The first version of online reputation management – a service that helps businesses manage their online presence – was launched in 2003 in Australia by a company named Reputation.com. The term “ORM” was coined by Australian entrepreneur Jason Coley, who founded the company. The first two companies to use the term were also Australian, with Reputation.com and Pristine Communications being established in 2004 and 2005 respectively. By 2009, over 100 companies worldwide had been using ORM services to improve their online reputation. In 2013 there was an estimated 500 companies using ORM services.
Online reputation management generally includes monitoring the web for negative information about your business, reacting to that information, and removing any damaging content. Here are some general tips on how to improve your business’ presence on the web;
8 Easy Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation
Monitor Social Media
Monitoring social media sites is one of the first steps to improving your online reputation. This includes monitoring comments left by customers as well as other users who interact with your brand. It also means monitoring any negative reviews posted on review websites.
Respond to Negative Reviews
If you receive a negative comment on a website, respond quickly and positively. Don’t ignore the feedback because it will only make matters worse. Instead, address the issue directly and try to resolve it.
Create Positive Reviews
Another thing you can do today to improve your online reputation is to create positive reviews. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to sell something. People trust other people more than companies, so if you have a good track record with customers, they’ll likely give you a higher rating.
Remove Bad Links
If you’ve ever tried to remove bad links from your site, you know how difficult it can be. It’s not just a matter of removing them from your website; you also need to make sure that any links pointing to those pages are removed as well.
Constantly tracking your brand mentions will help in taking action for anything good or bad that might come up about your brand. This provides a means to connect with your friends, solve problems, and getting potential clients and brand ambassadors on your side. Use tools like Google Alerts, mention.net, and HootSuite to automate this process and increase engagement.
Don’t Feed The Trolls
Just as there will be fans and followers who will speak highly of your brand, there are going to be haters as well. Constantly engaging with them is only going to affect you in the long run. Be smart and don’t take offense to hurtful comments or criticisms. It’s just the way of the internet – for better or for worse.
Know Your Audience Better
If you can put yourself in the mind of your audience and understand how they do (or even, better want to) interact with your brand, you will be able to create content that meets their needs and position yourself as an authority to them. Search for and then create a list of popular forums, groups, review aggregates, etc for your industry. Keep up on them and learn about your users.
Going along with accepting criticism, you need to also be completely honest with yourself, your industry peers, your employees, and everyone else. If you are going to expect people to feel connected and engaged with your brand, they need to be able to trust in what you do or say online.
This only scratches the surface of online reputation management! Some companies have whole teams managing just their reviews and customer engagement and it can be an enormous undertaking managing the day-to-day of your business while trying to keep on top of your online presence. If you need guidance on how your business can better navigate or get it’s reputation management under control, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!