts.
While it is easier to manage the customer reviews on your own platforms, managing them on different review sites and forums can be slightly tricky.
Reputology is a tool that makes it easier to monitor the online reviews around your brand. It sends you regular notifications about your brand reviews on review sites and forums. In this way, you can respond to them from a single platform. It also helps to understand how to actually respond to negative sentiments about your brand.
GatherUp is a tool that asks your consumers for a review of your brand. Positive reviews are a great reputation builder of a brand.
Moreover, reminding your consumers about the review will push your chances to get positive feedback that you can publish on your digital platforms.
Social Mention has different parameters based on which you can get a clear idea about your brand’s reputation. With the help of filters like language and location, you can find out the reviews, keywords, hashtags, and topics around your brand. Not only that, but this tool also gives a judgment of the possible feelings associated with a review, like a positive and negative review or a slightly neutral one.
Meltwater is an excellent tool to keep track of the activities involving your competitors. For instance, it lets you compare your brand reputation with your competitor and gives you insights into your competitor’s online mentions.
Strategies for proactive ORM
There are certain things that you should keep in mind while managing your brand’s online reputation.
No matter the content of an online review or content, reacting to them kindly is essential to hit the right tone with your consumers. Nobody likes to hear a negative voice, and reacting to anything negative in an aggressive manner will make you come across as an arrogant brand.
There are human beings involved behind brands and it is impractical to expect perfection from human beings. Mistakes are natural but hiding these mistakes can do you more harm than good.
On the contrary, it is a good idea to address your faults and react to criticisms in a positive way. In this way, you can build consumer trust and loyalty.
Do not ignore or delay responding to the sentiments and reviews about your business, especially if they are negative. This can lead to a massive image wreck. It is essential to be quick on your feet and respond to criticism as promptly as possible.
Practice social listening
It is very difficult to improve yourself if you do not know your faults. With the help of social listening tools like HubSpot, you can understand what are people talking about you and form your reputation strategy accordingly.
Establish a blog
A blog is an excellent tool to form direct connections with your audience and interact with them. Blogs let you publish informative and useful content that is helpful to solving consumer problems. For example, a gifting business can publish blogs on gift ideas for different occasions. In this way, customers can trust your brand and interact with your content more often.
While you can’t always control what people talk about your business, it is possible to manage and track these conversations by investing in a good and structured online reputation management strategy.