What Is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management is based on what we all know as Public Relations or PR. Public relations is the act of managing an individual’s or organisation’s relationship with the public to achieve and maintain positive public perception.
Whereas Online reputation management is the active management of an individual’s or organisation’s reputation online.
In short, we can say that Public Relations is the proactive effort to achieve a positive brand image whereas Online Reputation Management is often a reactive or responsive attempt at damage control.
In other words, Online reputation management monitors social media and other online content to quickly combat negative feedback from an individual or organisation.
Online reputation management mainly deals with damage control. It means effectively responding to negative comments or feedback on your business and trying to keep your business as positive as possible.
So, let’s take a closer look at how online reputation management can look for your business.
Take, for example, you want to download a photo editor app on your phone. The first thing you do is to browse through a list of downloadable apps. What is the first thing you look for? Don’t you look out first for the star rating of the app? Or the reviews of the app by others who have downloaded it?
In fact, you are not alone. According to a survey conducted by bright local, 87% of consumers read online reviews for business and 52% would not even consider a business with less than 4 stars.
So, this is what online reputation management does for your business.
Why Is Online Reputation Important?
We all know that having an online presence is one of the top priorities of any business today. Quoting Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, “If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business”
Social Media and other online platforms are some of the best tools of marketing. However, apart from advertising positive information about your business, these platforms are also hotbeds for the dissemination of negative feedback.
It is here where online reputation management steps in. Online reputation management can dilute obstructive feedback.
News on the internet is like wildfire. It spreads far and wide without any boundaries. The disturbing part of negative feedback through the internet is that it does not require evidence or verification before it spreads across the globe.
Therefore, this is why online reputation management is important. It is required to battle this negative feedback quickly and effectively before it damages the reputation of your business.
A perfect example of how online reputation management can work for your business is the example of the lawsuit brought by Beasley Allen Law firm, Alabama against the fast-food giant Taco Bell.
According to the law firm, Taco Bell was not entitled to call the meat they sold “beef” because it has binders and mixtures that do not meet federal requirements to be termed as beef.
However, the case was withdrawn and Taco Bell released a series of advertisements online and otherwise to regain their lost reputation with the public. The campaigns were captioned “Will it kill you to say sorry?”
Advantages of Online Reputation Management
1. Builds Trust
One of the benefits of online reputation management is that it helps to retain existing customers and attracts new customers.
Most customers will buy from a trusted brand. A brand becomes trustworthy when customers are happy with the product or service and are vocal about it. However, what happens when a dissatisfied customer is vocal about it too.
This can be negative publicity for your business. Negative publicity may harm and adversely impact your business. Online reputation management quickly tries to dilute this negative feedback thereby retaining the brand image and trust of your business.
2. Increases Web Traffic
One of the online reputation benefits is that it can increase traffic to your website. How does online reputation do this? Well, Online reputation management not only dilutes negative information but also helps to disseminate positive feedback and information.
When positive information about your business goes viral over the internet, it will directly increase the traffic to your website.
3. Attracts Qualified Workforce
Another reason why online reputation is important is that it indirectly attracts qualified personnel to your business.
You may wonder how online reputation can manage to attract qualified professionals to your company? So, when applying for a job in a company, usually, prospective employees browse online for any feedback on the company and usually apply to those companies that have a good reputation and good feedback online.
Online reputation management ensures your business is perceived positively on the internet.
Online reputation management is a kind of cost-effective marketing technique. When your business has a good reputation online, it is more likely to be recommended by satisfied customers. This becomes a kind of free advertisement for your business.
5. Higher Chances of Investments
Another online reputation management benefit is that your business has a higher chance of investments from third parties.
If your business is looking for third-party investments, then having a good online reputation attracts trusted investors. Investors or third parties browse through your business details on the internet before deciding on investing
6. High Ranking on Search Engines
Another reason why online reputation management is important is that it offers your business a higher chance of being ranked on the top pages of search engines. Positive reviews and excellent customer feedback are more likely to appear on top of search engine lists.
7. A Positive Reputation Leads to An Increase in Sales
Reputation is a general belief or opinion about something or someone. Positive opinions about your business can increase customers and thereby increase sales and profits of your business.
8. Negates Negative Propaganda by Competitors
One of the benefits of online reputation management is that it can easily counter any negative propaganda by competitors. It also eliminates competition to an extent.
9. Determines Way Forward for Businesses
A good online reputation management strategy has the power to define the way forward for business establishments.
Based on current reviews and feedback from customers, businesses can determine the wants and needs of customers.
Thereby making effective changes in products services or marketing strategies. Therefore, online reputation management indirectly directs the company in the way forward.
What an Online Reputation Management Company Can Do to Manage Your Reputation Online
There are various methods of online reputation management. We have mentioned a few below:
- Prioritise positive feedback from customers at the top and push down negative comments
- Publishing positive posts that outnumber the negative posts
- Printing clarifications instead of outright denials
- Placed on popular third-party sites
- Offers and deals to positive reviewers
- Deleting derogatory images that affect your business reputation
These are just some of the simple ways in which Online reputation management can help build your business brand image
From the above, it is evident that online reputation management is the future of marketing. It builds the trust and confidence of the customers and builds an unbreakable reputation for your business.